Top critical review
Not exactly upscale, but better than fast food
Reviewed in the United States on March 5, 2020
So it's unclear what Struan Stevenson had in mind with "The Course of History," because as it turned out, the book is sort-of history and sort-of cooking, and like a meal that doesn't mesh, is less than the sum of its parts.
The conceit is this: Stevenson would write an essay about a meal that preceded a great event in history -- the Yalta Conference, Archduke Franz-Ferdinand's assassination -- and then chef Tony Singh would give the modern recipes of the dishes served at that meal.
Fair enough, but the problem is that Stevenson's brief essays don't really count as history, and Singh's recipes are designed for modern cooks, which means, I guess, that people are supposed to make the historical meals and then engage in lively chatter about Bonnie Prince Charlie's army of Scotsmen getting slaughtered at the Battle of Bannockburn.
Like many menu items, it sounds better than it works when it's in front of you, and though some of the essays are of interest, for the most part, there are too many empty calories to make up a satisfying meal.