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Taste: My Life through Food

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From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in T From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the recipes and into the stories behind them. Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, New York, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last. Written with Stanley's signature wry humour and nostalgia, Taste is a heartwarming read that will be irresistible for anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.


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From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in T From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the recipes and into the stories behind them. Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, New York, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last. Written with Stanley's signature wry humour and nostalgia, Taste is a heartwarming read that will be irresistible for anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.

30 review for Taste: My Life through Food

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    4+ I've watched his PBS series, Searching for Italy. Have watched many of the movie in which he has acted, but knew little of his personal life. This book, besides all the wonderful mentions, recipes of food, rectified that deficit. He goes through his life, mentions his mother's wonderful cooking, praising restaurants where he had fantastic meals, many now gone. Food that made a deep impression on him, sharing food with friends and family. I love to cook, though I couldn't believe the amount of 4+ I've watched his PBS series, Searching for Italy. Have watched many of the movie in which he has acted, but knew little of his personal life. This book, besides all the wonderful mentions, recipes of food, rectified that deficit. He goes through his life, mentions his mother's wonderful cooking, praising restaurants where he had fantastic meals, many now gone. Food that made a deep impression on him, sharing food with friends and family. I love to cook, though I couldn't believe the amount of food he could eat, especially when he was younger. Having raised seven children I'm well aware of how fast food disappears and how quickly. Favorite chapters were when he talked about his shoots on films in different countries. The food that was provided. I think Iceland, surprisingly to him and me, was Iceland. The chapter when he talks about his family having to be isolated together due to Covid. Two young children, four over 18, himself and his wife. I was exhausted just reading about it. His humor is readily apparent, though he also has had his share of suffering. Ones life is never all peaches and cream and though his seems at time magical, the food he's eaten, the places he's been and the friends he has made, there is plenty of bad with the good. A terrific book, wonderful recipes and an inside look at a well known man.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 Sexy Stanley Tucci Stars ⭐️ Stanley Tucci puts the sexy in Sixty! He's that handsome, bald, Italian-American guy, with the devilish smirk, who you just know he's thinking about something good. He's sexy, sensitive, and he can cook, well! He has a tiny bit of machismo, I'll explain later, but it doesn't really surface often. Most remember him from, 'The Devil wears Prada,' and 'Julie and Julia' both with Meryl Streep. My favorite is, 'Big Night' which is a great segue to Taste. Stanley loves g 4.5 Sexy Stanley Tucci Stars ⭐️ Stanley Tucci puts the sexy in Sixty! He's that handsome, bald, Italian-American guy, with the devilish smirk, who you just know he's thinking about something good. He's sexy, sensitive, and he can cook, well! He has a tiny bit of machismo, I'll explain later, but it doesn't really surface often. Most remember him from, 'The Devil wears Prada,' and 'Julie and Julia' both with Meryl Streep. My favorite is, 'Big Night' which is a great segue to Taste. Stanley loves good food, particularly Italian food, since his grandparents on both sides hail from the Calabria region of Italy. (watch his show, a tour through Italy, currently on HBO Max.) This book is Stanley's life through food, from his childhood, as a young actor in NYC, through marriage and children, and even on movie sets. He talks about all of it and includes recipes, good ones. My galley didn't include photos, but I would bet the published version will, and I can't wait. Oh, the bit about machismo, in Stanley's last chapter he talks about his grueling bout with cancer. He had a cancerous tumor at the base of his tongue, in his throat, which started as a pain masquerading as a toothache. Or so he thought. He did go to the dentist, in the US and London. The London doctor said it might be cancer and gave him specific instructions on what to do next. Guess what, he waited six months! I know. I'm calling him out here only to prevent someone else from doing the same. A good reader friend pointed out that this was probably anxiety, and not just a guy avoiding the prognosis. He’s right of course, and I mistook it for machismo, which was totally incorrect. Fortunately, things worked out in the end, but after two years of surgery, chemo, pain, and a long recovery. We are glad you made it Stanley, and we love you. Your book is wonderful, and I highly recommend it. Thank you Edelweiss and Gallery Books for the egalley!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    Taste: My Life Through Food is part memoir, part love letter to food and eating and cooking. My name is Larry and I love food. I mean, seriously. I love to read about it, I love to cook it, and I seriously love to eat it. Most of the memoirs I’ve read have been written by chefs or have been about people’s love of food, so when I saw Stanley Tucci (one of my favorite actors) had written this book, I jumped on it like I would a buffet. (Hey, #fatboysgottafat.) In this book, Tucci shared memories Taste: My Life Through Food is part memoir, part love letter to food and eating and cooking. My name is Larry and I love food. I mean, seriously. I love to read about it, I love to cook it, and I seriously love to eat it. Most of the memoirs I’ve read have been written by chefs or have been about people’s love of food, so when I saw Stanley Tucci (one of my favorite actors) had written this book, I jumped on it like I would a buffet. (Hey, #fatboysgottafat.) In this book, Tucci shared memories of growing up in an Italian family that shared an immense love of food, and how his preferences were much more expansive than those of his peers, yet he still craved the junk foods of his youth. He shares memories of some of the best (and worst) meals he’s ever had, memories of discovering new restaurants while filming or traveling or vacationing. He also discusses the shared love of food with both his late first wife and his current wife and their children, and one of his greatest fears when battling his own cancer diagnosis. (Plus, recipes. I’m in heaven.) So often I could picture Tucci with his sly wit and slightly curmudgeonly manner telling me these stories. (He loves poking fun at Meryl Streep, too.) Taste really was just an all-around fantastic reading experience that made me so hungry, and I, well, devoured it in no time. If you’ve never seen his movie Big Night , and you like movies about food, check it out!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    While I’m admittedly not a huge nonfiction reader, I do enjoy the occasional memoir and what better time than Nonfiction November to take a “Taste” of what Stanley Tucci has to offer *rimshot*. (I’ll be here all week!) Usually I opt for comedians’ autobiographies, but I adore Stanley Tucci and requested the library purchase this months before its scheduled publication date. There’s just something about a quality character actor - someone who can convince you they are ANYONE - and Tucci is on While I’m admittedly not a huge nonfiction reader, I do enjoy the occasional memoir and what better time than Nonfiction November to take a “Taste” of what Stanley Tucci has to offer *rimshot*. (I’ll be here all week!) Usually I opt for comedians’ autobiographies, but I adore Stanley Tucci and requested the library purchase this months before its scheduled publication date. There’s just something about a quality character actor - someone who can convince you they are ANYONE - and Tucci is one of the best. There’s also something about Italian food and as a batch of German/Swedes my family has been blessed to have been “adopted” by a group of traditional Italians and experienced the magnificence of Sunday gravy, a metric ton of wedding cookies, homemade bruschetta, Thanksgiving dinner that comes with meat dressing and so many other culinary delights. But more than the food it is Tucci himself that makes this book work. He’s funny, charming, well spoken, kind - basically he’s exactly as a fan would hope him to be. He never hesitates to drop a name (I mean come on you know that’s the main reason for picking up any celebrity memoir), but he has not a bad word to say about anyone. It thrills me that Meryl Streep and he are real life pals and that his experience on The Devil Wears Prada was a favorite. If Tom Hanks is “America’s Dad” then Tucci is most certainly a favorite uncle. If you are a foodie - or maybe just an eatie like me - who enjoyed the television series Stanley Tucci Searching for Italy, I highly recommend checking out The Chef Show as well. Jon Favreau is another actor/writer/director who turned his passion for food into a movie and documentary series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    I stalked this book almost every day on NetGalley to appear, and when it did, it was already archived. (are some books available just for some reviewers, not all?). Anyway, as soon as it was published, I got it asap. Well, it didn't turn out as I expected. As much as I love Tucci as an actor, this book was tedious, to say the least. It has some funny moments, most of them from various dialogues, but that's pretty much everything that I enjoyed from it. It feels like it was written by two differen I stalked this book almost every day on NetGalley to appear, and when it did, it was already archived. (are some books available just for some reviewers, not all?). Anyway, as soon as it was published, I got it asap. Well, it didn't turn out as I expected. As much as I love Tucci as an actor, this book was tedious, to say the least. It has some funny moments, most of them from various dialogues, but that's pretty much everything that I enjoyed from it. It feels like it was written by two different writers. There are so many descriptions of various restaurants, catering, various places, and so many unimportant details, that it clogged the book entirely. You get to see Stanley Tucci as the charismatic actor you know from the screen in just a few passages. I lost all interest around 70%, so I gave up. Maybe it was just me and my gloomy mood lately, I don't really know, but I'm very disappointed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carole

    Charming best describes Taste: My Life through Food by Stanley Tucci: it is a reminiscence of his life and the importance of food in his life. When he tells us of his early years in a small town in New York, it is done by making us feel that we are sitting at the table with his American-Italian family. When he speaks of his young adult life and acting career, it is still food that dominates the conversation. His personal life brings more talk about the importance of food to family dynamics. The Charming best describes Taste: My Life through Food by Stanley Tucci: it is a reminiscence of his life and the importance of food in his life. When he tells us of his early years in a small town in New York, it is done by making us feel that we are sitting at the table with his American-Italian family. When he speaks of his young adult life and acting career, it is still food that dominates the conversation. His personal life brings more talk about the importance of food to family dynamics. The reader feels invited to Tucci’s table for great food and great conversations, all of this accomplished through humour, charm, sensitivity and sincerity. And that food! I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook version, read by the author. Highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    Although I am a professed foodie, it has never been a form of self-expression for me. I love a fine restaurant, and I am curious about food prep. What I love about this book is that I feel Stanley Tucci is my new friend. I feel as though I have been let in on family recipes, great food prep and his entire family. I enjoyed this book so much. It is a personal journey as it relates to food and the people and memories associated with it. I found it deeply personal and casually friendly at the same Although I am a professed foodie, it has never been a form of self-expression for me. I love a fine restaurant, and I am curious about food prep. What I love about this book is that I feel Stanley Tucci is my new friend. I feel as though I have been let in on family recipes, great food prep and his entire family. I enjoyed this book so much. It is a personal journey as it relates to food and the people and memories associated with it. I found it deeply personal and casually friendly at the same time. I will try some of the recipes gladly, but it his story and his experiences that left me so very glad that this author chose to share so much with me and others.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Traci Thomas

    This book is very lovey. I enjoyed it so much and Tucci reading the audio made it even better. My only big issue was the lack of diversity in the food featured in the book. It’s so white eurocentric, it says a lot about Tucci.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chaplain Walle

    This is a great read. I shall give a full review at a later date.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    Stanley Tucci's Big Night was my introduction to him. Although it has been more than 25 years since I saw it, it remains vivid in my memory. This beautiful memoir contains his experience in the creation of that film, in particular, the final scene, and the importance of the timbale which was featured so importantly. One thing I remember about the first time I viewed Big Night was needing to exit the theater and make a beeline to North Beach, noted as San Francisco's Italian restaurant district. Stanley Tucci's Big Night was my introduction to him. Although it has been more than 25 years since I saw it, it remains vivid in my memory. This beautiful memoir contains his experience in the creation of that film, in particular, the final scene, and the importance of the timbale which was featured so importantly. One thing I remember about the first time I viewed Big Night was needing to exit the theater and make a beeline to North Beach, noted as San Francisco's Italian restaurant district. It had the same effect on everyone I sent to this movie. Now here is the story of Tucci's life, growing up in a warm Italian household in New York State, in which beautiful meals were consumed every day and in which food was central to life itself. He includes some recipes not only for dishes, but also for cocktails. There were many surprises along the way, which I will not share since they should be discovered as he intends in the body of the work. Yes, there is a print version of this wonderful story, but I absolutely loved the audio version read by Tucci himself. Highly recommended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lorna

