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It's beautifully written and creates a lovely atmosphere. But this is undermined by the printing of the photographs - why are they not in colour? This gives a miserable austerity-feel to what is actually a life-affirming cookbook/memoir. The pictures give no incentive to make the recipes. Such a shame - this lovely book is really spoiled by this!
This was a disappointment. The recipes are imbedded in the narrative; I found them difficult to follow. If you are interested in her story, you might want to buy this book, but if you are more into the recipes, skip it.
I found Fanny Singer's memoir rather boring and strange as it's basically a book that's all about her enormous love for her mother Alice Waters really a love story addressed to her mother which I found very odd.. There was nothing negative about her mother, nothing about her parents divorce, and very little about Fanny's life just how wonderful her Mom is. My husband and I went to Chez Panisse once, even though it had been open for years at that point , it was enormously to difficult to get a reservation. The food was good, but not extraordinary, yes Waters has been involved in various sustainable food programs, honored by Obama and various others, very into farm fresh and organic food, but she was never trained as a chef, and except for Chez P she never had other restaurant experience. Initially it was a hippie enclave, but she managed to get some very good farmers involved and some excellent chefs, but there are plenty of other very restaurants.It almost made me want to gag with Fanny's extremely strong idealization of her mom, and her overpowering love for her mom, is so much that this book is really is love story to Alice Waters, and rather annoying, and yet not dealing with various aspects of Alice's or Fanny life.
I loved absolutely everything about this book. If you are a fan of Alice Waters, then you are, automatically, a fan of her daughter, Fanny Singer. A lovely memoir about growing up in the glow of one of our most revered chefs and founder of Chez Panisse. Frequent visits to France add to the flavor of the author's offerings as she imparts the specifics of an unusual upbringing by a loving and creative "family" of biological relatives and close friends. As a bonus, recipes are included! I can attest to the divine success of roasting a chicken as per the instructions given on page 57. There are beautiful photographs, as well. This book will forever reside within my library of cookbooks.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is beautifully written. Initially I purchased this book because I'm a fan of her mother, famed chef, restaurateur Alice Waters and the owner of the farm to table institution Chez Panisse. While I enjoyed reading about Waters’ interesting quirks and behind the scenes of Chez Panisse, I loved reading about Fanny’s upbringing and travels. South of France sounds like a dream. Fanny is fantastic at describing smells and scenery. We are around the same age and I am from the San Francisco Bay Area, I grew up 27 miles away from Berkeley in the East Bay Area so it was exciting to read about familiar territory. I also took notes on places to visit in the North Bay like Bolinas and Inverness in Marin County. I am excited to try new recipes. This is the perfect escapist read during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pictures are beautiful too!
Sadly, this book is written in a very pretentious manner, using a twenty dollar word when a ten cent word is more appropriate. Rather than enjoying a book about an interesting childhood, I kept marveling at how desperate the author seemed to make sure we knew she was intelligent. It became a chore to read rather than an enjoyment.
Beautifully written in a style that's open, just seems to be natural to Fanny Singer to share memories in such a candid way. She's a very good story teller, you begin to feel you've met the characters she grew up with. For those of us who've been lucky enough to have dined many times at Chez Panisse and the Cafe, a whole life unknown to us within the restaurant Family begins to come alive. It's charming, funny, full of love and really good food. I just love this book.
Thought I was going to read a book about food and cooking and ended up laughing, crying and calling my mom. Aptly titled, lovingly conceived and beautifully written. Get it, read it, give it to your mom, then hug her real tight.
How extraordinary to be welcomed to this family like a friend...all the stories, all the recipes, and pictures sweep you into this rarified and wonderful world of talent, memories, and new experiences, inspiring you along the way