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White Truffles in Winter: A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

“Rich in sensory delights . . . the kind of masterpiece readers will want to savor.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Auguste Escoffier (1846–1935) was the unparalleled French chef whose impact on restaurants and high cuisine is still with us. He was also a complicated man—kind yet imperious, food obsessed yet rarely hungry, capable of great passion and inscrutable reserve. In this lushly imagined new novel, N. M. Kelby transports us into Escoffier’s private world, weaving a sensual story of food and longing, war and romance.

The novel opens near the end of Escoffier’s life, as he writes his memoirs. He has witnessed a tumultuous sweep of history from a unique position, and he recounts his days as a cook in the Franco-Prussian War, a chef for the beau monde in Paris and at the London’s Savoy, and a confidant of royalty and world leaders.

The heart of Escoffier’s story, however, lies in his love for two very different women: the famously beautiful and reckless actress Sarah Bernhardt, one of the most adored women of her day, and his wife, the independent and sublime poet Delphine Daffis, whose hand in marriage Escoffier gambled for, only to live apart from her for much of his career.

Now Escoffier has retired and returned to Delphine. She requests just one thing: that he produce a dish in her name as he has done for so many, including Bernhardt and Queen Victoria. Yet how does one re-create the complexity of love in a single recipe? The great chef has no idea. Aided by a headstrong young cook who looks remarkably like Bernhardt, Escoffier must rediscover food’s emotional capacity, its ability to communicate passion, regret, grief, forgiveness, and love.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 08, 2011 – Delphine Daffis is dying, and she wants her husband, French chef August Escoffier (famous for his restaurants, the Savoy and the Ritz), to create a dish named after her, as he has done for his lover, Sara Bernhardt, and countless others, even Queen Victoria. He had always refused, saying one should never attempt to define the sublime but Delphine didn t believe him for a minute. Kelby (Whale Season) uses these historical figures to tell her story, set as WWII looms, and Escoffier has returned to his long estranged wife in Monte Carlo to write his memoir, The Complete Escoffier: A Memory in Meals. Delphine hires Sabine, a local beauty stricken with polio as kitchen help to persuade her husband to create a dish named for her. Without one, Delphine fears the world won t know that the great chef loved her. Escoffier shows Sabine his cooking techniques, but he cannot settle on a dish that does his wife justice. Instead he s consumed with regret over his life in Paris and London, which kept him far away from Delphine, his great love, who would not leave Monte Carlo. Kelby captures the sensory pleasures of food and the complex role it plays in the lives of her characters seductive, repulsive, comforting. Careful research enhances but does not overtake the narrative. Readers in search of an evocative and sensual read will be well satisfied.

Customer Reviews

White truffles in winter

Very slow moving. Lacks grasping the reader. If you like to read about preparation and history of food go on and on.

Great book for foodies

I loved this book for many reasons, but most notably the food writing was fantastic! The character development was great too. One of my favorite reads in a long time.

White Truffles in Winter: A Novel
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Nov 07, 2011
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Seller: W. W. Norton
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings