"Slow-roasted meats, marinated vegetables, surprising flavor combinations, this is not your mother’s sandwich."

Top Chef judge and Craft chef Tom Colicchio has released a sandwich recipe book named after his own sandwich restaurant franchise. More than the book (which sounds, like Tom himself, solid & defiantly straightforward), the above sentence from the Random House website is quite fascinating to me.

Call me a punctuation pedant, but just because people on TV talk in soundbites, does that mean publishers should get all heady on the scent of commas and turn their noses up at a humble full stop...? Even an ellipsis or semi-colon would let us hop more comfortably into "this is not your mother's sandwich."

I mean this is not John Updike's sandwich we're talking about either.

I'm off to make a batch of watercress sandwiches (no crusts). I will eat them and make huffing noises about the state of the world today.


    I never knew you were a stickler for grammar. You may have noticed that I am not. I just am when I have to be, but I find it liberating to write badly since I have to write screeds and screeds of formal text everyday. Grammar is the thing I do at the end once I've sorted out my argument and structure.

    Chefs aren't much for grammar either. Many are barely literate. With the odd exception, David Thompson comes to mind. But to combine scholastic rigour with cooking talent in one is rare, and so is David. Hock and I have to manage the task of literacy and good cooking as a team. Not to say that Hock isn't literate, he is but he's no word smith. So the triumph of writing a cookbook for many chef's is truly an astounding feat of overcoming stereotypes.

    The sentence sounds very much like the menu description of a pub I used to frequent in Melbourne. They would always have pithy comments written about the food, mostly thanks to the chef's girlfriend at the time...Fluffy. A one time Gut Feelings poster. I think you met her in Melbourne one time.

    Anyway, point is, its rare to find a good sandwich well articulated in text. I'd give them points for "surprising flavour combinations" and a gold star for formulating "not your mother's sandwich". I think I would like to enjoy the novelty of ordering a "not your mother's sandwich"


    Actually, I like the idea of defining food on menu's in terms of what it isn't. Since I never seem to get what I anticipate anyway when I eat out. Perhaps describing menu items in the negative would avoid dashed expectations. "this ain't a french bistro - steak", "you're not in Italy now - pasta", "if you want fresh fish catch it yourself - seafood basket"


    ok...so...more....I reckon if the meal I had eaten one time at Craft Bar in New York had been described in these terms, I wouldn't have been nearly as disappointed as I was..

    hi I'll take the "over-priced, measly portion of 'this ain't calabria sardines' and followed by the 'and the less is definitely less utterly unsurprising flavourless pasta' thanks"


    Hah! "if you want fresh fish catch it yourself - seafood basket"- LoL.
    Yes - more honesty in talking about food. I am so behind your movement.

    Craft sounds b.a.d. I am somehow unsurprised. James beard awards, Rocco di SPirito........what does it all really mean?
    But Gail... I have a soft spot for Gail.

    As for me being a stickler for grammar... I'm far from meticulous too, but I like a certain tidiness... not in letters/ twitter /blogs but on printed pages, fruit sellers' windows and book publishing websites. What can I say – I like a little civility.

    Un-kosher things I like: new compound nouns (fishcakes rather than fish cakes), exclamation marks for words other than wow or gee whiz!, a mixture of English grammar and Americanisms, and saying 'they' when I mean 'he/she'

    Ironically I have forgotten almost everything I studied during my linguistics degree... except the stuff about glottalization, and, ya know, ...clitics (?)


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