A cookbook with the visual richness of Griffin & Sabine, the romance of Marlena de Blasi, and the culinary adventures of Anthony Bourdain.
A Tale of 12 Kitchens reads like Bill Bryson traveling with a family, a big appetite, and a mania for collage. It is an enchantingly evocative cookbook and kitchen memoir that chronicles the life and travels of a convivial artistic family that loves food and cooking. But this is a cookbook with a difference. It is crammed not just with recipes, but with mementos (labels, photos, signage, fabrics), all collaged into a remarkable work of art. Jake Tilson captures the tastes, smells, and sounds of the many kitchens of his life, along with the thousands of minute signifiers—the graphic ephemera—that paint a portrait of our time and culture, from the tumultuous sixties through the ever-changing present.
In prose that’s warm and wise and recipes that are delicious, we eat our way through the U.S., France, Scotland, Italy, and England, foraging for hill-fresh herbs in Tuscany, searching out tortilla presses and cast-iron waffle makers in southern California, sampling the entire breakfast menu on New York’s Lower East Side. Along the way there are recipes for Dominican Black Beans as served on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the simplest tomato sugo for pasta from Tuscany, and couscous from the Algerian quarter in Paris. More than seventy-five recipes and as many stories celebrate food as the binding force in relationships and as the most satisfying way to imbibe culture.