cover image Plenty: A Memoir of Food and Family

Plenty: A Memoir of Food and Family

Hannah Howard. Little a, $24.95 (254p) ISBN 978-1-54202-273-6

Food writer Howard (Feast) offers up a delectable account of her quest to discover female role models and self-acceptance. Her trek is both geographical and psychological as she travels the globe in search of strong female mentors in the male-dominated world of food, and recalls her personal war with anorexia. “My love for food was profound and profoundly complicated,” she writes, “a point of passion and connection... love and commitment.” From her home in New York City to Oslo to Italy, she recounts encounters with women who had sought to change an industry where misogyny is deeply ingrained. She joins her former coworker Jenise, a chef and pesto aficionado, on a revelatory trip to Orcas Island, and swaps stories with Italian chef Paola Martinenghi, a kindred spirit who—after working as the only woman in a Michelin-starred restaurant—left the business for a Skype cooking school, where she teaches aspiring chefs from her own kitchen. Along the way, Howard recounts her struggles to have a baby with a refreshing candidness that inspires hope, even when recalling her most desperate moments. Readers will fall in love with Howard’s astute perspective on food, love, and the richness both bring to life. (Sept.)