    Taste was a delightful memoir by Stanley Tucci of his life through food beginning with growing up in an Italian family in upstate New York with many traditions surounding food. He lovingly describes how when he was growing up, his mother spent most of her waking time in the kitchen, which she does to this day. In Tucci's words, cooking for her is at once a creative outlet and a way of feeding her family well: "Her cooking, like that of any great cook or chef, is proof culinary creativity may b Taste was a delightful memoir by Stanley Tucci of his life through food beginning with growing up in an Italian family in upstate New York with many traditions surounding food. He lovingly describes how when he was growing up, his mother spent most of her waking time in the kitchen, which she does to this day. In Tucci's words, cooking for her is at once a creative outlet and a way of feeding her family well: "Her cooking, like that of any great cook or chef, is proof culinary creativity may be the most perfect art form. It allows for free personal expression like painting, musical composition, or writing and yet fulfills a most practical need: the need to eat. Edible art. What could be better?" Taste was a delightful romp through Stanley Tucci's life, table and career. Recently he is probably best known for his series In Search of Italy. He also talks about his acclaimed film Big Night and all the myriad influences that ultimately led to the production of the movie. I came away with some great recipes, including how to make the perfect dry martini, stirred not shaken. It was a most enjoyable book that gave me a new appreciation and respect for Stanley Tucci.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Edelweiss backlog... I don't have any specific interest in Stanley Tucci other than vague awareness of him as an actor. I haven't seen his food or travel shows or used his cookbooks. Taste is a lighter read combining memoir and food writing. Tucci spans topics from a childhood spent inside a southern Italian immigrant community all the way up to his personal experience with cancer and the pandemic. The focus is not on his career at all, but sometimes the people and places he encounters because of Edelweiss backlog... I don't have any specific interest in Stanley Tucci other than vague awareness of him as an actor. I haven't seen his food or travel shows or used his cookbooks. Taste is a lighter read combining memoir and food writing. Tucci spans topics from a childhood spent inside a southern Italian immigrant community all the way up to his personal experience with cancer and the pandemic. The focus is not on his career at all, but sometimes the people and places he encounters because of various roles are pathways to food memories - meals, restaurants, or chefs. There are a few recipes scattered throughout the text from drink standards to elaborate holiday dishes like Timpano, but this is not a cookbook.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Georgia

    i will make a negroni and whisper 'gird your loins' to myself every night until stanley tucci or the character he plays in julie and julia is my husband i will make a negroni and whisper 'gird your loins' to myself every night until stanley tucci or the character he plays in julie and julia is my husband

  14. 4 out of 5

    Orsolya

    I’m quite sure that regardless of your gender or sexual orientation; you have a crush on actor, producer, director, host, writer, foodie, bartender, father, brother, husband, etc etc; Stanley Tucci. I mean, look at him! JUST LOOK AT HIM! The man is a handsome devil, talented and witty to boot! Woo, is it getting hot in here, Goodreads? Jokes aside, Tucci is about as obsessed with food (ingredients, flavors, nuances, background history) as we are obsessed with his face. This is undeniable if you I’m quite sure that regardless of your gender or sexual orientation; you have a crush on actor, producer, director, host, writer, foodie, bartender, father, brother, husband, etc etc; Stanley Tucci. I mean, look at him! JUST LOOK AT HIM! The man is a handsome devil, talented and witty to boot! Woo, is it getting hot in here, Goodreads? Jokes aside, Tucci is about as obsessed with food (ingredients, flavors, nuances, background history) as we are obsessed with his face. This is undeniable if you have watched an episode of Tucci’s CNN travel program, “The Search for Italy”. Tucci has already put his pen to two previous food-centric books and is back with a foodie memoir in, “Taste: My Life Through Food”. If you are searching for a typical Hollywood memoir focusing on a celebrity’s upbringing, profession in La La Land, gossip about sex, drugs, and rock n roll; and some ‘woe is me attitude’ coupled with, “I’m a better person, now”… Then “Taste” ISN’T for you. “Taste” doesn’t follow the ‘typical’ celebrity tell-all memoir and is instead a topical look at Tucci’s passion: food. Although Tucci DOES touch upon his childhood, celebrity-status and successes; it is through the lens of the food that graced his table, belly and made those events even more memorialized in his own mind. “Taste” is exactly what the title claims to be: nothing more and nothing less. “Taste” begins in a charming way setting the table (pun intended and achieved – haha, Tucci!) for a delightful read. Tucci jumps into his past as a child and hashes tales of his family and thus ultimately reveals how he became the man that he is today. In fact, he had such a lovely upbringing (I’m sure there are skeletons in the closet but “Taste” was simply not the time or place to reveal them); that readers with traumatic lives (such as myself) might be slightly triggered and envious. That being said; this simply means that Tucci is a wonderful storyteller and is able to bring a narrative visually to life. At this point, “Taste” is very emotive to the reader. Tucci’s writing is very accessible to the general audience and yet isn’t dummied down (let’s be real: many celebrities should stick to their day jobs and not attempt to write books). Tucci is intelligent and complex and yet infuses “Taste” with ample doses of comedy and humor sprinkled throughout to keep the reader smiling and enthused while maintaining that the material remains fresh. Even the occasional recipe is written in a way that encourages a chuckle. However, it is obvious that a ghostwriter was used in “Taste” even though one is not acknowledged. This is evident through the inconsistencies of the writing as “Taste” toggles back-and-forth with two different writing styles that is hard to ignore. You had some help, Tucci, didn’t you? It is okay to admit it! As “Taste” progresses, it begins to lose some steam and the boiling pot settles (another pun!). Tucci’s tales become quite repetitive and read exactly the same: “I ate here. I liked this dish. Then I ate here with this person. I liked or hated that.” Boring! There isn’t much excitement to be shared or a thesis to these experiences. It is also at this point that Tucci begins to name drop chefs, other foodies, and his celebrity friends which are consequentially tedious and too typical Hollywood. This type of behavior is seemingly ‘below’ Tucci and has little place in “Taste” therefore weakening the essence of the memoir. “Taste” could also benefit from a bit more emotion and insight as it sometimes feels too clinical and hyper-focused on the recap. It is clear that Tucci holds back in his attempt to focus on the food tales. This inhibits the reader from really diving into Tucci’s psyche and getting to know the real man- even if through food. It isn’t until the end of “Taste” when Tucci finally “opens up” and highlights his cancer diagnosis and the correlation with food, eating, and what he learned from his medical life trial. However, even this section still doesn’t shed as many layers as it should/could. Also absent from “Taste” is a section of photo color plates that seems to be the usual stylistic formula for celebrity memoirs. Although this isn’t a hugely tragic departure; it would have been nice. “Taste” does end in a memorable and ‘cute’ way rounding out the text and going full-circle to the beginning of the piece. This is done well on a writing level and with its attempt to connect with readers concluding “Taste” on a positive note. Tucci is a lovable man and my crush on his remains extant. However, “Taste”, although pleasant enough; is a bit too surface level and I expected a little bit more. “Taste” is a quick-read and suggested heartily for all Tucci fans but don’t expect to truly dive into the man’s diary and soul.

  15. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    Gosh, I love Stanley Tucci! I wish he hadn’t been the disgusting killer in The Lovey Bones; terrible book and film, btw, but I digress. This memoir via his palate was just enough to make me crave (sorry) a more in-depth life story. The food talk and recipes were pretty great, though. It’s his book, he can do what he wants! Very enjoyable. Grab the audio. He’s marvelous!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Stanley Tucci can quite literally bring me to tears describing the Amalfi Coast, the perfect Martini, and his life dedicated to food. I liked him before, and now I'm obsessively in love with him. I know and love the feeling of watching people in my house eat (and sometimes even ENJOY) something I've prepared. As Auggie says, "it fills my happiness bucket." Thank you for sharing your food journey through this remarkably readable book. If you haven't read it... do it. Stanley Tucci can quite literally bring me to tears describing the Amalfi Coast, the perfect Martini, and his life dedicated to food. I liked him before, and now I'm obsessively in love with him. I know and love the feeling of watching people in my house eat (and sometimes even ENJOY) something I've prepared. As Auggie says, "it fills my happiness bucket." Thank you for sharing your food journey through this remarkably readable book. If you haven't read it... do it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    It is possible that I liked this book more than two stars. However, Mr. Tucci declared (twice) how much he disliked Los Angeles in a way that some people who grew up on the East coast tend to do (dramatic) and that I find annoying.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jane Maloy

    Should have been titled “what rich cultured people eat” 😉 Some great stories, but I have zero emotional connection to any of this food (I’m not Italian and not a celebrity)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    When it comes to books about food, I just eat them right up

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laurie • The Baking Bookworm

    I wholeheartedly admit that I have a major crush on this sexagenarian. With his charm, humour and bald pate, Stanley Tucci (or The Tuch as I refer to him), has that somethin' somethin'. My husband doesn't understand my crush, but he accepts it. Good man. Stanley Tucci is a man of many talents. He's an actor who has been in such films as The Hunger Games, Julie and Julia, Captain America: First Avenger, The Devil Wears Prada and Easy A (my personal fav) to name just a few. He's a humanitarian and I wholeheartedly admit that I have a major crush on this sexagenarian. With his charm, humour and bald pate, Stanley Tucci (or The Tuch as I refer to him), has that somethin' somethin'. My husband doesn't understand my crush, but he accepts it. Good man. Stanley Tucci is a man of many talents. He's an actor who has been in such films as The Hunger Games, Julie and Julia, Captain America: First Avenger, The Devil Wears Prada and Easy A (my personal fav) to name just a few. He's a humanitarian and a self-proclaimed and avid foodie and it's this love of food that is the basis for this memoir. No matter where he is - Westchester, New York to England to film sets around the world - Tucci's love of food is clear. With charm and wit, he shares personal anecdotes to show how food has influenced his life and how this appreciation of food connects him to his family and Italian heritage. He also shares his health battles, how his family has handled the pandemic and I loved the touching way he mentions the two loves of his life. 'The Tuch' reveals a bit of food snobbery at times, but all is forgiven because he is charming as he shares touching moments and humourous bits. His name dropping of his celeb friends was thoroughly enjoyable - particularly Meryl and a very famous Canadian (who was a surprising connection - and also one of my crushes). I was delighted to know these two men are such good friends. Charming, funny (with a hint of snark), smart and simply marvelous, this memoir with a side of foodie love was a thoroughly enjoyable read/listen. I bought both the hardcover and audiobook (something I rarely do), but a must in this case. I highly recommend the audiobook to listen to Stanley tell his story and the hardcover for the recipes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    If you’re lucky in life, you have friend, a colleague, or a family member who delights in being a consummate host. They are: • the person who knows the perfect wine to pair with the entrees they’ve ordered for the table. • the person who, minutes after greeting you in their home, makes you your favorite cocktail. • the person whose love for food gets you to try new things, be it borscht, ceviche, or escargot. After listening to “Taste: My Life Through Food,” I can confirm Stanley Tucci is DEFIN If you’re lucky in life, you have friend, a colleague, or a family member who delights in being a consummate host. They are: • the person who knows the perfect wine to pair with the entrees they’ve ordered for the table. • the person who, minutes after greeting you in their home, makes you your favorite cocktail. • the person whose love for food gets you to try new things, be it borscht, ceviche, or escargot. After listening to “Taste: My Life Through Food,” I can confirm Stanley Tucci is DEFINITELY one of these people. Is there a culinary lottery that exists where the prize is having this man make me a meal? I’d go broke buying tickets if there was. Of course, if I won, I’d have to decide which of the wonderful recipes he shares in “Taste” I’d want him to make for me. Would it be ragu and Bolognese? Spaghetti alla Nerano? Bouillabaisse? I’d suppose I’d settle for a Totino’s pizza if the consolation prize was having him make me one of his famous stirred martinis. (I can hear Stanley say “Kill me now.”) If you can’t tell, I found “Taste” to be a DELIGHTFUL read—a book that took my modest crush on this actor-turned Internet boyfriend-turned NYT best-selling author and dialed it up to an 11. All the things I love most about Tucci are on full display here, from his comedic timing and droll delivery to his erudite commentary on life, love, traveling, and the volatile nature of the entertainment industry. If you read this book, you get all those observations, plus the occasional recipe, on the page. But if you LISTEN to the book, you get that extra narrative “spice” (sticking with food metaphors here) that flavors Tucci’s storytelling, whether he’s name dropping famous friends like Ryan Reynolds or describing the best bowl of spaghetti carbonara he’s ever had. (The way he delivers an emphatic “Fuckkkkkkkk!” when describing this particular dish still makes me chuckle to think about.) Tucci covers a lot of personal highs and lows in “Taste,” from the death of his first wife to cancer to finding love again with Felicity Blunt (yes, Emily’s sister), to his recent battle with tongue cancer. There's one particular paragraph I want to remember here, because it made me unexpectedly tear up. To set the scene, Stanley is talking late in the book about how much he loves to cook for people, and how this love is inspired by his Italian parents and his appreciation for their recipes, which have been passed down for generations. He writes: “Watching my guests enjoy the meal I’ve made filled me with great familial pride. In those moments, it was clear to me that someday, when my parents are no longer alive, I will always be able to put their teachings, and all the love they gave me, into a bowl and present it to someone who sadly will never have had the good fortune of knowing them. But by eating that food, they will come to know them, if just a little.” Swap out his mother’s timpano for my mother’s potato salad, and it’s a beautiful reminder that, to many of us, food truly is family.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Everything wonderful about food writing and everything you love about hearing Stanley Tucci, who somehow always plays himself yet always gets fully lost in a character, is in this book. Is it revelatory and about to change the world of memoir and literature as we know it? Is it a particularly unique perspective (younger Boomer, white, Democrat, New York-born [grand]child of immigrants)? No. But that's not the point. The point is that he has such a distinct and delightful voice and tone and that Everything wonderful about food writing and everything you love about hearing Stanley Tucci, who somehow always plays himself yet always gets fully lost in a character, is in this book. Is it revelatory and about to change the world of memoir and literature as we know it? Is it a particularly unique perspective (younger Boomer, white, Democrat, New York-born [grand]child of immigrants)? No. But that's not the point. The point is that he has such a distinct and delightful voice and tone and that he loves food, and your mouth will water on every page.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kavita

