Working undercover as a captain at the five-star Le Perroquet in Chicago; dining in Paris with the cookbook author Paula Wolfert in an off-beat bistro inexplicably swarming with dozens of dachshunds; succumbing to last night’s bad oysters in the middle of an interview with the celebrated writer M.F.K. Fisher, only to be resuscitated by her homemade milk toast and soda: these and other anecdotes color the amazing story of Villas’s career in the fickle culinary world. By turns witty and poignant, sometimes controversial and irreverent, always candid and opinionated, this compelling narrative pinpoints the exploits of a personal journey filled with a lively cast of fellow food lovers and the memorable meals and adventures shared with them. James Beard, Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, Paul Bocuse, Jeremiah Tower, Ella Brennan--they are all here, along with many others who have contributed to the rich texture and flavor of Villas’s colorful life.
In between the bites of his story, Villas shares a selection of favorite recipes as well as a captivating collection of personal photos, journal notes, and other memorabilia. With outspoken revelations about the best and worst of all things gastronomic, Villas celebrates his own rebellious values while commenting freely on the foibles of contemporary chefs, restaurateurs, and the eating public. One of those rare writers who entertains and inspires even at his most outrageous, Villas joins the ranks of other visionaries who have stepped beyond the culinary world into the cultural mainstream with delightful, engaging results.