31 Days of Great Nonfiction: My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss

My Berlin KitchenMy Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes)Luisa Weiss' My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes) by Luisa Weiss

For me, the best memoirs can make me feel like I’m right there with the author, experiencing their life right along with them. Weiss’ book succeeded at that, almost making me homesick for a life I’ve never lived.

While I don’t have the cross-cultural background that Weiss has, I moved a lot as a child, and related a bit to her wherever-I-am-I-miss-where-I’m-not feelings. Her efforts to battle her homesickness through cooking familiar dishes resonated with me.

There are recipes following each chapter, although I haven’t tried any of them and can’t speak to how they are. If you’re expecting German food only, you’ll be disappointed – she’s got Italian and American dishes as well, reflecting her background.

If you like food memoirs, this is a great one. If you’ve never read a food memoir, this is a good one to introduce you to the genre.

(One caveat: I’ve never read her blog, so I don’t know if the book itself is repetitive of what she’s previously posted there. A heads-up if you’re familiar with her writing.)

Publisher’s Description:
The Wednesday Chef cooks her heart out, finds her way home, and shares her recipes with us

It takes courage to turn your life upside down, especially when everyone is telling you how lucky you are. But sometimes what seems right can feel deeply wrong. My Berlin Kitchen tells the story of how one thoroughly confused, kitchen-mad perfectionist broke off her engagement to a handsome New Yorker, quit her dream job, and found her way to a new life, a new man, and a new home in Berlin—one recipe at a time.

Luisa Weiss grew up with a divided heart, shuttling back and forth between her father in Boston and her Italian mother in Berlin. She was always yearning for home—until she found a new home in the kitchen. Luisa started clipping recipes in college and was a cookbook editor in New York when she decided to bake, roast, and stew her way through her by then unwieldy collection over the course of one tumultuous year. The blog she wrote to document her adventures in (and out) of the kitchen, The Wednesday Chef, soon became a sensation. But she never stopped hankering for Berlin.

Luisa will seduce you with her stories of foraging for plums in abandoned orchards, battling with white asparagus at the tail end of the season, orchestrating a three-family Thanksgiving in Berlin, and mending her broken heart with batches (and batches) of impossible German Christmas cookies. Fans of her award-winning blog will know the happy ending, but anyone who enjoyed Julie and Julia will laugh and cheer and cook alongside Luisa as she takes us into her heart and tells us how she gave up everything only to find love waiting where she least expected it.

31 Days of Great Nonfiction
If you like the genre, there are so many wonderful food memoirs available, and many of them I’ve already reviewed: A Homemade Life, Bread & Wine, Garlic and Sapphires, The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry, and Heat.

To see all the books featured in 31 Days of Great Nonfiction, go to the series page.

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  1. I’m so excited for your series! And I’ve already added this one to my list. THANKS!

  2. I read a lot of non-fiction–but not memoirs. I’ve never even heard of this genre–memoirs via food? Interesting–thanks for teaching me something today!

    I love history, and I’m reading a cool book called A History of Food in 100 Recipes, by William Sitwell. It’s highly entertaining. You may like it, too.

  3. SoCalLynn says:

    I can’t wait to get lots of good books added to my TBR list this month! I love reading memoirs, it is my favorite genre right now. Though I read it a few years ago my favorite food memoir is Julia Child’s My Life in France. A quick question, can you tell me which category you are linking to in The Nester’s 31 Day Challenge? It’s probably obvious but I didn’t see it. Thanks.

  4. Oooh! A food memoir. I will have to let my mom know about this book. She loves books that involve food.

  5. I’ve added it to my TBR — Thanks!

  6. I tried to add this to my TBR pile, only to discover it was already there. Must be a sign that I need to get my hands on this book soon! I am looking forward to see the books you choose. I am a huge fan of memoirs and nonfiction.

    • I cannot tell you how often I’ve done that. I usually take it to mean that I need to move the book up to the top of my TBR list, like you said. 🙂

  7. I love to read, and I love to cook, so of course I always enjoy a great book about food! I’m adding this one to my list!
    (I’m also a big fan of nonfiction categories, so I’m looking forward to lots of great ideas for new titles this month!)

  8. Though I RARELY read non-fiction (except with my kids), I’m really looking forward to your series. Maybe I need to broaden my horizons. =)

    • Or not, if you’re happy with what you’re reading. But maybe one of the ones I feature in the series will tempt you to branch out a bit. 🙂

  9. I have been clicking on buttons for a while now, and your topic is the first to pique my interest! I am looking forward to your recommendations and expect to spend too much money on books this month! So happy to have found your blog.

  10. I am going to add this to my must read list. Sounds like a great book!


  1. […] food memoirs? Luisa Weiss’ My Berlin Kitchen was featured earlier in the series, and I included links to lots of my favorite food memoirs in […]

  2. […] listed lots of food memoir options before, such as in the post for My Berlin Kitchen. I don’t know of any others with the same emphasis on cooking contests however. Mathews has […]

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