    My first finish of 2022! I hadn't really known Stanley Tucci specifically before I picked up this book, but I immediately realised I had loved him as Paul Child in Julie & Julia. The book is basically a food memoir. Though an American, Tucci grew up in a very Italianised culture due to his family, and this especially applied to the food. Eating delicious homecooked food, Tucci developed a passion for the culinary arts, even though he opted for a career as an actor. I was honestly not too interest My first finish of 2022! I hadn't really known Stanley Tucci specifically before I picked up this book, but I immediately realised I had loved him as Paul Child in Julie & Julia. The book is basically a food memoir. Though an American, Tucci grew up in a very Italianised culture due to his family, and this especially applied to the food. Eating delicious homecooked food, Tucci developed a passion for the culinary arts, even though he opted for a career as an actor. I was honestly not too interested in the author's life, so I was rather glad he kept his personal life to the minimum. But he managed to still tell a tale about himself and his life through food, and that's really a unique perspective that I enjoyed. He also shared recipes of dishes he enjoyed throughout his life. The tone of the book is mostly buoying, and I really, really liked that his passion for preparing and eating food came through unapologetically. I read this only for the food and Tucci delivered. The book did get a little heavier at the end with descriptions of the lockdowns and his battle with cancer, neither of which I was very interested in reading. I am glad he got his taste buds back, though! He also kept saying that he will continue to name drop, but it all sailed over my head because I am not very cognisant of pop culture. I just fumbled around wondering whom he was talking about, whether that person he just mentioned was a celeb or just a nice chap, and didn't feel motivated enough to google. I've been following a few authentic Italian food YouTube channels recently, and this book came at a perfect time. Tucci isn't very knowledgeable about most other cuisines, though he does mention quite a few others in the passing. But he mostly just sticks to what he knows, which is Italian food. I found this rather limiting as it would have been awesome if he had explored other cuisines as well. Still, a fun book to read if you love food.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emanuel

