Joanne Weir is a chef who has written more than a dozen cookbooks and countless recipes for her many TV shows, in addition to teaching both young chefs and recreational cooks the fundamentals of the ktichen. While you might think that, after having such a full career, she might be tired of writing recipes, nothing could be further from the truth. Weir is passionate about food and cooking and shares her story in her newest book, Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food.
The book features a series of the stories that inspired, influenced and taught Weir throughout her life, as well as recipes learned along the way. Reading through it is almost like reading through a travel book, in part because many of the tales involve travel, but also because the stories are so compelling. Each chapter is set in a particular time or place, whether it is in her mother’s kitchen during childhood, her first lunch at Chez Panisse or in France, and each one is packed with memories. Weir describes the food so well that you’ll want to make the recipes before you even start to read through them. Fortunately, like most of her recipes, these are accessible and well-written, so they can be recreated at home.
The book is not only enjoyable to read, but it feels very personal. It is packed not only with photos of the food, but also of photos of Weir and her friends and family. Flipping through the pages is almost like flipping through a friend’s photo album – but an album that you can bring to life by making the recipes yourself. This is a fun book to read, even if you don’t make a single recipe, however I suspect that the temptation to try at least few recipes will be hard to resist.