Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste ($26.00) is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.
Luke Barr is the grandnephew of M.F.K. Fisher and an editor and news director at Travel + Leisure magazine, where he has been on staff since 2003. He had been executive editor of Gear and senior editor at Brill's Content/Inside.com. Raised in the Bay Area, he went to school in Switzerland and graduated from Harvard. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, architect Yumi Moriwaki, and their two daughters.