Review: Provence, 1970
Several people, including Julia Child, M. F. K. Fisher, and James Beard, had a huge influence on American taste and cooking in the late 1960s. They appreciated good food and exposed Americans to new recipes and cooking techniques. Six of these culinary greats all happened to be in Provence during the winter of 1970 and they spent some time traveling and dining together. Using M. F. K. Fisher’s journals and letters, her great nephew, Luke Barr, has reconstructed much of that historic time in his book, Provence, 1970.
I wasn’t familiar with all of the culinary greats in this book but I still enjoyed it for its gossipy nature and peek back into time. Fisher took meticulous notes so the most minute details, including the menus, are included in the book. It seems everyone was unhappy with someone or something and ready to move on with a new phase of their lives.
I also enjoyed the book’s French setting. I could picture many of the places mentioned and longed to visit them as I read the book.
I’m not sure I agree with Barr’s theory that the meeting of these culinary greats in Provence reinvented American cuisine but that didn’t keep me from enjoying this book. This is one book foodies won’t want to miss!
I listened to the audio version of Provence, 1970. John Rubinstein’s wonderful narration enhanced this audio book – his French accent is fantastic. The audio is on 8 CDs and lasts approximately 9 hours.