Before Gordon, Nigella and Jamie there was Auguste Escoffier: king of chefs and chef of kings.
White Truffles in Winter tells his story by reading between the lines, garnishing, gilding and topping with spun sugar to make a glorious confection which whilst not perhaps strictly accurate in every detail is in fact truer than the truth. As Escoffier himself said: “a chef without mystery is merely a cook”.
Escoffier was the celebrity chef of his time. He created dishes for Sarah Bernhardt and Josephine Baker, the Prince of Wales and Kaiser Wilhelm and designed the menus for the first (and last) voyage of the Titanic. But he never named a dish after his wife, Delphine. Delphine is dying and desperately wants this last gift from her husband, so she recruits Sabine - kitchen maid and reluctant cook - to help her. Sabine understands her grandmother’s cooking but Escoffier shows her his world of truffles, cream and langoustines where food is seduction and every taste an erotic charge.
The story jumps between Escoffier’s years of glory and his penniless old age and is filled with real and imagined characters and recipes for amazingly delicious food. Kelby has researched well and all the known facts of Escoffier’s life are here fleshed out to make a lyrical and sensuous story. If you love to cook or eat this will be a treat. Appealing to readers of both fact and fiction this biography infused with romance and seasoned with sex is the perfect recipe for a good read.