Publication Date: 01/09/2023 ISBN: 9781789147827 Category:

Dinner in Rome

Andreas Viestad

Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publication Date: 01/09/2023 ISBN: 9781789147827 Category:
Paperback / Softback


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.



‘There is more history in a bowl of pasta than in the Colosseum,’ writes Andreas Viestad in Dinner in Rome. From the table of a classic Roman restaurant, Viestad takes us on a fascinating culinary exploration of the Eternal City, and global civilization. Food, he argues, is history’s secret driving force. From the starter of bread, Viestad traces the origins of wheat and its role in Rome’s rise and downfall; from his sorbet dessert he recounts how the hunger for sugar fuelled the slave trade. Viestad’s dinner may be local, but his story is universal. His ‘culinary archaeology’ is an entertaining, flavourful journey across the dinner table and time. You’ll never look at spaghetti carbonara the same way again.

Publisher Review

'As enchanting as it is fascinating: Andreas Viestad has a calm gift for evocative scene-setting, story-telling and, crucially, for making and exploring connections that bring everything illuminatingly to life.' - Nigella Lawson; 'A fascinating look at food and its history through the prism of one classic restaurant in Rome. Andreas Viestad has created a "culinary archaeology" that's as erudite as it is gripping. He's as comfortable with amusing asides and anecdotes as he is with the deepest digs. His writing leaves you entranced, hugely enlightened - and hungry.' - Marina O'Loughlin, Restaurant Critic for The Sunday Times; 'Andreas Viestad has written a fascinating, thought-provoking and funny book about the importance of food in history. He zips seamlessly between the smells and flavors of a meal in a restaurant in Rome and the long lines of history.' - Alice Waters; 'Viestad comes across as a genial companion, both confident and unassuming . . . Dinner in Rome avoids the florid excesses of much food writing and offers instead the simpler pleasures of a well-crafted book with satisfying body and depth.' - Financial Times; 'Approaching the history of Rome - and civilisation more widely - through a single meal enjoyed at an Italian restaurant is an ambitious premise, but it's one the makes for rewarding reading . . . This accessible account is a perfect pairing of food and history.' - BBC History magazine; 'Viestad . . . has had the strikingly good idea of writing a foodie history of the world by examining a single meal eaten there . . . [a] riveting volume.' - Paul Levy, The Spectator; 'Food serves as a gateway into the rich history of Rome. Viestad works as a culinary archaeologist using food to unearth the historic narratives of the Eternal City from the rise and fall of ancient Rome built from the loaves of bread to how lemons influenced the nineteenth-century mafia. Dinner In Rome is perfect for the history buff more interested in a good story than cooking their own dinner.' - America Domani; 'Perfect for an armchair traveler or as a bit of homework before your own Roman adventures, Dinner in Rome provides plenty of history alongside some contemporary dining suggestions.' - Ivory Owl Reviews; '10 mejores libros para devorar de 2022.' - Tapas Magazine, Spain; 'It's fun! You learn a lot reading this book. And you get hungry, too. Take up the opportunity to read this creative and interesting book. Dinner in Rome by Andreas Viestad is highly recommended. A fine addition to your food and wine bookshelf.' - Mike Veseth, The Wine Economist; 'History and food memories are everlasting. They bring an eternal pleasure of time and place throughout the decades and centuries. This book reminds us of how deeply rooted food is in our travels, stories and traditions.' - Daniel Boulud; 'A uniquely beautiful, historical account of Andreas' two-hour meal at a well-known trattoria in the Campo dei Fiori area of Rome. For me, Rome is the eternal city and one that I love for its history, art, architecture, and food. Andreas has brought the history of the world to life through a meal at a Roman table. He writes an entertaining and beautifully written account of how food shapes not only who we are but where we were and where we go as humans. This is a wonderful addition to my collection of cookbooks and culinary memoirs and travel books. It is a book that tells the history of the world according to the food that is eaten on a leisurely afternoon in one of the world's most beautiful and historical cities. A must-read.' - Lidia Bastianich, author, chef and host of PBS's Lidia's Kitchen; 'If 'Culinary Archaeology' had been a course major back when I was in college, I just might have graduated with honors. Andreas Viestad takes us on an evocative journey through time, effortlessly weaving past and present, and transforming one classic Roman meal into an appetite-inducing learning experience. This is the best possible insalata mista: with equal parts cookbook, history lesson, travelogue, and fantasy. It's right up there with sitting in the Campo dei Fiori on a gorgeous spring day, devouring a hillock of crispy carciofi alla guidea.' - Danny Meyer, restaurateur, author of Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business; 'Insightful and enchanting. Viestad reminds us of the power of food and how it has greatly impacted the formation of world history.' - Eric Ripert, chef; 'Everyone's dream is to visit Rome, to sit down at a restaurant and enjoy one Italian meal that makes you experience flavor, tradition, and passion all at the same time. Andreas Viestad's must-read Dinner in Rome takes things a step further, inviting you to travel with your mind and your palate. His two-hour dinner is a journey to last a lifetime.' - Cristina Bowerman, chef patron, Glass Hostaria, Rome; 'Fantastic book! Essential reading for anyone who loves Italian food and wants to immerse themselves in the incredible food culture of Italy.' - Giorgio Locatelli, chef; 'Dinner in Rome is, like a good carbonara, an effortless combination of ingredients that come together to make the perfect dish . . . filled with humour, as well as a deep appreciation of the subject . . . the book lives up to expectations: every section is as tasty as promised, every chapter a joyful mouthful of information, bursting in surprising and juicy ways . . . utterly scrumptious.' -; 'Combining history, gastronomic know-how, and 50,000-plus restaurant meals, Norwegian food writer Viestad begins this armchair-traveling foodie history with a June dinner at his favorite Roman restaurant, La Carbonara in Campo de Fiori, going on to dissect elements of his meal in food-titled chapters . . . Dinner in Rome is a must-read, even for those not so fascinated by the foodie-verse.' - Booklist starred review

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible