From the PEN/Faulkner Award–winning author James Salter and his wife, Kay—amateur chefs and terrific hosts—here is a charming, beautifully illustrated food lover’s companion that, with an entry for each day of the year, takes us from a Twelfth Night cake in January to a champagne dinner on New Year’s Eve. Life Is Meals is rich with culinary wisdom, history, recipes, literary pleasures, and the authors’ own stories of their triumphs—and catastrophes—in the kitchen.
The menu on the Titanic on the fatal night
Reflections on dining from Queen Victoria, JFK, Winnie the Pooh, Garrison Keillor, and many others
The seductiveness of a velvety Brie or the perfect martini
How to decide whom to invite to a dinner party—and whom not to
John Irving’s family recipe for meatballs; Balzac’s love of coffee
The greatest dinner ever given at the White House
Where in Paris Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter had French onion soup at 4:00 a.m.
Sophisticated as well as practical, opinionated, and indispensable, Life Is Meals is a tribute to the glory of food and drink, and the joy of sharing them with others. “The meal is the emblem of civilization,” the Salters observe. “What would one know of life as it should be lived, or nights as they should be spent, apart from meals?”
About the Author
James Salter was the celebrated author of six novels ("The Hunters", 1957; "The Arm of Flesh", 1961; "A Sport and a Pastime", 1967; "Light Years", 1975; "Solo Faces", 1979; and "All That Is", 2013) and three books of stories ("Dusk and Other Stories", 1988; "Last Night", 2005; and "Collected Stories", 2013), as well a memoir, "Burning the Days" (1997). He also had a successful Hollywood career, most notably as the screenwriter of "Downhill Racer" (1969). Born in New Jersey in 1926 and raised in New York City, he attended West Point during World War II and served as an officer and a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force from 1945 to 1957. He drew on his combat experiences in Korea for his first two novels, though it was not until the controversial but now-classic A Sport and a Pastime that he considered that he had come close to measuring up to his own standards. He was a recipient of the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award and the 2012 PEN/Malamud Award. He died in Sag Harbor, New York, in 2015.
“Wholly compelling . . . The fruit of a lifetime of informed and opinionated eating.” —Alice Waters, Chez Panisse
“Thumbs-up . . . I recommend reading it in one fell swoop.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Pays homage to great writers, great meals, great conversations and essential ingredients . . . A bastion of civilization, protection from all kinds of heavy weather.” —Los Angeles Times
“A remarkable marriage of food book and life-well-lived memoir . . . This most unusual book is to be savored again and again.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer