Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci – Book Review

Title: Taste My Life Through Food

Author: Stanley Tucci

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Food and Drink

Blurb from Goodreads

From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen.

Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the recipes and into the stories behind them.

Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, New York, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.

Written with Stanley’s signature wry humour and nostalgia, Taste is a heartwarming read that will be irresistible for anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.

My Review

Like what seems like a bajillion other people I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Stanley Tucci after watching his brilliant CNN series Searching For Italy. The first season was just recently shown on the BBC on this side of the pond and it fast became my must watch TV show of the week.

Because I’m in love with Italy.

Well more accurately I’m in love with Italian food.

Namely pasta.

I could eat pasta every day for the rest of my life and be utterly satisfied. My go to pasta dish is Pasta Limone. It’s simple pure perfection. And in a close second place is Pasta Pesto. The pesto I obvs make myself because the stuff you buy in the jars just pales in comparison to the real deal.

I’m also a fan of pizza. There’s a fantastic pizzeria relatively close to where I live that does delivery and I may have ordered from there quite a bit… my order never changes. It is always a pizza margherita.

Anyway, back to Mr Tucci. In his TV show he ate and drank his way all around Italy and it was glorious. Made me feel like I was there with him. And his passion for food was absolutely infectious. So when I spotted this food themed memoir of his in my library’s eCatalogue I knew I had to read it.

And happily read it I did!

As I was reading I swear it felt like Tucci was narrating in my head. The words just sounded very much like how he spoke in his programme which was a great plus. Because I was instantly transported away from my own life to his.

Admittedly a lot of the novel overlapped with the content of the TV show so it wasn’t quite as original as I’d have liked but it was incredibly enjoyable none the less.

It was fascinating reading all about his childhood and the way food was so important to his family and especially as Italian Americans. His relationship with his mother seems to be particularly key to his love of food and cooking and reading about all the different meals she made was heartwarming.

And that passion for food continued on through his years as a young man and beyond. He had anecdotes about a variety of eateries he has frequented from the very cheap to the less so. He wrote about his favourite meals that he both ate and cooked. And he revealed details about what many great chefs had taught him when he was researching and writing the cult classic film Big Night. And one of the chapters I particularly enjoyed was reading about the catering on film sets!

But what really made the book for me is how he would describe a meal and then give you the recipe. I can’t wait to make this particular pasta dish with courgettes that sounds absolutely divine. (I may have added courgettes to my next grocery shop!)

Included as well are some private details about his life, and he writes with great love and affection about his late wife Kate who sadly died from cancer a number of years ago. And he features stories about his new marriage to the actress Emily Blunt’s sister Felicity who seems to be even more of a foodie as he is.

He also touches upon his own battle with cancer that left him unable to eat for a long period of time and how that illness brought his love of food truly into the spotlight in his own mind.

From reading these food related anecdotes it’s easy to see how he’s now almost become more famous for his culinary interests rather than for his acting; btw if you haven’t seen his amazing film with Colin Firth called Supernova then you really need to watch it already as it’s fantastic.

Overall this was a very engaging and pleasant read, and one that I would recommend to any lover of food out there. But maybe have some reading snacks to hand!

My Socials 

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