From Publishers Weekly
Half seafood cookbook and half family history, this volume's greatest strength is in the recipes for over 70 dishes that define New England summers-corn on the cob, salt-crusted shrimp, and lots of lobster-reproduced here in honor of Charles's family's summertime trips to Maine. Charles, owner and head chef of the widely hailed Pearl Oyster Bar in Manhattan, offers her hard-drinking, quick-learning adventures in the restaurant business in the memoir portion of the book, and though they will be nothing new to Kitchen Confidential fans, they make for a piquant prelude to her recipes. The book gets a little bogged down, however, in the chapters that detail early family trips to Maine. Although Charles's desire to tell her family's story is heartfelt, she often leaves out important details, such as dates and introductions to the characters, that would make the narrative easier to follow. The story alternates from intriguing family explorations (how did the author's family locate the one hotel in the Kennebunk region of Maine that accepted Jews in the 1920's?) to textbook historical notes that don't quite mesh with the personal tone. Readers will wonder, too, about such asides as when she mentions her one-time estrangement from both parents ("I discovered my father's death in the late 1980s quite by accident"). Still, when the focus is on the food that Charles loves, the book is an accessible and authoritative guide to seafood preparation, as Charles offers not only divine recipes, from Pearl Oyster Bar Cocktail Sauce to Blueberry Crumble Pie, but tips on selecting (never buy wet scallops), cleaning (leverage is the key to shucking oysters) and preparing (don't marinate fish much more than 30 minutes) all types of seafood. B&w and color photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the
“Deliciously entertaining. A novel with recipes.” (USA Weekend)
“Will remind you of the best summers you ever had.” (O, The Oprah Magazine)
“I remember Rebecca’s grandmother Pearle...made the best shortbread cookies, and Rebecca’s book is just as delicious as those cookies!” (Beverly Sills)
“A charming memoir of summers spent on the coast of Maine.” (Daily News)
“Personal and evocative.” (San Francisco Examiner)
“A satisfying mix of memoir and cookbook.” (Boston Globe)
“A charming, well written account of three generations of women and their summer adventures in Kennebunkport.” (Portland Phoenix)
“A book bound to leave readers feeling that summer just can’t come soon enough.” (Los Angeles Times)
“A homespun travelogue that’s breezy, practical and likely to charm even armchair gourmands not partial to the beach.” (Baltimore Sun)
“A pleasure to read. . . . You’ll have this book plastered open on your kitchen counter all summer.” (New York Times)
“An interesting, mouth-watering read.” (Bangor Daily News)