Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Salt & Pepper Cooking: The Education of an American Chef
James Haller, author

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

Internationally acclaimed chef and award-winning writer James Haller serves up a perfect blend of humor, nostalgia, and wisdom in this delightful culinary memoir. In his latest book, Chef Haller chronicles a lifetime of cooking, from the age of three in the kitchen with his grandmothers to when he opens his own kitchen in the famed Blue Strawbery restaurant of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Chef Haller has written a touching memoir that is a feast for the soul, the mind, and the funny bone.
Reviews
Jethro Loichle, Executive Chef, Ristorante Massimo

"The most inspiring chef our region has ever seen has written a book so inspiring that it was impossible to put down until every last sentence was read. Chef Haller paved the way for all of us cooking here now, and it was an incredible pleasure reading tales of his life and inspiring moments through out his years.”

--Matt Louis, executive chef and owner of MOXY, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Kirkus

With these funny stories, an award-winning chef reflects on the formative roles of food, family, and friendship in his life.

Former executive chef and owner of Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s Blue Strawbery restaurant, Haller (Vie de France, 2002, etc.) grew up during the Depression, a poor kid in a Chicago suburb. His working-class extended family and Old World neighborhoods inspired a fascination with eclectic food combinations. Whether watching his Grandma Hazel dispatch a barnyard chicken by spinning it overhead “like David with his sling” or splashing “a little Benedictine Brandy on fried eggs after I heard Betty Grable order eggs benedict between dance numbers,” it’s clear that his insatiable curiosity about food began early. A young Italian girl, Louisa, became Haller’s childhood friend and introduced him to cannoli, which easily eclipsed his grandmother’s tapioca and butterscotch puddings. Growing up with many rural relatives, Haller paints a vivid picture of a bygone era with recollections of dinners fit for farmhands and the “womenfolk” preparing massive harvest feasts. His financially strapped, city-dwelling parents had more pedestrian palates, favoring “hot dog and beans…hamburgers, meat loaf, sloppy Joe’s…creamed chip beef on toast…or my mother’s tuna casserole.” His mother’s long hours waitressing required young Haller to prepare family meals, spurring a lifetime of culinary adventurousness, as he dished up string beans with pumpkin pie spices and lime and grape Kool-Aid baked into angel food cake for unwitting loved ones. Wit à la Ruth Reichl in Tender at the Bone (1998) invigorates these anecdotes throughout. Haller left for New York to make it as a writer and actor, often waiting tables to get by and eventually opening the Blue Strawbery in New Hampshire with some enterprising pals. Character sketches of family and friends here are as keenly observed and beautifully depicted as the food—the author’s self-effacing humor a fantastic leavening agent.  

Flavorful serving of hilarious, poignant memories that will leave readers wanting seconds.

MOXY chef, Matt Louis

The most inspiring chef our region has ever seen has written a book so inspiring that it was impossible to put down until every last sentence was read. Chef Haller paved the way for all of us cooking here now, and it was an incredible pleasure reading tales of his life and inspiring moments through out his years. --

Matt Louis, executive chef and owner of MOXY, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Loading...