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Poor Man's Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking

Poor Man's Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking

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By Elissa Altman

"[A] smart yet tender tale. . . . Sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious . . . one of the finest food memoirs of recent years." --The New York Times Book Review


For a woman raised by a weight-obsessed mother and a father who rebelled by sneaking his daughter out to lavish meals at such fine dining establishments as Le Pavillon and La Grenouille, food could be a fraught proposition. Not that this stopped Elissa Altman from pursuing a culinary career. Everything Elissa cooked was inspired by the French haute cuisine she once secretly enjoyed with her dad, from the rare game birds she served at extravagant dinner parties held in her tiny New York City apartment to the eight timbale molds she purchased from Dean & Deluca, just so she could make her food tall.


All that elegance was called into question when Elissa fell in love with Susan, a small-town woman whose idea of fine dining was a rustic meal served on her best tag sale TV tray. Susan's devotion to simple living astounded Elissa, even as it changed the way she thought about food--and the family who taught her everything she understood about it--forever.


Based on the James Beard Award-winning blog and filled with twenty-six delicious recipes, Poor Man's Feast is one woman's achingly honest, often uproarious journey to making peace with food and finding lasting love.


"A brave, generous story about family, food, and finding the way home." --Molly Wizenberg, New York Times-bestselling author of A Homemade Life


"Luminous writing." -- Publishers Weekly


"Reminiscent of Elizabeth David, M. F. K. Fisher, A. J. Liebling . . . reflective of Laurie Colwin and her praise of simple, home-cooked, 'real' food." -- New York Journal of Books


"A beautiful story." --Deborah Madison, James Beard Award-winning author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

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