My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes)

My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes)

3.7 3
by Luisa Weiss
     
 

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Chocolate and Zucchini. 101 Cookbooks. The Julie/Julia Project. In the early days of food blogs, these were the pioneers whose warmth and recipes turned their creators' kitchens into beloved web destinations. Luisa Weiss was working in New York when she decided to cook her way through her massive recipe collection. The Wednesday Chef, the cooking blog she launched

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Overview

Chocolate and Zucchini. 101 Cookbooks. The Julie/Julia Project. In the early days of food blogs, these were the pioneers whose warmth and recipes turned their creators' kitchens into beloved web destinations. Luisa Weiss was working in New York when she decided to cook her way through her massive recipe collection. The Wednesday Chef, the cooking blog she launched to document her adventures, charmed readers around the world. But Luisa never stopped longing to return to her childhood home in Berlin. A food memoir with recipes, My Berlin Kitchen deliciously chronicles how she finally took the plunge and went across the ocean in search of happiness-only to find love waiting where she least expected it.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Luisa Weiss’s piquant memoir has charm, heartbreak, family history, and recipes galore.”

Elle

“The new Julie & Julia! It’s part cookbook and part memoir; you’ll finish a chapter and find yourself in the kitchen following the recipe Weiss includes . . . A transcontinental romance about taking risks in life and in the kitchen.”

—Marie Claire

“For anyone who's ever moved away from home, only to find that nowhere in the world is quite as special, My Berlin Kitchen is a lovely (and delicious-recipe-filled) read.”

Serious Eats

“There are love stories, and then there are love stories. Luisa Weiss’s falls into the latter category, an honest-to-god tale of love lost, found, and happily ended. And, as a bonus, there’s food. Indeed, every page is more delightful and delicious than the one before. Brimming with forty recipes borrowed from Weiss’s friends and family and from famous chefs like Alice Waters and Jamie Oliver, then stripped down and perfected by Weiss herself, the book is a mix of travelogue, memoir, cookbook, and a touch of fairytale.”

East Bay Express

“A mouthwatering tribute to Berlin and a love letter to food, romance and following your heart. . . . Weiss vividly evokes the flavors of German, Italian, and American cuisine. . . . The characters around each table come to life as vibrantly as the food, and Weiss adds helpful hints to the recipes that crown each chapter.”

Shelf Awareness

“A heartwarming (and often mouth-watering) memoir, German-born chef and writer Weiss recounts how . . . through hardship and heartbreak, she found solace among saucepans and stews. . . . Foodies and nonfoodies alike will enjoy chapters brimming with colorful cooking tales and savory recipes.”

Allison Block, Booklist (starred review)

“A thoughtful, earnestly winning memoir.”

Publishers Weekly

“This charming food memoir will prove enjoyable to anyone who loves Laurie Colwin or M.L.K. Fisher.”

Library Journal

“I hope you’re prepared to clear a day or two of your schedule once you open this book, because you’re not going to want to put it down to do anything—well, anything but make a beeline for the kitchen to make a rolled omelet or fake baked beans. Luisa has a way of telling her story that’s nothing short of entrancing.”

—Deb Perelman, creator of Smitten Kitchen

“A beautiful and inspiring story about how we sometimes have to take a leap of faith to follow our life’s passion. I was so charmed by Luisa Weiss’s honesty, vulnerabilities, and beautiful writing—all while craving braised endives. A lovely, remarkable, and delicious tale of the romance of a lifetime.”

—Kathleen Flinn, author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry

My Berlin Kitchen is a truly remarkable memoir, told with sensitivity and honesty. Filled with the emotions—and flavors—of a life that spans three cultures and cuisines, this is a book you won't want to put down, except to make its enticing recipes.”

—David Lebovitz, bestselling author of The Sweet Life in Paris

“Luisa Weiss writes with grace and ease about her search for a sense of belonging in My Berlin Kitchen. That she also cooks appealing dishes and writes beautifully about food only adds dimension to her wonderful memoir. You will read with intense delight, cheering her on through heartbreak and triumphs.”

—Amanda Hesser, cofounder of Food52 and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook and Cooking for Mr. Latte

“Luisa’s heartfelt and engrossing memoir will resonate deeply with anyone who’s ever sensed the profound connection between the food we eat and our sense of home.”

—Clotilde Dusoulier, creator of Chocolate & Zucchini and author of Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris

“Part culinary journal, part love story, My Berlin Kitchen chronicles a young woman’s (often) difficult task of finding her way in the world. With the charm and honesty that is characteristic of her wonderful blog, Luisa Weiss has crafted a book that leaves a deep impression.”—Heidi Swanson, creator of 101 Cookbooks and bestselling author of Super Natural Cooking

Publishers Weekly
Shuttled as a child of divorced parents between her Italian mother’s residence in Berlin and her mathematician father’s apartment near Boston, Weiss found a refuge for her “divided heart” in cooking. Living in New York City as a young publishing assistant and scout, she lived for a while with the companionable Sam, assuaging her career dissatisfaction by cooking and eventually starting a blog inspired by Julie Powell’s, called the Wednesday Chef, in which Weiss winnowed through stacks of recipes over a year and become a masterful cook, with Sam as eager guinea pig. Despite plans for marriage, however, at age 30, Weiss recognized how much she missed Berlin; resolved to stop being the obedient, dutiful daughter and make herself happy first, she moved back to the city in 2009, hooking up with an old boyfriend, Max, and finding the pieces of her life converging beautifully. Although the German temperament (described variously as blunt, languid, and simple) didn’t always suit her, and she couldn’t find bitter greens that she loved in New York, she threw herself into making some of the traditional German favorites such as seasonal baking of plum cake (Zwetschgen) and Kartoffelsalat. Recipes include some curious crowd-pleasers such as Rote Grutze with vanilla sauce and slow-baked quince, but also Italian tried-and-true dishes like ragu alla Bolognese and pizza Napoletana—since this thoughtful, earnestly winning memoir naturally ends in an Italian wedding. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
In her debut, The Wednesday Chef blogger recounts her life in and out of the kitchen. Weiss grew up shuttling between Berlin, where her Italian mother lived, and Brookline, Mass., home of her American father. As an adult, she moved from Paris to New York, where she began a food blog, until finally returning to Berlin to marry. Unfortunately, this coming-of-age memoir (with recipes) is fretful and flabby, and much of the prose violates the show-don't-tell rule of writing. In one section, she describes how a pigeon almost collides with her head, interpreting the event as a sign from the universe that she should break up with her fiancé. In the hands of a more experienced writer, this could have been a gripping, even moving, discovery, but Weiss' retelling of the event is unfocused and rambling--more fit for a stream-of-consciousness blog than a full-length book. Each overinflated chapter closes with a recipe from the author's blog or from her personal life. A few of the recipes (e.g., spaghetti with breadcrumbs, capers and parsley) are so rudimentary, anyone who knows their way around a kitchen may wonder why they were included at all. But many more are ludicrously complicated, such as poppy-seed breakfast rolls that take more than three hours to make and "don't keep well, so make sure to eat them warm the morning they're made." Still others require ingredients most Americans will be unable to find--e.g., one recipe calls for "20 to 25 elderflower sprays." Weiss' suggestion is to "look for them in the wild." Much of the often-clunky writing leads to queasy descriptions of food, like a white asparagus salad "slurped up…lustily" and an "unctuous, quivering ragù." Half-baked and unappetizing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780147509741
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
504,869
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Part culinary journal, part love story, My Berlin Kitchen chronicles a young woman’s (often) difficult task of finding her way in the world. With the charm and honesty that is characteristic of her wonderful blog, Luisa Weiss has crafted a book that leaves a deep impression.” —Heidi Swanson, creator of 101 Cookbooks and bestselling author of Super Natural Cooking

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