White Truffles in Winter

by N.M. Kelby (Alma Books) R206 ISBN 9781846882074 

This beautiful, well written book has enthralled me completely. It is a book so special that as Markus Zusak says, I want to carry it around with me just to stay near it. 

If, in the words of Escoffier, ‘cooking is the marriage of science and poetry,’ then this book is the marriage of love stories and cooking. 

Delphine, the poet and wife of French chef Escoffier, is dying and her last wish is that he creates a dish for her, because with a dish named after her, she will live for ever. Escoffier has designed meals in his restaurants at the Ritz and the Savoy for emperors and queens and for the famous actress, Sarah Bernardt.

No one remembers opera singer, Nellie Melba, but everyone has had a pêche Melba. 

But he has always refused to make a meal especially designed for Delphine, because ‘one should never attempt to define the sublime’. Delphine asks the kitchen girl Sabine to help her convince him. The book is set just before the Second World War, when Escoffier is writing his Memoirs in Meals

White Truffles in Winter is full of unforgettable phrases and mouth-watering descriptions: a delight to read. 

Pauline Vijverberg

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