Love, Loss, and What We Ate

Love, Loss, and What We Ate

Book - 2016?
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A vivid memoir of food and family, survival and triumph, Love, Loss, and What We Ate traces the arc of Padma Lakshmi's unlikely path from an immigrant childhood to a complicated life in front of the camera--a tantalizing blend of Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone and Nora Ephron's Heartburn

Long before Padma Lakshmi ever stepped onto a television set, she learned that how we eat is an extension of how we love, how we comfort, how we forge a sense of home--and how we taste the world as we navigate our way through it. Shuttling between continents as a child, she lived a life of dislocation that would become habit as an adult, never quite at home in the world. And yet, through all her travels, her favorite food remained the simple rice she first ate sitting on the cool floor of her grandmother's kitchen in South India.

Poignant and surprising, Love, Loss, and What We Ate is Lakshmi's extraordinary account of her journey from that humble kitchen, ruled by ferocious and unforgettable women, to the judges' table of Top Chef and beyond. It chronicles the fierce devotion of the remarkable people who shaped her along the way, from her headstrong mother who flouted conservative Indian convention to make a life in New York, to her Brahmin grandfather--a brilliant engineer with an irrepressible sweet tooth--to the man seemingly wrong for her in every way who proved to be her truest ally. A memoir rich with sensual prose and punctuated with evocative recipes, it is alive with the scents, tastes, and textures of a life that spans complex geographies both internal and external.

Love, Loss, and What We Ate is an intimate and unexpected story of food and family--both the ones we are born to and the ones we create--and their enduring legacies.

Publisher: New York :, Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2016?]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062202611
Call Number: 791.4502 L1499a
Characteristics: 336 pages ; 24 cm


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Aug 07, 2017

As the former wife of Salman Rushdie, you might expect some of that wit and language skill to be on an above average level, and you would be right. How rich and beautiful is this writing, this woman's story, and this life. One of those books that immediately transports you to another, unexpected, exotic, fabulous, sad, wonderful, unexpected place. This is one of those books that can drop you into the world of someone so unlike you, growing up halfway around the world, making decisions you never even considered, and expanding your mind so much you think about it for a long time after you're done reading.

Apr 30, 2017

I found the memoir to be quite scattered and asking for sympathy more often than narrating the story. Wondering how she has become a celebrity with a homegrown background in the culinary world and no particular skills. For further context refer to her ex-husband Salman Rushdie's candid comments on living with Ms Laxmi. Sorry, was quite unimpressed with the book and skipped lines to finish it.

Jun 29, 2016

Interesting read. A little disjointed at times and hard to follow but she has led a really fascinating life and it's worth your time to read about it.

Jun 16, 2016

This memoir covers so much ground: beauty standards, living between two cultures, changing careers. Padma Lakshmi shows how food can be a source of comfort, a connection to identity, and an occasion to examine our biases about beauty.
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Jun 03, 2016

merits a few more reads. She seems approachable, believable and very interesting.

Apr 27, 2016

A bit disjointed at times and she skips back and forth in her recollections and retelling, but not a bad read. She's definitely led an interesting life with much more going on behind the scenes than one would imagine.

Apr 18, 2016

As memoirs go all I can say about this one is that it's different. Padma Lakshmi has led a life that no one else could have and she does a decent job of describing it. She seems somewhat ambivalent most of the time. Her descriptions of her Brahminical heritage sound despondent like she is pining for them. They are not accurate quite often. For example no self-respecting Brahmin priest would schedule an annaprasanam" on Saturday at 9 AM since that is an inauspicious time.


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Jun 16, 2016

Padma Lakshmi has had a varied career. In her twenties she was a model, and then a television host and actress. She published a cookbook about what she ate to lose weight after a movie role required her to put on twenty pounds, and as a result made the improbable transition from model to foodie, co-hosting the popular cooking competition Top Chef. Love, Loss, and What We Ate is a chronicle of the role food has played in her life, through times of love, and times of loss, and how she navigated the jump from a career that was based on her looks to one that engaged her heart and her mind. From a childhood in India, to an early adulthood spent traveling Europe, to a second career in America, she shows how food can be a source of comfort, a connection to identity, and an occasion to examine our biases about beauty.


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Jun 16, 2016

"I didn’t know then, of course, that the crossing from New Delhi to New York was more than a crossing of oceans and continents; it was a crossing of cultures, of lifestyles, of ways of being and knowing. I would be debarking in a New World. I would never be fully at home in India again or ever fully at home in America. I couldn’t have looked back, even if I had thought to.”


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