Gourmet Today is not a retrospective of recipes culled from the publication's 68-year history, so it doesn't come across as a self-important swan song. Instead, this serious tome (meaning no photos) is steeped in the titular today and stewed in new ingredients, techniques, and nutritional concerns. "I wrote my first cookbook in 1971," Reichl recalls, "and when I see the difference between what was available then and the food that now fills my supermarket, it makes me want to go dancing down the aisles."

Her years as the New York Times restaurant reviewer, followed by time spent deftly steering Gourmet into the 21st Century, give Reichl a uniquely informed perspective of the food world to share with her audience. And as a speaker, she tends to be unflinchingly honest.

Unfortunately, she didn't agree to speak with us, so if you want to know more about Gourmet's demise, you'll have to ask her yourself at the Q&A following her appearance. (Sample: Do you ever lament that it was all your fault?)

Jeff Kinney


Miami Book Fair International: November 8 through 15. Street fair November 13 through 15. Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami. Visit the website for admission prices. 305-237-3258; miamibookfair.com

Ruth Reichl reads from Gourmet Today Monday, November 9, at 6 p.m. in Building 3, Chapman, $10.

— Lee Klein

There comes a point in an iconic entertainer's life when that person passes from human to visual trademark. This icon might age or change hairstyles, but people will generally remember a version of him or her as if frozen in amber. A visual timeline of one such transformation — in gonzo rock frontman Iggy Pop — is one of the most compelling recommendations for The Stooges: The Authorized and Illustrated Story. The Abrams-published coffee-table tome was shot entirely by L.A.-based rock photographer Robert Matheu. Working for the late, great Creem magazine in the '70s, Matheu forged an early friendship with Pop and his band, the Stooges, capturing some of their most legendary performances.

Flip through the book and watch as Pop, born James Osterberg, begins in the late '60s as — well, if not apple-cheeked, at least a relatively fresh-faced Motor City rock 'n' roll kid. Gaze in amazement as he enters the hanging-with-Bowie years and discovers the wonders of facial glitter and peel-off pants. Then pinpoint the time he morphs into Iggy Pop the brand: It seems to come late in the Stooges era, when the hard living and body thrashing suddenly etch the frontman's cheeks.

But the book isn't entirely the Iggy Pop show. After all, it's a story about the Stooges, which refreshingly focuses on the band. Contributing scribes' essays chart the genesis of the band's early albums and then skip over Pop's solo years, right on to the 2005 reunion record, The Weirdness. Matheu's images are a visual feast, from a fashion anthropology standpoint, and often boast an almost elegiac quality. With the deliciously grainy quality of 35mm film, double-page spreads capture the momentary calm in the Stooges storm. Piss-off-your-parents bonus: Alice Cooper wrote the introductory essay!

Iggy Pop and Robert Matheu talk about The Stooges: The Authorized and Illustrated Story Saturday, November 14, at 6:30 p.m. in Building 3, Chapman.

— Arielle Castillo

Tickets to the "Evenings With ..." presentations cost ten dollars per reading. All book fair readings take place downtown at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus. The "Evenings With..." events happen at Chapman (Building 3, 2nd Floor).

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