Obsessed: The Cultural Critic’s Life in the Kitchen
Winner of the 2020 Gourmand Awards, Translation Section, USA
Even the most brilliant minds have to eat. And for some scholars, food preparation is more than just a chore; it’s a passion. In this unique culinary memoir and cookbook, renowned cultural critic Elisabeth Bronfen tells of her lifelong love affair with cooking and demonstrates what she has learned about creating delicious home meals. She recounts her cherished food memories, from meals eaten at the family table in postwar Germany to dinner parties with friends. Yet, in a thoughtful reflection on the pleasures of cooking for one, she also reveals that some of her favorite meals have been consumed alone.
Though it contains more than 250 mouth-watering recipes, Obsessed is anything but a conventional cookbook. As she shares a lifetime of knowledge acquired in the kitchen, Bronfen hopes to empower both novice and experienced home chefs to improvise, giving them hints on how to tweak her recipes to their own tastes. And unlike cookbooks that assume readers have access to an unlimited pantry, this book is grounded in reality, offering practical advice about food storage and reusing leftovers. As Bronfen serves up her personal stories and her culinary wisdom, reading Obsessed is like sitting down to a home-cooked meal with a clever friend.
Praise for Obsessed: The Cultural Critic’s Life in the Kitchen
"As Julia Child once said, 'People who love to eat are always the best people' and reading this precise and passionate collection of recipes, I felt like I'd met a kindred soul. Obsessed by Elisabeth Bronfen is a magnificent spread of tastes and textures, family memories, and brilliant reflection. It also left me very hungry."
— Ann Mah
"Bronfen’s gift for sensual descriptions of food is so vivid, reading this book gave me hunger pangs. Beautifully organized according to a taxonomy of culinary practice, Obsessed is much more than a cook book, although it is that, too. It an intimate exploration of food, memory, family, food, pleasure, and culture. I loved it."
— Siri Hustvedt