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A Tale of 12 Kitchens: Family Cooking in Four Countriesby Jake Tilson
Synopses & Reviews
Reading this remarkable cookbook-cum-scrapbook by Jake Tilson is like encountering a wonderful friend you haven't seen in years, and setting off together on a culinary journey through four countries to cook and have myriad happy experiences, and meet scores of fascinating people along the way.
It might be a monk singing an awe-inspiring rendition of "Ave Maria" in a family-run restaurant in Cortona, Italy, or a master pancake flipper at a breakfast haven in New York City. Or a recipe for the divine gnocchi-like spinach dumplings served in Tuscany.
With eighty recipes that are far-ranging and delicious, you'll learn to make black beans the Dominican way, couscous in the Tunisian fashion, and burritos flavored with Mexican beer and a chipotle chile.
And as you cook your way through his book, you'll fall in love with Jake's artistic family and their obsession with cooking and eating. Great characters all and, like many of us, as likely to spend their vacations wandering food markets as museums, then returning home with overweight luggage crammed full of local foods.
Anyone who thinks twice about tossing out a food can with a great label, who treasures stubs and receipts from travel for the experiences they evoke, or who feels nostalgic for kitchens of the past, will find a kindred soul in these pages.
And if you're someone without an urge to collect, or who'd just as soon stay and cook closer to home, you will be every bit as delighted with this dazzling collection of recipes.
Tilson presents his recipes in a remarkably original way. Subtly embedded in his wonderful descriptions, in tales told in his very engaging prose, is the reminder that cooking, sharing and eating meals with family and friends is of utmost importance in our lives.
A cookbook with the visual richness of Griffin & Sabine, the romance of Marlena de Blasi, and the culinary adventures of Anthony Bourdain.
A Tale of 12 Kitchens reads like Bill Bryson traveling with a family, a big appetite, and a mania for collage. It is an enchantingly evocative cookbook and kitchen memoir that chronicles the life and travels of a convivial artistic family that loves food and cooking. But this is a cookbook with a difference. It is crammed not just with recipes, but with mementos (labels, photos, signage, fabrics), all collaged into a remarkable work of art. Jake Tilson captures the tastes, smells, and sounds of the many kitchens of his life, along with the thousands of minute signifiers—the graphic ephemera—that paint a portrait of our time and culture, from the tumultuous sixties through the ever-changing present.
In prose that’s warm and wise and recipes that are delicious, we eat our way through the U.S., France, Scotland, Italy, and England, foraging for hill-fresh herbs in Tuscany, searching out tortilla presses and cast-iron waffle makers in southern California, sampling the entire breakfast menu on New York’s Lower East Side. Along the way there are recipes for Dominican Black Beans as served on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the simplest tomato sugo for pasta from Tuscany, and couscous from the Algerian quarter in Paris. More than seventy-five recipes and as many stories celebrate food as the binding force in relationships and as the most satisfying way to imbibe culture.
This is a cookbook with a difference. Every aspect has been created by artist and passionate cook Jake Tilson. As author, photographer, designer, typographer and cook, he has brought an entirely new vision to food, its context, the way it is grown, packaged, bought and cooked and the memories and emotions it evokes.
About the Author
Jake Tilson is culinarily obsessed and staggeringly talented. Author, cook, artist, photographer, designer, typographer, he has created every element of A Tale of 12 Kitchens. Born to parents who were at the center of London’s art scene, Jake followed in their footsteps, studying painting at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. His work has been exhibited around the world and is held in many museums and public collections. He lives with his wife and daughter in London.
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