Friday, August 14, 2015

Stylish Read: "Audrey at Home"

Just when you thought you'd read everything about Audrey there could ever be, here comes a charming book written by someone who should know his Audrey— her son, Luca Dotti. In "Audrey at Home" (subtitled "Memories of my Mother's Kitchen") he tells us that Audrey may not have been the best cook, but whatever she served was made with love. Love indeed makes everything taste delicious.

This is not a recipe book with stories, this is a book of stories (and many photos) with recipes. Luca says if you only ever prepare two dishes, they should be Audrey's flour-less Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Penne with Ketchup (which doesn't sound half bad— the ketchup is just a splash). Many of the recipes are very continental and perhaps a little too formal for the way we cook today, but this is cookbook reading of the best kind— no cooking required.

Audrey and Sea Bass en Papillote

Luca's memories of his parents are seen through a child's eyes. His life in Italy was carefree until his parents' divorce when Luca was twelve. Despite the split he remained close to his father, as did Audrey and Andrea. I always had the feeling Andrea Dotti was a bit of a bounder and could never fathom what Audrey saw in him. Luca reminds us that love can be blind.

Luca with his parents
Audrey retired from films for many years to raise her two children, first in Italy, then in Switzerland. She loved her home there, "La Paisable", with its many gardens. The book's photos are candids, snapshots and/or family photographs with added snippets of recipe cards and notes. It's a privilege to get to know this out-of-the-public-eye Audrey, and I thank Luca for sharing. Of course we love her even more.

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