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The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Lifeby Pat Conroy and Suzanne Williamson Pollak
Synopses & Reviews
"This book is the story of my life as it relates to the subject of food. It is my autobiography in food and meals and restaurants and countries far and near. Let me take you to a restaurant on the left bank of Paris that I found when writing The Lords of Discipline. There are meals I ate in Rome while writing The Prince of Tides that ache in my memory when I resurrect them. There is a shrimp dish I ate in an elegant English restaurant, which passed out Cuban cigars to all the gentlemen in the room after dinner, that I can taste on my palate as I write this. There is barbecue and its variations in the South, and the subject is a holy one to me. I write of truffles in the Dordogne Valley in France, cilantro in Bangkok, catfish in Alabama, scuppernong in South Carolina, Chinese food from my years in San Francisco, and white asparagus from the first meal my agent took me to in New York City. Let me tell you about the fabulous things I have eaten in my life, the story of the food I have encountered along the way...."
Pat Conroy is well known to his readers as a lover of good food, but what may surprise them is that he has had a passion for cooking for more than thirty years. It all started with a chance purchase of The Escoffier Cookbook, an unlikely and daunting introduction for the beginner. But Conroy was more than up to the task. He set out with unwavering determination to master the basics of not only French but all good cooking—stocks and dough—and, with his kitchen redolent of veal demi-glace and pâte brisée, he went on to become an accomplished cook. He mastered the dishes of his beloved South and re-created the dishes he had savored in places as far away from home as Paris, Rome, and Bangkok. From Breakfast Shrimp and Grits to Fried Baby Artichokes with Beef Marrow, from Pappardelle with Prosciutto and Chestnuts to Fava Beans with Pecorino to Mocha Macaroons, Conroy takes the reader with him on a mouthwatering tour of some of the world's great cuisines. Along for the ride is his culinary accomplice and teacher, Suzanne Williamson.
"This effort from the author of The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides is a joy on several levels. Conroy might not be the first to disguise a memoir as a collection of foodstuffs, but it's hard to imagine a more entertaining, honest and outlandish effort. In 21 chapters and 100 recipes, he traces his masticating, lusting, family-crazed, traveling life from a dysfunctional childhood in the South (with a tyrannical father and a mother who thought of cooking as 'slave labor'), to gourmet adventures in Rome, Paris and the table of Alain Ducasse. The book aches with tales of times when eating is at its most urgent: in the face of love, or death, after an all-nighter with the guys or in the company of other great eaters. It's hard not to admire Conroy's innate ability to spin a yarn. And the food's not bad, either. From Conroy's days in the Carolina Low Country there are Crab Cakes and Peach Pie. In Italy, it's Ribollita and Saltimbocca alla Romana. A chapter entitled 'Why Dying Down South Is More Fun' suggests proper fare for mourning, such as Pickled Shrimp and Grits Casserole. As Robert Frost might have pointed out, writing prose in a cookbook is like playing tennis without a net. Conroy is free to scatter his memories like buckshot with no real worries of chapter endings, plot lines and character development. In his hands, the technique propels both writer and reader into a state of fullness. Agent, Marly Rusoff. (On sale Nov. 9)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The Pat Conroy Cookbook is more than just that. It's a virtual Ode to Joy. Read it; cook from it. You will eat better than you ever have in your life, and will know more about Pat Conroy, perhaps, than he would ever tell you." Anne Rivers Siddons
A master storyteller and passionate cook, Pat Conroy believes that "A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal." This unique cookbook blends the author's tales with recipes for mouthwatering dishes from around the world.
About the Author
Pat Conroy is the bestselling author of The Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, and My Losing Season.
Suzanne Williamson, the author of Entertaining for Dummies, has been the spokesperson for Federated Department Stores in ten states on the subjects of cooking and home entertainment. She has also written extensively on the subject of food for newspapers. Suzanne is married to Peter Pollak and they have four children.
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