A Really Big Lunch: The Roving Gourmand on Food and Life

really big lunch cover image A Really Big Lunch: The Roving Gourmand on Food and Life

by Jim Harrison
Grove Press
Hardcover, 272 pages

Last March, on the one-year anniversary of Jim Harrison’s death, Grove Press released this collection of his meditations on food and wine. We have always held Harrison as one of our own who lived much of his life just down the lake on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, so we have always loved and forgiven him. This time, too! For starters, “gourmand” is probably not a fitting description of him with its hint of effete and polished snobbery. He is rather, if anything, a boisterous and blasphemous snob but, again, a lovable and forgivable one. Take the title story of the collection – A Really Big Lunch - it's the rollicking tale of an 11-hour, 37-course lunch prepared by French chef Marc Meneau in a sprawling country house in Burgundy. The menu was taken from 18th and 19th century cookbooks and included calf brain tart, hare cooked in port wine inside a calf’s bladder and testicles in a pool of tarragon butter. “Je ne me pique que de goût...”  Look it up!