My Berlin Kitchen – A Love Story (with Recipes)
By Luisa Weiss
Published by Viking
The Wednesday Chef was one of the first cooking blogs I discovered quite a few years ago. I was drawn to its conversational, easy writing style and the many recipes I marked to try. My Berlin Kitchen is by the author of that blog, Luisa Weiss. This isn’t a reprint of her blog posts, though. This is more of a behind the scenes look at her life. She was born in Berlin, but soon split her life between there and Boston after her parents divorced. Some of the chapters detail everything from holiday meals in her apartment in Berlin to losing all desire to eat after the unsettling breakup of a relationship. There is always food to tie the book together. Often recipes are included at the end of the chapters, related to a special meal mentioned earlier.
The love story aspect of this book, referred to in the subtitle, is as much about her love of Berlin as it is about her fairy tale romance with her husband. It seemed throughout most of her life, no matter where she was, she dreamed of being somewhere else. When she lived with her father in Boston as a child, she longed to be with her Italian mother in Berlin. When she had built a life with a rewarding career and tight-knit circle of friends in New York City, Berlin was still calling her home. I held my breath when she made the move to Germany and then struggled with the regrets of leaving behind her beloved NYC.
This book has a style that is just as easy going and friendly as Luisa’s blog. It’s kind of like sitting down with a friend to chat…and she gives you her favorite recipes at the end of every conversation. Some of the recipes I’d like to try are the Swiss Chard and Gruyere Panade, Pasta e Ceci with Rosemary and Chile, and the Alsatian Flatbread with Bacon and Creme Fraiche. The descriptions of places like an abandoned orchard in Berlin, her mother’s house in Italy, and the various, unique apartments she has lived in are just as vibrant as her food descriptions. I thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse at the life of one of my favorite bloggers.