Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books; F First Edition edition (October 11, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #468,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #136 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > Middle Eastern #670 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Culinary #2926 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference
This is a memoir to savor. It's a breath-taking account of a young woman who lived the life of a cherished and richly encompassed child of the world at large. I became spellbound by Donia Bijan's life story immediately, and found myself holding my breath as I grasped her book, not wanting to read it slowly, but speeding through its pages like a delicious crepe filled with Turkish coffee ice cream.While Ms Bijan's memoir is captivating in and of itself, her exotic recipes included at the end of chapters are both slightly tipped with the savory and screaming to be tried in one's own kitchen. I can hardly wait to try her Cardamom Honey Madeleines. Proustians everywhere know of his love affair with Madeleines to begin with, so her distinctive twist of cardamom with trying out farmers' market honeys makes this recipe irresistible to me. We have a great farmers' market in Naples. Not to mention that I have a fabulous Madeleine pan I've never used!What I found intriguing among so many things about this memoir is the tone of her literary "voice." I suppose I expected a lilting celebration of food and family...a "warm and inviting kitchen" experience as expressed on the cover review. Instead, Ms Bijan's telling of her past life as a refugee from revolutionary-torn Iran, to the shores of a hip and culturally shocking San Francisco, and an unimaginably glorious but difficult training in the bowels of kitchens in Paris, France, is somewhat maudlin. It's reflective. I found it a surprise, and a powerful memoir for that reason.Food, studying the art of food preparation and restauranteering isn't what's important in her memoir, it seems to me.
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