Cover image for Maman's homesick pie : a Persian heart in an American kitchen
Title:
Maman's homesick pie : a Persian heart in an American kitchen
ISBN:
9781611733136
Edition:
Center Point large print ed.
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : Center Point Pub., c2011.
Physical Description:
294 p. (large print) ; 23 cm.
Personal Subject:
Genre:
Local Subject:
Summary:
In 1978, when the Islamic Revolution in Iran threatened their safety, they fled to California's Bay Area, where the familiar flavors of Bijan's mother's cooking formed a bridge to the life they left behind. Now, through the prism of food, award-winning chef Donia Bijan unwinds her own story, finding that at the heart of it all is her mother, whose unwavering love and support enabled Bijan to realize her dreams. From the Persian world of her youth to the American life she embraced as a teenager to her years at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris (studying under the infamous Madame Brassart) to apprenticeships in France's three-star kitchens and finally back to San Francisco, where she opened her own celebrated bistro, Bijan evokes a vibrant kaleidoscope of cultures and cuisines. And she shares thirty inspired recipes from her childhood (Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken and Eggplant and Orange Cardamom Cookies), her French training (Ratatouille with Black Olives and Fried Bread and Purple Plum Skillet Tart), and her cooking career (Roast Duck Legs with Dates and Warm Lentil Salad and Rose Petal Ice Cream.
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Summary

Summary

For Donia Bijan's family, food has been the language used for telling stories and communicating love. In 1978, when the Islamic Revolution in Iran threatened their safety, they fled to California, where the familiar flavors of Bijan's mother's cooking formed a bridge to the life they left behind. Now, through the prism of food, award-winning chef Donia Bijan unwinds her own story and finds that, at the heart of it all, is her mother.

From the Persian world of her youth to the American life she embraced, from her years at Paris's Le Cordon Bleu and apprenticeships in France's three-star kitchens back to San Francisco where she opened her own celebrated bistro, Bijan evokes a vibrant kaleidoscope of cultures and cuisines. And she shares thirty inspired recipes from her childhood, her French training, and her cooking career.

An exhilarating, heartfelt memoir, Maman's Homesick Pie is also a reminder of the women who encourage us to shine. Donia's love for her mother and her home, as well as for adventure and the power of good food, sings from every page.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

As a chef, Bijan is known for blending the cultures and cuisines of the places she's called home: Iran, France, and America. She does the same in her wonderfully written memoir, sharing memories of her childhood in Iran that are so well rendered, readers will easily envision her father making a simple, sumptuous salad or her mother offering bites of delicious seasonal cheeses. Her parents, well-respected founders of a busy obstetric hospital, were named as infidels during the Islamic revolution, so the family fled to California in 1978. Bijan writes movingly of her parents' accomplishments, their difficulty adjusting to their new home, and her own burgeoning love of food and cooking. What began in her parents' kitchen in Iran continued in America, and took her to Paris and the famed Cordon Bleu school. After apprenticeships in France and California, Bijan was chef at a high-end San Francisco hotel and had her own well-reviewed bistro for a decade. Like the perfect dessert, each chapter ends with recipes, from a pomegranate granita she savored in Iran to cardamom honey madeleines evocative of France. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Bijan, award-winning chef and former restaurant owner in California, adds to the chef memoir trend with a tale that transcends the kitchen. She alternates among the worlds of her Persian childhood, American adolescence, and immersion in the culinary industry beginning at the Cordon Bleu in Paris. Her stories of living in Iran and her family's transition to life in the United States after the fall of the Shah make up the most compelling parts of the book, and Bijan's mother's love of cooking and her resilience when faced with loss is the heart of her narrative. The included recipes are a welcome addition and do not overwhelm the story. VERDICT There is a little too much jumping back and forth in time and place, and in parts the story feels rushed, as if the author is trying to squeeze it all in. Even so, this is a solid entry in the genre, and its distinctive combination of lush descriptions of food, Iranian history, and a bit of adventure makes it a good choice for book groups. Recommended.-Ann Wilberton, Pace Univ. Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.