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My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes)by Luisa Weiss
Synopses & Reviews
The Wednesday Chef cooks her heart out, finds her way home, and shares her recipes with us.
It takes courage to turn your life upside down, especially when everyone is telling you how lucky you are. But sometimes what seems right can feel deeply wrong. My Berlin Kitchen tells the story of how one thoroughly confused, kitchen-mad perfectionist broke off her engagement to a handsome New Yorker, quit her dream job, and found her way to a new life, a new man, and a new home in Berlin — one recipe at a time.
Luisa Weiss grew up with a divided heart, shuttling back and forth between her father in Boston and her Italian mother in Berlin. She was always yearning for home — until she found a new home in the kitchen. Luisa started clipping recipes in college and was a cookbook editor in New York when she decided to bake, roast, and stew her way through her by then unwieldy collection over the course of one tumultuous year. The blog she wrote to document her adventures in (and out) of the kitchen, The Wednesday Chef, soon became a sensation. But she never stopped hankering for Berlin.
Luisa will seduce you with her stories of foraging for plums in abandoned orchards, battling with white asparagus at the tail end of the season, orchestrating a three-family Thanksgiving in Berlin, and mending her broken heart with batches (and batches) of impossible German Christmas cookies. Fans of her award-winning blog will know the happy ending, but anyone who enjoyed Julie and Julia will laugh and cheer and cook alongside Luisa as she takes us into her heart and tells us how she gave up everything only to find love waiting where she least expected it.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"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
"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, co-founder of Food52 and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook
"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
"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 &mdash ;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 an aromatic chronicle of love, food, and finding home. Luisa's fragrant prose will have you longing for her Tomato Bread Soup and smelling her freshly baked Poppy Seed Whirligig Buns. Her quest for heart and hearth is inspiring and touching — and leaves you feeling as if you have found a new friend." Debra Weiner, author of How to Recognize Your Future Ex-Husband
"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 non-foodies alike will enjoy chapters brimming with colorful cooking tales and savory recipes." Allison Block, Booklist (starred review)
"A thoughtful, earnestly winning memoir." Publishers Weekly
"Luisa Weiss's piquant memoir has charm, heartbreak, family history, and recipes galore." Elle
"The new Julie and 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
The prequel to Kathleen Flinn's unforgettable account of her French culinary adventures - Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good - is available this August!
Kathleen Flinn was a thirty-six-year-old middle manager trapped on the corporate ladder - until her boss eliminated her job. Instead of sulking, she took the opportunity to check out of the rat race for good - cashing in her savings, moving to Paris, and landing a spot at the venerable Le Cordon Blue cooking school.
The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the funny and inspiring account of her struggle in a stew of hot-tempered, chefs, competitive classmates, her own "wretchedly inadequate" French - and how she mastered the basics of French cuisine. Filled with rich, sensual details of her time in the kitchen - the ingredients, cooking techniques, wine, and more than two dozen recipes - and the vibrant sights and sounds of the markets, shops, and avenues of Paris, it is also a journey of self-discovery, transformation, and, ultimately, love.
Luisa has a way of telling a story thats nothing short of entrancing.” —Deb Perelman, author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
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.
About the Author
Luisa Weiss was born in West Berlin and spent her childhood between Berlin and Boston. She started The Wednesday Chef, an award-winning food blog, in 2005. She has worked as a cookbook editor in Paris and New York and now lives in Berlin with her husband, Max.
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