White Truffles in Winter
Famed French chef Auguste Escoffier loves his wife Delphine, despite being separated for the majority of their marriage. Whether Escoffier is in London, designing a menu for Queen Victoria’s jubilee, in Paris, running the kitchen at the newly opened Ritz, or in the Atlantic, cooking for Kaiser Wilhelm II on the eve of the First World War, Delphine stubbornly stays at their villa in Monte Carlo, wondering if her husband loves her as much as he loves fresh truffles. And yet, in the last year of their lives, they come together in Monte Carlo, to cook, to regret, to work up the courage to show how they feel. Delphine’s last wish is for Escoffier to create a dish and name it after her, the way he did for Europe’s celebrities. But Escoffier struggles; how can you write a recipe for love?
Kelby has created a sumptuous feast of a book. Not just a story about a chef, it’s also the story of a marriage and of a couple who keeps falling in love despite not having the words to say so. Recipes weave between moments of passion, all perfumed with the heady tastes and smells of Escoffier’s kitchen. Kelby moves effortlessly between Escoffier’s last year and the key points in his career, as he creates dishes whose very taste brings to mind history. This book is a morsel to be savored.