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White Truffles in Winter Paperback – 14 Sep 2012


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White Truffles in Winter + The Hundred-Foot Journey (Film tie-in edition) + Lunch In Paris: A Delicious Love Story, with Recipes
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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Alma Books Ltd (14 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846882079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846882074
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 2.5 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,078,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Beautifully layered and lovingly detailed, White Truffles in Winter is a tale of extraordinary people entangled in a captivating love story. Filled with lush and decadent longing, this novel will dazzle the mind as well as the senses.' --Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

'Fabulous conceit... bon appetit.' --Good Housekeeping

'A vivid and detailed reconstruction of a bygone era.' --The Independent

'Kelby conjures a pre-World War II world where food is almost as good as love.' -- Vogue

" 'Food is a thing of enchantment' says Escoffier, the chef credited with pioneering the modern dining experience, and Kelby's tale, gorgeously written, is sprinkled with the same magical allure." -- Voted Paperback of the Month by The Good Book Guide

'This is a book that one can imagine to be a biography with its detailed and wonderfully researched account of this enigmatic man's life. Yet one knows it is a novel by the beautifully poetic descriptions by the author. She has a real talent with words and this story of love on so many levels is memorable. I shall keep it on my book shelf and remember how much I enjoyed it.' -- The York Press

'Nicole's writing is sumptuous and beautiful, a sensual experience to match that of eating the dishes she describes, from gallons of homely tomato sauce to a julienne of black spring truffles perfumed like new grass.' --The Historical Novel Magazine

About the Author

N.M.Kelby (Nicole Mary Kelby) has been translated into several languages and offered by The Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and Quality Paperback Book Club. She is the recipient of a Bush Artist Fellowship in Literature, an NEA Inter-Arts grant, the Heekin Group Foundation's James Fellowship for the Novel, both a Florida and Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship in fiction, two Jerome Travel Study Grants, and a Jewish Arts Endowment Fellowship. She is the critically acclaimed author of In the Company of Angels, Whale Season and the Florida Book Award winner A Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts, among others.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This novel is based upon the life of Auguste Escoffier, a chef to the rich, powerful and influential. Told in the form of memoirs, written when Escoffier is an elderly man in Monte Carlo where his wife Delphine is dying and shortly before the outbreak of WWII, they tell the story of a career and a marriage. Married for fifty five years, the Escoffier's have spent much of their life apart. Delphine both a poet and a woman who raised their family while Escoffier worked his magic in kitchens across the world - here are the names of famous hotels, such as the Ritz and the Savoy, and menu's created for the great transatlantic liners of the day, including Titanic. It is also the story of Escoffier's love for Sarah Bernhardt and how Delphine coped with both her husband's absence and his love for another woman.

This really is a treat of a novel, ideal to curl up with on winter evenings. Forget the celebrity chefs of today, Escoffier was a man who really knew the rich and famous of his time, who cooked for royalty, the influential and the rich and famous. After winning his wife in a billiards game with her father, there are moving scenes where he teaches her about his world. His kitchen was his life and it was a place of great sensuality. As Delphine lays, elderly and ill, she wants her husband to create a dish for her. This novel jumps everywhere, skipping through time, memories and dishes, all lovingly and beautifully described. A real treat, slow, moving and memorable, it is a novel that I am sure I will return to.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
The first thing to remember when reading WHITE TRUFFLES IN WINTER by N.M. Kelby is that while the three central characters are "real" the story itself is the work of the author's rather vivid imagination. In it she conjures up a tale of food, love, and the love of food. Her imaginative journey into the life of food-obsessed chef, Auguste Escoffier, his unconventionally liberated wife, poet Delphine Daffis, and the "other woman" in his life - the bold, free-spirited Sarah Bernhardt is as delectable to one's reading palate as the dishes created by this amazing chef who pioneered French cuisine.

Being neither a gourmet cook nor an expert in fine dining, I was not personally familiar with the name Auguste Escoffier but discovered that I was, however, familiar with some of the dishes he created like Peach Melba and Cherries Jubilee (created for Queen Victoria) as well as some of the famous places where he plied his talent like The Ritz, The Carlton and The Savoy hotels.

The tale is basically told in retrospect by an aged Escoffier and combines the story of his unconventional love life with unusual recipes, related in a most uncommon manner. At times the recipes almost overwhelm the story as Kelby chooses to demonstrate Escoffier's compulsion for creating the new and unusual in an effusive and highly romanticized fashion. For this reader at least, some of this descriptive writing was a little "over the top" and flowery, however, it did convey the message that Escoffier could never really be as loving and devoted to any woman as he was to his first true love, food for which he abandoned family, friends and homeland.

Author Kelby presents an interesting take on the life of Escoffier and his many contributions to the art of cooking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Spanswick VINE VOICE on 16 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Interwoven with the superbly researched story of Escoffier, master chef, master sensualist, master lover, are the famous recipes he used to seduce and ultimately to influence the luxuriousness of at least two of the world's most famous kitchens.

I can imagine Ms Kelby had one finger on a gastronomic thesaurus as the language of this novel is as pleasingly sensual as the food and epoch it evokes. What is it about food that even reading about it can inspire the flavours and scents of those chaotic kitchens?

The book is not only full of these sensory delights but also the colours conjuring the late 19th century early 20th century's treasures and riches. "Yellow as pineapples" muses Escoffier at the sight of La Bernhardt magical "greenhouse" of a studio filled with decadent guests. The air, itself, screams a blend of demi monde and Art Nouveau.

This is a truly extraordinary adventure of a book, at times, way over the top in its indulgence ~ just like the menus cooked for the delight of the "crazy for food" clients at the Ritz.

Seduction through food is hardly new as we know from Petronius and the ancients but are the same matters true of modern cuisine with its health consciousness and celebrity visibility?

From keeping Paris fed during the siege (did they really serve elephant?) to the culinery hints that sprinkle this delightful meringue of a tale any reader will find something to delight them as on a well documented menu card from a distant and glorious past
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Escoffier - world famous chef - won his wife Delphine in a billiard game. In spite of this unpromising but romantic start to their married life they do stay married and died within a fortnight of each other. But in between they spent many years apart with Escoffier working at the Savoy in London and Delphine remaining in France to bring up their children. The book starts with Delphine seriously ill and wanting Escoffier to create a dish in her honour. Throughout his life he has created many dishes in honour of many beautiful and famous men and women but he has never created one names after his wife.

The story of Escoffier's life is told in flashbacks. His relationship with the legendary Sarah Bernhardt dominated his life and Sabine, his current assistant, bears a resemblance to Sarah. I did enjoy this book though I found the chronology difficult to follow at times. The descriptions of famous meals are fascinating reading. I thought the characters were well drawn and I had a huge amount of sympathy for Delphine and for Sabine.

What comes over very well is Escoffier's love affair with food. Every dish had to be perfect but many used simple fresh ingredients and relied on quality for the flavour. I found the relationship between Escoffier and Delphine convincing and it was clear they meant a lot to each other in spite of the huge amount of time they spent apart. This is a book to sink into and savour and the momentous events of the first thirty years of the twentieth century provide a tense backdrop to the food reminding the reader that whatever is going on in the world people still need to eat.
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