Customer Review

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More about the bad boys please, 13 Dec. 1999
This review is from: Elizabeth David: A Biography. A Mediterranean Passion (Hardcover)
Where to shelve the Elizabeth David is a dilemma for most foodies. Literature? History? Travel? maybe even - for the true believer - Theology? The appeal of her books has never really been the recipes themselves but her talent for conveying the sheer sensuousness of food. What slave to the supermarket wouldn't be captivated by the thought of picking their way through piles of yellow peppers in the markets of Capri? or discovering the perfect tart aux mirabelles in that little pastry shop in the Dordogne? But while we are never in any doubt about Ms David's feelings for packet sauce she is much less forthcoming about herself. "All there is to know about me is in my books" she said, and to a degree she's right; the autocratic tone, the advice to always keep a careful eye on the butcher, the occasional "we" and the ever present glass of wine do provide clues. For those left wanting more Lisa Chaney's biography tells almost all. While Chaney is admirably restrained, writing in reverent "not one to gossip" tones, she does allow her extensive range of interviewees to dish the dirt. "Intolerant", "wilful", "rude", "self centred", "a terrible handful", "very grande dame", "acerbic", "litigious", "tetchy" and "possessing an excess of fury" are just a small selection of the terms applied to Elizabeth - often by people described as friends. While many won't be too appalled by the bitchiness, booze and bad boys there is something profoundly shocking in Ms David's fondness for - gasp! - Nescafe!
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3.9 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews)
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