From the James Beard Award–winning blogger behind The Everywhereist come hilarious, searing essays on how food and cooking stoke the flames of her feminism.
“With charm and humor, Geraldine DeRuiter welcomes us into her personal history and thus reconnects us with ourselves.”—Mikki Kendall, New York Times bestselling author of Hood Feminism
When celebrity chef Mario Batali sent out an apology letter for the sexual harassment allegations made against him, he had the gall to include a recipe—for cinnamon rolls, of all things. Geraldine DeRuiter decided to make the recipe, and she happened to make food journalism history along with it. Her subsequent essay, with its scathing commentary about the pervasiveness of misogyny in the food world, would be read millions of times, lauded by industry luminaries from Martha Stewart to New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells, and would land DeRuiter in the middle of a media firestorm. She found herself on the receiving end of dozens of threats when all she wanted to do was make something to eat (and, okay fine, maybe take down the patriarchy).
In If You Can’t Take the Heat, DeRuiter shares stories about her shockingly true, painfully funny (and sometimes just painful) adventures in gastronomy. We’ll learn how she finally got a grip on her debilitating anxiety by emergency meal–planning for the apocalypse. (“You are probably deeply worried that in times of desperation I would eat your pets. And yes, I absolutely would.”) Or how she learned to embrace her hanger. (“Because women can be a lot of things, but we can’t be angry. Or president, apparently.”) And how she inadvertently caused another international incident with a negative restaurant review. (She made it on to the homepage of The New York Times’s website! And she got more death threats!)
Deliciously insightful and bitingly clever, If You Can’t Take the Heat is a fresh look at food and feminism from one of the culinary world’s sharpest voices.
About the Author
Geraldine DeRuiter is the James Beard Award–winning blogger behind The Everywhereist and the author of All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Yorker’sDaily Shouts, Marie Claire, and Refinery 29. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, Rand. They are currently working on a cooking-themed video game and ordering too much takeout.
“Food is sustenance and often comfort, and in If You Can’t Take the Heat, Geraldine DeRuiter reminds us that it can be all of that and so much more. Food can be markers of our history, our relationships, and a lesson in what we do and don’t want. It’s oddly poignant to read this and realize how many memories are tied not just to the smell of food but the desire or aversion to it. Food is the story of our life written in flavors and influences and nostalgia for chain restaurants. With charm and humor, DeRuiter welcomes us into her personal history and thus reconnects us with ourselves.”—Mikki Kendall, New York Times bestselling author of Hood Feminism
“Witty does not begin to describe the razor-sharp takes DeRuiter packs in chapter after chapter of this hilarious, astute, and at times heartbreaking memoir. DeRuiter somehow manages to raise your hackles over indignities like ‘ladies menus’ while making you giggle simultaneously, and you'll find yourself wanting to hug, high-five, and cheer for her as she navigates anxieties and adventures full of food and feminist awakenings.”—Rabia Chaudry, author of Fatty Fatty Boom Boom
“If You Can’t Take the Heat is a hysterical and incisive journey through the world of food and feminism. The essays will cause you to snort with laughter and then make the tender muscle of your heart ache. Whether she’s writing about growing green onions during lockdown or the sexism of the restaurant industry, Geraldine is smart, sarcastic, delightful, and sharper than a kitchen knife. This book is an absolute delight!”—Lyz Lenz, author of This American Ex-Wife
“Geraldine DeRuiter’s particular genius is using a subject such as food to write—and write exceptionally well—about absolutely everything. Feminism, family, appetites literal and figurative, power dynamics, the search for one’s own voice—it’s all here, and more. The book is hilarious and haunting by turns, and if the last line doesn't make you cry, your heart is a tiny ugly stone and you probably have no taste buds.”—Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Lady in the Lake