Kim Severson
October 29, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

For fans of GQ‘s globe-trotting restaurant critic, Fork it Over‘s collection of essays will be like déjà vu all over again. The ex-sportswriter loves lean sentences built on sharp observation and blustery opinion. He bashes chef Paul Bocuse, the food in Naples, and the over-use of the cheese cart with the same vigor he might reserve for a visiting hockey team. Reading Alan Richman is like taking a brisk walk with a very funny friend. (Number 6 on his 10 reasons why white wine is better than red: Making white wine keeps the Germans distracted.) You just have to overlook the pompous, sexist bits, like admiring Sharon Stone because ”she was a woman who knew how to eat like a man” or joking about an Asian ”date” who picks the seeds from a watermelon slice for him. But when he poignantly recalls his aging mother’s inability to continue working in the kitchen, all is forgiven.

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