Unforgettable tells the story of culinary legend and author of nine award-winning cookbooks, Paula Wolfert, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2013. This biographical cookbook written by Emily Kaiser Thelin and photographed by Eric Wolfinger, shares more than fifty of her most iconic dishes and explores the relationship between food and memory. The gripping narrative traces the arc of Wolfert's career, from her Brooklyn childhood to her adventures in the farthest corners of the Mediterranean: from nights spent with Beat Generation icons like Allen Ginsberg, to working with the great James Beard; from living in Morocco at a time when it really was like a fourteenth century culture, to bringing international food to America's kitchens through magazines and cookbooks. Anecdotes and adventuresome stories come from Paula's extensive personal archive, interviews with Paula herself, and dozens of interviews with food writers and chefs whom she influenced and influenced her-including Alice Waters,Thomas Keller, Diana Kennedy, André Daguin, and Jacques Pepin. Wolfert's recipes are like no other: each is a new discovery, yielding incredible flavors, using unusual techniques and ingredients, often with an incredible backstory. And the recipes are organized into menus inspired by Wolfert's life and travels--such as James Beard's Easy Entertaining menu; a Moroccan Party; and a Slow and Easy Feast. Unforgettable also addresses Wolfert's acknowledgement of the challenges of living with Alzheimer's, a disease that often means she cannot remember the things she did yesterday, but can still recall in detail what she has cooked over the years. Not accepting defeat easily, Wolfert created a new brain-centric diet, emphasizing healthy meats and fresh vegetables, and her recipes are included here. Unforgettable is a delight for those who know and love Paula Wolfert's recipes, but will be a delicious discovery for those who love food, but have not yet heard of this influential cookbook writer and culinary legend.
About the Author
Emily Kaiser Thelin is a writer, editor, and former restaurant cook. A IACP Award-winner, two-time James Beard Award finalist, and a former editor at Food & Wine, her work has also appeared in Oprah, Dwell, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. For five years during and after college Emily worked as a professional chef: as a prep cook in London, a private chef in France, and a line cook in Washington, DC.
Every serious food person knows that Paula Wolfert changed our world, but in this book we learn what a fascinating time she had while she was doing it. Part biography, part cookbook, part history, Unforgettable introduces our greatest cookbook writer to the wider audience she deserves. There has never been a book quite like this one.—Ruth Reichl
Unforgettable is the story of the exacting, passionate, genuine, driven and indefatigable Paula Wolfert, the ultimate expert on the cooking of the Mediterranean. Emily Kaiser Thelin's well-written and poignant narrative recounts the tale of this true pioneer of American culinary history.—Jacques Pepin
Unforgettable is a brilliant summation of the resilience, exuberance, and expertise that we know and love of Paula Wolfert.—Mario Batali
All recipes are, in some way, an exploration of the link between food and memory. We cook the food we remember loving and, in so doing, make new connections and bonds. The amount of love, through food, Paula has given so many over the years makes this biography-cum-cookbook a truly wonderful project.—Yotam Ottolenghi
We're all truly indebted to Emily Kaiser Thelin, Eric Wolfinger, Andrea Nguyen, and Toni Tajima for capturing these beautiful, inspiring, and very important memories of Paula's life and travels.—April Bloomfield