If food is the new sex, and food is the new drugs, and the eating of anything and everything is the new social rebellion of this still young-and-dripping new century, then Dana Goodyear is a fair guide to the underbelly in her new book, Anything That Moves.
Or so writes ex-chef Jason Sheehan in a review.
To her credit, she doesn’t judge. She seems to move through this world in a slick bubble of anti-bias, putting those who cook tarantulas competitively on the same footing as a guy like Craig Thornton who runs Wolvesmouth in Los Angeles — a private, invite-only (from an email list that runs in the thousands) recurring dinner party in his apartment — while flaunting all rules and laws about who gets to cook what for whom. She shows us the out-and-out insanity of those who will eat raw chicken meat of dubious provenance, gotten from questionable sources, but never points her finger, jumps up and down and shouts, “Holy crap, look at these nut jobs over here!”
And while that might appear noble, it’s also the book’s major weakness. There are moments … for an educated, embedded voice to step back … and say, simply, that this, then, is too much. That some people, in their quest for the new, the rare, the strange and the slimy, take their obsession too far.
But Goodyear does not. She goes in with her eyes wide and her mouth open and leaves it to us to decide what, on this extreme edge of cooking and eating, is food and what is not.