Monday, January 4, 2016

Book Review: Food Whore

I just devoured this delicious gem! 
Food Whore was a treat for the senses- wicked, juicy, and thoroughly satisfying! I got to chat with the gorgeous Jessica Tom, the talented author behind this delicious book. 


What planted the seed of Food Whore?
 Like my main character, Tia, I was a young woman who had just moved to NYC and loved going out to eat. I wanted to share my experiences, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start a blog -- there are so many great ones out there and I didn’t know how to stand out. So I imagined: what if a 23 year old-woman were the New York Times restaurant critic? How would that happen? How would it be amazing? And, since there are no shortcuts in life, how would it lead to her undoing?

As the name implies...acting a certain way to get what you want, in this case, regarding food- Jess, have you ever gone over the line to sample a decadent, rare foodstuff?
Ha! “Over the line” probably not. But I’ve definitely been bold when it comes to my food career. A couple years after college, I was tinkering with food show idea. While on vacation in Paris, I  saw Emeril Lagasse checking in for my same flight and persuaded my mom to swap her business class ticket with my economy one (she was on a business trip and I was just tagging along). I pitched my show idea to him and he liked it and ended up connecting me to his producer days later. We worked on some concept treatments, but nothing ever worked out. I don’t regret trying though. No guts, no glory. ( i so agree!)

Do you think college and grad school grads have to jump/sink to these levels to get ahead?
I don’t know about “sink”… but yes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone in order to make real progress. That goes for everyone -- not just students. There are times when you might push yourself a bit too far and get in trouble. In Food Whore, Tia has the best intentions, but she makes some missteps on the way and her sanity and relationships suffer for it. She didn’t consciously hurt anyone -- it just happened (as it does in real life).

How much do you think looks plays into getting a job?
I would hope not much! But I suppose it depends on the job you’re looking for. Food critics actually downplay their looks. They want to recede in the background. Same goes for writers. Though I’m guilty of wearing showy clothes and makeup, oftentimes I prefer to blend into the background so I can observe what’s happening.

How much do you think social media impacts the job hunt, as a new grad or someone seeking an internship?
Again, I think it depends on the job. Social media can flesh out who you are for an employer. Your accounts can be a boon or a liability...depending on what you post and what the job is. Online influence is only important in certain realms. Like, I don’t care if my dentist has a lot of followers.

This book was SUCH a joy to read and my friends and I loved it- as writers, bloggers, readers and eaters, ( I am all of the above!) are you coming up with a sequel or another food book?
Yay, thank you!! Yes, I’m working on another book that’s food related. I only have one book out, but I already know food fiction is my “thing.” Other than that... too soon to reveal specific details. ;)

What is your favorite food?
Oh gosh, I love grapes, oranges, persimmons, pomelo, Chinese-style eggplant, roasted cruciferous vegetables, crab cakes, pulled pork, fresh baguettes, caramel corn, steak with chimichurri, halo-halo, pistachio gelato and a hundred other things. 

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