Delancey

9781451655094_p0_v4_s260x420This week I’m featuring two recent reads, both were written by food writers, and both of them made me incredibly hungry!  Delicious was written by Ruth Reichl, who also is known for writing restaurant reviews.  Delancey was written by Molly Wizenberg, who is also the woman behind the foodie blog Orangette.  Wizenberg tells the story of her and her husband opening their own pizza place.  This won’t be any pizza place though, her husband is a pizza conniseur and travels the country tasting some of the best pizza with the best ingredients available, and studying pizza-making techniques.  In a way, he’s trying to duplicate the best pizza he’s ever had, from a place in New York.  It’s a labor of love, her husband was committed to creating the best pizza, and she was committed to supporting him in his dream.

Her story begins with the the beginning of their relationship, she actually met her husband through her blog, apparently he was a fan. They were both passionate about food.  He seemed to be really passionate about a lot of things.  Before deciding to open his own pizza place, he had a few other “passions” that turned out to be short-lived.  She describes these passions more like obsessions.  When he mentioned to her his idea to create this restaurant she was skeptical, as she has been with his previous projects.  What I love about this book, and what I love about Molly, is her support of his dream to open his own restaurant.  It was a crazy idea – running a restaurant is such hard work, and building one from scratch is only for those who are really committed.

From the beginning, she had been balancing work at the restaurant and her writing.  She also had been in the process of finsihing her first boo.  Fresh off a book tour, she returns to Seattle, their home city – the location for their restaurant, Delancey.  From the opening day, after having been involved in the restaurant’s location, menu, name, design, she worked as a prep cook.  I now have a newfound respect for those in the restaurant business – I had no idea the kind of work it takes to run a restaurant, especially one this good!  It was round the clock work, and she worked just as hard as he did.

“The whole restaurant has surprised me, and maybe the people in it most of all.  Sometimes I come in late at night, just before closing, and Brandon and I sit at the bar and share a pizza and a couple of beers.  We watch the kitchen’s final hustle, the servers clearing tables and filling the mop bucket, and I think, Hey whoa, we did it…The staff and many of the regulars, they’re now the people we spend our time with – not because we have to, but because we do.  It was a community that we fell into and then one that we chose”.

Hungry for pizza yet??  This goes beyond food, beyond the restaurant, and as the subtitle suggests it’s also about their relationship.  They were so committed to their project restaurant, and still so committed to each other.  It’s that committment that makes this such a great book.  I loved this book – and was really surprised that a book about a restaurant had me so absorbed.  It was hard to put this book down, and when I reached the end I quickly looked up her blog, and her previous book, A Homemade Life.

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