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White Truffles in Winter

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,032 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews

“Rich in sensory delights . . . the kind of masterpiece readers will want to savor.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Auguste Escoffier (1846–1935) was the unparalleled French chef whose impact on restaurants and high cuisine is still with us. He was also a complicated man—kind yet imperious, food obsessed yet rarely hungry, capable of great passion and inscrutable reserve. In this

Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,969)
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Such an imaginative book based on facts. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and all the rich, vivid details of place and food. Escoffier is an important historical figure. The main points are facts: where he lived and worked, his wife, his mistress, and more. The author deftly filled in what his life could have been based on known facts she researched. It's a fascinating story about an unusual man.

For those with culinary interests, there are intriguing food tidbits, but the story can be enjoyed by
Nov 14, 2011 Jacqie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didnt-finish
This was a prettily written book with no discernable plot. I couldn't really get a picture in my head of Escoffier, his wife Delphine, or Sarah Berhardt- their images kept sliding away, possibly because the writing of the characters seemed to be more about creating dramatic impact than developing character or consistancy.

There were all sorts of imagery that were beautiful (description of an Impressionist exhibit), but I just couldn't believe anything happening in the book would really happen. T
Rebecca Foster
“When we cook we know perfection: we can touch it; we can create it. We are like gods.” I enjoyed Kelby’s sumptuous fictional biography of French chef Auguste Escoffier, the founder of the dining rooms at the Savoy and the Ritz Carlton and developer of menus for, among other famous ventures, the Titanic.

As the novel opens he and his wife, poet Delphine Daffis, are in their eighties, living out their penurious senescence in Monte Carlo, Monaco, with a rotating cast of children and grandchildren a
Emily Crowe
First of all, isn't this a lovely cover, sensuously hinting at all of the good food writing contained therein? I do believe that it is the cover the first drew me to this book back when my Norton sales rep, David, was in town. He left me a copy of the ARC months ago but I'm just now getting around to reading it. Like that sweatshirt that my mom got me says, it's always a case of So many books, so little time.

This is the story of the great French chef, Escoffier, and his life and loves, told in
Ron Chicaferro
Mar 05, 2012 Ron Chicaferro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly amazing book - excellently researched and written. It's the story about the great French master chef Auguste Escoffier and his rise to fame in France and around the world. It's also a tender love story. Escoffier's love of his wife and also his powerful love for the great actress of the time Sarah Bernhardt. This novel takes place from around the late 1800's to Escoffier's death in 1920. The book is rich with powerful figures of the time - from well known world leaders to politicians and ...more
Jan 20, 2012 Silver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
A charming, witty, and sometimes heartbreaking story about love, loss, endurance, and most importantly food!

I found this book thoroughly enjoyable to read. I have always found the culinary arts to be interesting, and think it can be fascinating the way in which throughout time food has been used within literature. One of the things which I really enjoyed about this book is the way in which throughout from beginning to end food is used to convey a story, to inspire emotions and evoke all of the
Feb 22, 2013 Damaskcat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Escoffier – world famous chef – won his wife Delphine in a billiard game. In spite of this unpromising but romantic start to their married life they do stay married and died within a fortnight of each other. But in between they spent many years apart with Escoffier working at the Savoy in London and Delphine remaining in France to bring up their children. The book starts with Delphine seriously ill and wanting Escoffier to create a dish in her honour. Throughout his life he has created many dish ...more

A fictionalized life of Auguste Escoffier - the chef who set the stage for how we dine today in courses. The story is set primarily when he and his wife are approaching death and her greatest wish is that he create a recipe for her, like he has done for so many others - including many for his lifetime lover, Sarah Bernhardt. The book moves back and forth between the past and the end of Escoffier's life, telling the story of his tumultous loves, his passion for food and cooking, and his career i
Jennifer Cain
Nov 29, 2011 Jennifer Cain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received WHITE TRUFFLES IN WINTER as a First Reads giveaway. It was delicious. Although I have read books with food relations in the past, they have always seemed a little cheesy (not a bad thing). However, this is the exception. The book detailed romance and elegance. Who ever knew there were so many uses for fois gras, champagne, and truffles?

Historical figures played a prominent role in the story yet it remained fiction. I enjoyed the eccentric nature of Sarah and the chef's dedication to h
Dec 21, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I LOVED this book. It reminded me of Like Water for Chocolate...I was mesmerized with the characters, the culture, the descriptions...Even though I would not have eaten some of the meals that the chef prepared, I was fascinated with his passion for his trade and how expressed himself with his meals. I also loved his tangled life as passions for those he loved.
I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. It is a book that will stay with me forever.
The story of chef, Auguste Escoffier, and the two women he loved, his poetess wife, Delphine Daffis, and the actress, Sarah Bernhard. This is a book that foodies would enjoy as it contains some of Escoffier's recipes, plus quotations from his books. This books is only rated 3.44 stars, but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio version narrated by the author.
Jun 18, 2014 Radostina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Бели трюфели през зимата е една изящна книга, която стимулира сетивата и гъделичка въображението по много и различни начини. Признавам, че когато я купувах, нямах представа нито кой е Огюст Ескофие, нито каква е значимостта му за съвременната кулинария. Очаквах биографичен роман, по-скоро скучноват и информативен, отколкото интригуващ и чувствен. Оказа се, че съм била в голяма грешка. Бели трюфели през зимата всъщност е една прекрасна плетеница от биографични факти от живота на великия готвач и ...more
May 10, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This book was the selection for a book club I was asked to join. Most of the people in it are great cooks and several grow their own food. I was a little intimindated to join since I do not like to cook and I was not sure if the book was going to be too abstract for me.
I am ashamed to admit I did not even realize Escoffier was a real person until more than halfway through the book.
This book was something I never would have picked myself but that is the beauty of a book club- reading outside my
Mar 30, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The descriptions in this book were lush and playful. The descriptions of food and cooking were especially well done. I think that Kelby captured the right balance of the sensual and cerebral that is at the heart of a lot of fine cuisine. Yet somehow, after all of those dazzling moments, I was not completely satisfied. I've thought about that and I've decided that that feeling is actually a credit to the novel.