    An immensely enjoyable read, a book I just loved from beginning to end. Infused with the author's particularly dry but witty humour, it was the perfect book to read over the festive break, so now i can say I spent Christmas with Stanley Tucci :) If you just like food, this book will be a bit meh for you. If you love food, then you'll enjoy it. But I feel you will absolutely love it, if this speaks to you: [...] I discovered that eating, drinking, the kitchen and the table now define me. Food not An immensely enjoyable read, a book I just loved from beginning to end. Infused with the author's particularly dry but witty humour, it was the perfect book to read over the festive break, so now i can say I spent Christmas with Stanley Tucci :) If you just like food, this book will be a bit meh for you. If you love food, then you'll enjoy it. But I feel you will absolutely love it, if this speaks to you: [...] I discovered that eating, drinking, the kitchen and the table now define me. Food not only feeds me, it enriches me. All of me. Mind, body and soul. It is nothing more than everything. And yes, there are recipes throughout the book and if you love cocktails and pasta, you'll probably want to try them all. But it's not a cookbook. It is a love letter to families and good food and love and sharing. It is, to me, the perfect book for those who grew up around a table in a messy, loud kitchen, surrounded by parents and grandparents, passing around plates of always-too-much food.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Kind of lovely

  26. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Actor Stanley Tucci tells the story of his life through the food he has eaten and loved.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ti

    The Short of It: This is a “treat” read. I curled up with it and loved every page. The Rest of It: I have always loved Stanley Tucci but I love him even more now. I’ve been catching his show, Searching for Italy here and there and it’s a gem, too. His love for food and really, home cooking, go way back to his childhood and that is what this book largely covers. The fond memories he has of meals, lovingly prepared by his mother when he lived in New York. Those meals, the basis of family time around The Short of It: This is a “treat” read. I curled up with it and loved every page. The Rest of It: I have always loved Stanley Tucci but I love him even more now. I’ve been catching his show, Searching for Italy here and there and it’s a gem, too. His love for food and really, home cooking, go way back to his childhood and that is what this book largely covers. The fond memories he has of meals, lovingly prepared by his mother when he lived in New York. Those meals, the basis of family time around the table, I ate it up. Pun intended. Each chapter is peppered with foodie goodness and sometimes a simple recipe or cocktail to take note of. You may not have known this but Tucci suffered from a tumor at the base of his tongue which affected his taste for quite a long time. I believe that period in his life made it clear to him how much he valued a good meal. This feeling shines through every page. I really loved it and it would make a great gift for the foodie in your life. For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    I couldn’t get into this memoir. He’s a beloved actor for me and I find him curious and intriguing as a person. I also like reading about food 😂 Yet this kept falling flat for me. I was 🥱 and waiting for someone to save me from that person at a party. There were a few bits where I was amused or charmed but mostly he failed to captivate and interest me. Switching to audio didn’t help. 🤷🏻‍♀️ To be fair, I don’t enjoy autobiographical memoirs usually.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    I listened to the audible copy. So good.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Stanley Tucci is not only an award-winning actor, he’s also a foodie. Taste is his fantastic food memoir that shares with readers his childhood in Westchester, NY to filming across the world all with distinct memories of meals, culture, and comfort. His love of food shines in all the important moments of his life and I appreciated the recipes he shared and the insight he offered into food and family. This was a great cozy read and I’m looking forward to checking out Tucci’s cookbooks soon! For mo Stanley Tucci is not only an award-winning actor, he’s also a foodie. Taste is his fantastic food memoir that shares with readers his childhood in Westchester, NY to filming across the world all with distinct memories of meals, culture, and comfort. His love of food shines in all the important moments of his life and I appreciated the recipes he shared and the insight he offered into food and family. This was a great cozy read and I’m looking forward to checking out Tucci’s cookbooks soon! For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

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