Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Review: Cooking for Mr. Latte

I'm throwing something different at you guys this week! I had planned to review a winery over Thanksgiving weekend but after I wasn't able to get a spot on their tour I realized I really didn't have enough to write a whole post on them. Luckily something else wonderful came my way. My family spent Thanksgiving in Sebastopol (small wine country hippy town near Sonoma) with my Grandparents as we do most years. I had recently given my Grandma a whole stack of my blog posts to read and she was reminded of a book she had read a little while back that she thought I would enjoy, Cooking for Mr. Latte. Written by Amanda Hesser, a long time Food & Wine columnist and editor for the New York Times, her novel chronicles her relationship with "Mr. Latte" from their first date at a NYC chain restaurant to their eventual wedding, along with other food, friend, and family centric events of her life in the early 2000's.

First off- if you enjoy my writing style (which I assume you do since you keep reading what I post) You will absolutely love hers too. As I read this book I felt such a kindred spirit to her, the way she thinks about her menu's or the restaurants she goes to. How she likes to grocery shop. I'm uber jealous of her job as a food writer and enjoyed getting some insight on what her lifestyle is like and how she goes about forming her stories. But more over it was a wonderful realistic representation of a relationship. The highs and lows (when they move in together and she goes on a crazy cleaning spree to avoid him) the merging traditions of two families and learning what it takes to share and appreciate each others passions in a way that is unique to your relationship.

Apart from the authentic and enjoyable depiction of her romantic relationship I also thoroughly enjoyed her descriptions and stories of her relationships with her friends. Many of whom also love to cook but some who are just along for the ride. I was able to relate to her teaching some of her friends how to cook (I recently made some friends cooking lesson vouchers as a wedding gift!) or her concerns about how babies and new locations will change friendships that used to be simple and frequent. Through the intricate network of friendships, colleagues, & acquaintances she graces us with an inside look at the ebb and flow of New York life.

The book has a very "Nora Ephron"-esque feel to it (which is great because she is fabulous and also totally appropriate given that Amanda had a little feature as herself in "Julie & Julia" which was of course directed by Ms. Ephron!). I was reminded instantly of Nora's Novel "Heartburn" (which was also one of her less well known movies) which follows each story with a recipe. At the end of each chapter of "Cooking" Amanda includes the recipes for what was served or cooked in the chapter and there are a few that I can't wait to try (in particular:Mountain Honey Gingersnaps with Candied Ginger, Lemon Sables, Papardelle with Lemon, Herbs, & Ricotta Salata, Goat Cheese with Shallot Marmalade, or the Rigatoni with White Bolognese ) I'm sure I will be posting my efforts on here soon!

This is a great novel for anyone (probably more so those of the female persuasion) that enjoys the foodie world (even if you don't quite understand it). Reading the novel feels like talking to a dear friend, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

You can buy this lovely book on Amazon HERE ! Amanda is also one of the co founders of one of my favorite Foodie websites food52 , check it out!

No comments:

Post a Comment