cover image Eating Again: The Recipes That Healed Me

Eating Again: The Recipes That Healed Me

Alice Carbone Tench. Heliotrope, $38 (250p) ISBN 978-1-94276-279-9

Food provides a tasty balm for the soul in this stellar debut, a blend of personal stories and heartwarming recipes. When Tench’s therapists “suggested food as a means of getting back in touch” with herself after struggles with bulimia and alcoholism, she turned to her roots and began cooking. Here, she shares the formative dishes of her past, the “one[s] that made me the... woman I finally love and respect” and that eventually inspired her to start her own cooking show, Instagram to Table, in 2019. In luscious prose, Tench recounts discovering her late Italian grandmother’s diaries of “what she ate, what she cooked”—a memory that gives way to a section of traditional Italian recipes, including a simple onion frittata, and pumpkin soup with rice and milk (one of her “Madri’s” many “magical” dishes). Revisiting her recovery from bulimia, she shares the creamy butternut squash bucatini recipe that saw her through it, while breaded meatballs evoke memories of her father’s childhood in Puglia. Other tempting dishes include Orecchiette with broccoli rabe; smoked paprika kale chips that Tench’s daughter, Catherine, eats by the bunches; and a grilled zucchini parmigiana that pays homage to her mother’s fondness for the versatile veggie. This sincere and delicious chronicle is one to savor. (Feb.)