Authority on Italian food and opera
No book was more inspiring to me as a reader and future food writer than Chamberlain’s Italian Bouquet. He also did Bouquet books about France and Britain, but it was the Italian one that won my heart. The author and his wife travelled all over the country and captured the ways Italians lived and ate in the first decade after the nation’s crushing humiliation and suffering under Fascism. The book depicted a nation just finding its feet and its energy, not only in words but beautiful line drawings and evocative black-and-white photographs. There are recipes as well, and they work, but the heart of the book is showing how food survived, again flourished, and regained its significance as central to Italian life and identity.