Ingenious, delightfully presented recipes that give a healthy take on French cuisine.
Awards & Accolades
French food can taste good without the animal products and other dietary no-nos, according to this cookbook-cum–gastronomic travelogue.
Connally and Best recount their journey through France from the Champagne region in the northeast down to Marseille on the Mediterranean coast, tasting the regional cuisines and culture and collecting ideas for recipes. Their musings on the tour are haphazard but charming. They toast the prominence of women among the heads of Veuve Clicquot and other legendary Champagne-makers; recollect a year Connally’s family spent in the city of Metz in Lorraine when she was 5, when she contracted a liver ailment that she cured by eating artichokes; and visit Julia Child’s old haunts in Provence, noting that Child’s first recipe was for a shark repellent used during World War II. Each chapter culminates in a selection of regionally inspired recipes the authors reengineer to “achieve positive health returns,” mainly by replacing flesh, dairy, and oils with plant-based ingredients. (Connally reports that a similar diet has conferred many health benefits, including “greater sexual vitality.”) Of the 59 recipes, only three—roasted spatchcocked chicken, coffee-rubbed grilled rib-eye, and sea bass cassis—feature meat or fish, while 43 are straight-up vegan, 35 are gluten free, and 47 are free of even plant oils. The duo contends that their alternatives to animal-product ingredients are flavorful and great tasting in dishes like cultured cashew “cheese” logs spiced with herbs, crepes made with flaxseed “eggs,” and French onion soup with a “beef” broth made from vegetable broth. (While sugar is allowed, the book suggests replacing it with monk fruit as a sweetener.) A nutrition table accompanies each recipe with data on calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium content.
Connally and Best present the recipes in a clear, easy-to-follow style. Many of them have an intriguing Gallic spin, such as a blueberry cheesecake decorated to mimic van Gogh’s The Starry Night and a confection called “Tétons de Vénus,” a pair of cakes shaped like breasts complete with blueberry nipples. The book’s sumptuous color photos of food and French towns and landscapes are a visual feast, and the prose is equally evocative. (“The creamy texture coats my tongue,” Connally recalls of a cheesecake at a Provencal restaurant. “Something is building. I can feel it. Then it happens. I am not sure whether the creamy filling is getting my attention, or the dripping blackcurrant sauce bursting with tiny wild blueberries, or the sweet, nutty almond date crust, but it’s magnificent….The only thing more pleasurable would be eating it in the arms of a lover.”) And yet, something seems naggingly un-French about the culinary philosophy behind such recipes as “Vive la France Cheesecake,” which features a filling of “plant-based yoghurt,” “plant-based cream cheese,” and 300 grams of non-GMO tofu, and sports saturated-fat levels “75% lower than a traditional cheesecake.” Still, readers seeking well-considered vegetarian-ish versions of French classics will love Connally and Best’s cookery.Ingenious, delightfully presented recipes that give a healthy take on French cuisine.
Pub Date: April 7, 2021
Page Count: 240
Publisher: Connally Best Partners Corp
Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Walter Isaacson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 12, 2023
Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.
A warts-and-all portrait of the famed techno-entrepreneur—and the warts are nearly beyond counting.
To call Elon Musk (b. 1971) “mercurial” is to undervalue the term; to call him a genius is incorrect. Instead, Musk has a gift for leveraging the genius of others in order to make things work. When they don’t, writes eminent biographer Isaacson, it’s because the notoriously headstrong Musk is so sure of himself that he charges ahead against the advice of others: “He does not like to share power.” In this sharp-edged biography, the author likens Musk to an earlier biographical subject, Steve Jobs. Given Musk’s recent political turn, born of the me-first libertarianism of the very rich, however, Henry Ford also comes to mind. What emerges clearly is that Musk, who may or may not have Asperger’s syndrome (“Empathy did not come naturally”), has nurtured several obsessions for years, apart from a passion for the letter X as both a brand and personal name. He firmly believes that “all requirements should be treated as recommendations”; that it is his destiny to make humankind a multi-planetary civilization through innovations in space travel; that government is generally an impediment and that “the thought police are gaining power”; and that “a maniacal sense of urgency” should guide his businesses. That need for speed has led to undeniable successes in beating schedules and competitors, but it has also wrought disaster: One of the most telling anecdotes in the book concerns Musk’s “demon mode” order to relocate thousands of Twitter servers from Sacramento to Portland at breakneck speed, which trashed big parts of the system for months. To judge by Isaacson’s account, that may have been by design, for Musk’s idea of creative destruction seems to mean mostly chaos.Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.
Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023
Page Count: 688
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
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A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.
Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.
Pub Date: July 12, 2022
Page Count: 192
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022
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