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.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads and the Foodies Read 2013 Challenge

27 thoughts on “Review: My Berlin Kitchen

    1. She has included many recipes that sound interesting, like traditional German desserts. Although, the pickled herring salad just doesn’t sound appealing to me at all!

  1. This has been on my radar since it was first published. I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten around to reading it. You’ve made me want to give this one a try.

    1. I really enjoyed it. Even if I didn’t know about the author, the cover would’ve drawn me in. Love it!

  2. I like The Wednesday Chef too — and enjoyed reading your thoughts about her cookbook, which I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. Thanks for the reminder to add it to my Wish List . . . again. 🙂

    1. I really liked finding out more about Luisa’s life. Very fascinating how she’s divided her time between two continents her whole life.

  3. Thanks for sharing your comments on this book. I’ve only read one book written after a blog became successful and it was most disappointing. it probably would have been more enjoyable if I had been following the blog first. Glad that you enjoyed this book.

    1. I found her life to be very interesting. Her indecisiveness at times just made me connect with her even more, since I often can’t make up my mind about things either.

  4. I’ve only heard good things about this one – and though I’m not one to read memoirs, throw in food and I’ll try anything! I’m going over to my library today, and I’ll look for this title.

    1. You sound like me! I’ll read anything if a book has food mentioned in it. I need to buy another bookshelf to house my overflowing culinary fiction collection.

  5. My book club has a pot luck dinner every summer. The last couple of years we’ve tried to find a foodie memoir and all cook different recipes from the book. This might be a perfect candidate!

    1. Oh, yes, this would be a great book for your book club. Plus there is a chapter where Luisa talks about the party that all of her neighbors in an apartment building have every year.

  6. This sounds like a wonderful read. I will have to take a look at her blog. I am amazed at what a launch pad blogging has become for budding authors.

    1. I think many cooking bloggers would love to get a book contract. I like that this book is a memoir and not just a cookbook.

    1. Even the thought of pickled herring gives me the shivers. There is a large German community in my area, so I often see it in stores. But, just because it’s offered doesn’t mean I’m going to try it! 🙂

    1. I bet you’ll like it. She also visits her mother (and was married) in Italy, so some great descriptions of there too.

    1. I found Luisa’s life to be very interesting. Far from my own! I hope you can find it to read soon.

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