Food Whore by Jessica Tom


Food Whore by Jessica Tom is an interesting concept for foodie book. It’s a story about Tia Monroe and her goal of becoming a food writer in New York City. She and her college boyfriend move to NYC to pursue their individual dreams. Tia wants to be in the food industry while her boyfriend Elliott is involved with environmental studies. They support each other emotionally but don’t have a deep knowledge or passion regarding each other’s life work.

This book is pack full of descriptions of meals and foods. It’s also heavily laced with brand names in the fashion industry as Tia becomes a shopper at Bergdorf Goodman.

For Tia this is a story about growing up as well as the dashing and simultaneous realization of her dreams. She has some great experiences and even greater embarrassments. When Tia sets her sights on an internship with famed cookbook writer Helen Lansky she is sidelined by a famous restaurant critic, Michael Saltz. He shares a secret with Tia, one that could end his career – he has lost his sense of taste. Everything tastes like cardboard to Saltz so he needs Tia to eat at restaurants with him and describe the taste and textures of the food.

She is more than annoyed that Saltz hijacked her internship with Helen Lansky but what is offered has its appeal. She will have unlimited shopping resources with an account at Bergdorf Goodman, the opportunity to learn from Michael Saltz and seemingly endless dining experiences at 4 star restaurants in NYC. Once she agrees to this her life changes dramatically. Her boyfriend Elliott was never glamorous but the newly styled Tia with designer clothes and fabulous experiences looks at him with less lust than she did before. Tia is also meeting well known chefs. One in particular is quite sexy, pursuing and flirting with her; Tia is beginning to believe the designer clothes and lavish life style will be a part of her life from then on.

She is also dealing with seeing her words, describing the nuances of an elaborate meal, printed I the New York Times under Michael Saltz’ name. Will she ever get a byline, a credit or a jump start to a new career in the food writing industry?

Since I don’t want to give spoilers I can’t vent on about certain characters that displayed despicable behavior. I will say that I liked Tia less by the end of the book than I did at the beginning. Food Whore is appropriately titled and while it spun a good tale, Tia Monroe isn’t someone I would ever be friends with. I would read more by this author unless it was a follow up to Tia’s story line. The writing is descriptive and rich. The food references and descriptions are out of this world. Very vivid.

*I won an advanced reader’s copy of this book from LibraryThing. All opinions are mine.