Nonfiction - Memoir
2021 Gallery Books
Finished on January 23, 2022
Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)
From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen.
Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the recipes and into the stories behind them.
Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, New York, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.
Written with Stanley's signature wry humor and nostalgia, Taste is a heartwarming read that will be irresistible for anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.
Nothing like starting the year off with a 5-star read! I rarely get books for my birthday or Christmas, but this year I received a copy of Taste from my mom. Cooking, memoirs and Tucci; she knows me well! I chose this book back on January 1st for my First Book of 2022. However, it wasn't the first book I completed, although I could have easily read it in a couple of days. Instead, I chose to read a chapter or so every few days during lunch, savoring the book, not wanting it to end.
I've seen several movies starring Stanley Tucci (The Pelican Brief, The Devil Wears Prada, The Lovely Bones and The Terminal), but it wasn't until I watched him play Paul Child in Julie and Julia that I became an adoring fan. More recently, I've watched him in Supernova, Worth and Fortitude, but I have yet to watch La Fortuna or Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy. But the one movie I plan to watch this week is Big Night. I love "foodie" movies and have no idea how I missed it!
Tucci is not only a great actor, but he is an excellent writer. His book is so well-written; he's articulate and intelligent and his self-deprecating humor had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. He's obviously famous and yet he presents himself as the guy next door, almost embarrassed by his wealth and fame (and the friends who are of the same ilk). The memoir is a great read and I plan to check out his two cookbooks, as I suspect they are also filled with interesting anecdotes, as well as tantalizing recipes. Tucci includes several recipes in Taste, many of which I'd like to try. He also chronicles a day in his life with his family during lockdown in London during Covid. Did I mention that he's a very funny man? What I didn't know (maybe I'm not the fan girl I thought I was!) is that he suffered from oral cancer, which must be the most cruel act of fate for someone who is so passionate about food.
I'm so pleased to own a copy of Taste, which will reside on my "keeper shelf" with my other favorite nonfiction books. I also have the book on audio, which I plan to listen to later this year during the Nonfiction November reading challenge. I'm certain it will be a hilarious audiobook, as Tucci is the narrator, but I'm curious about the recipes. It might be somewhat tedious to listen to him read each of the ingredients and instructions, but then again, he's a funny guy and it's likely that he will make even those details entertaining.