Part of my problem is due to a personal sensitivity. I almost cannot bear stories of
Jan 24, 2012 Simmonsmry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this decadent novel, author N.M. Kelby transports readers into the world of acclaimed French chef, Auguste Escoffier, towards the end of his life as he is writing his memoirs. Also focusing on his ailing wife, Delphine, and his impudent housekeeper, Sabine, it tackles his life beyond the kitchens of the world’s finest hotels.

Escoffier is a passionate chef who loves everything about food preparation down to lovingly caring for the tools of his craft. This passion, at times, overcomes everythin
The first thing to remember when reading WHITE TRUFFLES IN WINTER by N.M. Kelby is that while the three central characters are "real" the story itself is the work of the author's rather vivid imagination. In it she conjures up a tale of food, love, and the love of food. Her imaginative journey into the life of food-obsessed chef, Auguste Escoffier, his unconventionally liberated wife, poet Delphine Daffis, and the "other woman" in his life - the bold, free-spirited Sarah Bernhardt is as delectab ...more
Kelby, N.M. White Truffles in Winter. unabridged. 9 CDs. 10.5 Hours. Books on Tape. Nov 2011. ISBN: 978-0-307-97034-3 $40.00. F

Auguste Escoffier once the King of Chefs and Chef of Kings was a passionate romantic, obsessed with the the 5th taste - deliciousness - and beautiful women. As his poetess wife of 55+ years, Delphine Daffis Escoffier, is in her death bed, Auguste reminisces about his life, his delectable inventions and his lover Sarah Bernhardt the beautiful, scandalous actress. Seen thr
A truly amazing book - excellently researched by the author, and superbly written. It's the story about the great French master chef Auguste Escoffier -a real chef- and his rise to fame in France (and around the world). It's also a tender love story.
Escoffier's love of his wife was legendary, but not as well known as his powerful love for the great actress of the time Sarah Bernhardt. This novel takes place from around the late 1800's to Escoffier's death in 1920.
Kelby's novel is rich with pow
As the world marches toward the Second World War, the famous chef Auguste Escoffier and his wife, the poet Delfine Defis, are destitute and nearing death at their villa in Monte Carlo. During much of their marriage, the Escoffiers have lived apart, due to his long affair with the actress Sarah Bernhardt. Escoffier created and named many dishes for Bernhardt, but never one for his wife. Now, together again, Delfine wants a dish created by Escoffier for her, and hires a cook with an uncanny resemb ...more
Mar 13, 2015 Randi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: artsy-reads
Loved the premise of the book but unless you're a major foodie many of the details will be over your head. The author spends more time on the food descriptions than she does on character or plot development. While I love food and cooking, I ended up skimming most of the cooking details because they made no sense to me. Wish the author had spent more time giving more insight into the choices the characters make. Why does Escoffier choose Delphine? What caused such a major rift between the two? Th ...more
Sep 04, 2015 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an uneven telling of a story. It seemed as if this was a manuscript a decade or more in the making that had its limbs pasted together.

On the upside Auguste, Delphine, and Sarah had distinct points of view and voice. The recipes added luscious depth to characters and circumstances. Sometimes the dialog and narration was cohesive and captivating, especially for the final third of the book.

Too many times the weight of situation was treated with allusions, as in the suicide of Xavier. Ofte
Dec 20, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this novel, Kelby takes on the story of unparalleled French chef, Auguste Escoffier. During her research, she found few accurate facts regarding the man, so in this work of fiction, she takes many liberties in detailing his life.

In lush sensual prose she describes Escoffier's obsession with food and his ability for great passion. She tells of his time as a cook in the Franco-Prussian War, as master chef in restaurants in both Paris and London, and as a close friend to nobility and world leade
More like 3.5 stars. Historical fiction based on the real Auguste Escoffier, the famous French chef and his poet wife Delphine Daffis. The story tells of their long marriage, and his love for her and the immortal actress Sarah Bernhardt. How his career kept him from his family for years at a time and the toll it took on his relationship with his wife. In the end she wanted him to create a dish just for her, but he finds it impossible to express his deep love for her in one perfect dish. Of cours ...more
Diane S ☔
Dec 05, 2011 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a delightful but somewhat simple book. There is no overt action and yet it is fascinating. It cover a portion of the life of the famous chef Escoffier, who defined cuisine at the Savoy and the Ritz. Although the story skips around, between different time periods, which was a bit confusing at first I decided to just delight in each chapter regardless of where in history it was. The main story is Escoffier returning home to his wife, who he had not lived with for thirty years, when they ar ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-fiction
Part Novel, part memoir, part recipe book, this is a lovely story well told. Brings to mind some of the best novels of Joanne Harris. