Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Food of Love - Anthony Capella

Nobody does food better than Anthony Capella. At least in a book. I am no gourmand but I did consider myself to be having a sufficiently succinct palette. The Food of Love changed all that and now I know that to appreciate food on such a level that it uplifts you, you have to belong in a different league entirely. Or you have to be Italian.

I have read two of Capella's books and the similarity is that he weaves his story around the food. The food is the protagonist and all the different ways he assaults your senses and leaves you craving is the plot. Italy's tourism department hardly needs extra publicity to promote their country but adding the Food of Love as a must-read in the brochures won't hurt.

The plot is simple enough: Laura is a twenty-something American Art History student who is in Italy for a year on an exchange program. Enter Tomasso who sees her in a cafe and wants her. To impress Laura, he pretends to be a chef but in reality he is a busboy who can't cook if his life depends on it. So how does he impress Laura? Especially when he tells her that he is a chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant? Enter Bruno, pastry chef at Templi and Tomasso's roommate. Bruno cooks and Tomasso passes it off as his own; he seduces Laura, they have fun and everyone goes home happy. At least that is the plan but Bruno complicates things when he falls in love with Laura. So with every meal he makes her, he throws his soul into it and in turn Laura's expectation of Tomasso goes up and soon they all find themselves in a pickle.

The Food of Love is a joy for the true foodie. Along with Laura, Tomasso and Bruno you get intimate with Rome and Roman food. Through Bruno, Capella teaches you to truly appreciate food, teaches you the power of it. The book conveys the message that food can do anything: it can make you fall in love, seduce you, break hearts, resolve differences and quite simply dazzle you.

Some recipes might make you queasy but it is important to remember that the story is much more than ingredients. Because they are just that, ingredients. You can add your own if you want but the end product should be a feast to your taste buds and that's what matters. Just have some fresh pasta at hand. You WILL feel hungry :)


Pavi said...

Awesome review...certainly the best love story one can imagine associated so well with food..Being a huge foodie and with the ever increasing love to cook,I should'nt have missed this and I'm glad I dint:)Especially,the way Anthony has described Bruno's culinary skills is too tempting to resist..What takes you back is how food and love seem inseperable in his writing..I loved it!!But I have to agree with you about the ingredients,If one is a strict vegetarian,its better to just swiftly run through the pages without showing keen interest..Afterall,We're just readers..NOT Italians ;) Great review vaish..Love it:)

InABox said...

I love all things Italian, especially the food. This sounds like a fun book!

Shweta said...

I will have to read this. Food books make me hungry :) Julie And Julia was one such book which made me want to run to a French restaurant at the turn of every page.After that I read Life In France which was another great food book , though a memoir. Have you read Eat, Cake , that's wonderful too

Peter Brown, Instructor said...

It's cool that you follow the Gone With the Wind blog. How did Rhett Butler die? No one's written it, until NOW!

PM said...

I love your blog ...blogrolling u

Priya Iyer said...

this sounds like a fun read.. i've never read food books :(

Whitney said...

This looks like fun read. I love Italian food and a good romance.

thevanishinglake said...

This sounds like a great book for a summer read. I'm a first time reader of your blog & it's great!

Vaishnavi said...

@Pavi - Thanks Pavi! And thanks for telling me about the book in the first place! There is such a tango between food and love in this book :)

@InaBox - Welcome here! Yes it is an extremely fun read, you should try it :)

@Shweta - Food books make me hungry too :) There are some lovely food books/travelogues that I have read, I will try to post reviews about them. I have no read Julie and Julia but absolutely loved A year in Provence and I have not read Eat, cake either although I have been meaning to :)

@Peter Brown - Welcome here! Your blog sounds intriguing, I'll be sure to check it out.

@PM - Thanks so much! On my way to your blog :)

@Priya - You should totally try, you will enjoy them a lot!

@Whitney - Enough said! Ditto!

@thevanishinglake - Welcome here! Thanks so much :)

bikerguy said...

oh! what a review....brilliant!!
great job...sounds like a fun book to read..maybe we can read it together some day ;)

Vaishnavi said...

@Avi - Okay!