There is a specific scene in the 2009 film Julie and Julia that I love. Julia Child (played brilliantly by the marvelous Meryl Streep) has just taken a bite of one of her first meals in France and she is exclaiming in utter astonishment and how good it is. Her husband, Paul, (played by the tasty Stanley Tucci) puts his hand on her arm and says, “I know… I know.” His voice is so sympathetic. He understands how her mind has been blown by a simple piece of fish sauteed in butter.
I have always liked Stanley Tucci, but since that scene, I have utterly adored him. So I was delighted to find out that he had written his own food-based memoir recently. I’m not reviewing this because heaven knows he doesn’t need the help (it’s on the New York Times bestseller list) but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this book.
First, I listened to it in audiobook format. I got it from my public library on digital download (if you’re not doing this, you should really learn how. It’s delightful to check out a book sitting at home in your pajamas.) Tucci narrates the book and his voice is so pleasant. Soft and deep, with just a little rasp, he tells his story better than anyone could.
He talks about his childhood with Italian American parents who cooked hearty meals, his holidays with a massive and complicated dish called timpano, to his recipe for the perfect martini. He also describes the absence of enjoying food while he battled mouth cancer. I’m glad to say he survived and is cancer-free, so we can expect many years of seeing his sexy baldness on the screen. He tells his story with humor, wit, and mouthwatering descriptions of food. There are recipes included so you can go make a grand mess in the kitchen and enjoy the fruits of his labors.
Read or listen, you won’t be disappointed. But if you listen, his description of the spaghetti carbonara is laugh-out-loud funny. And you better believe I’m trying his martini recipe as soon as possible.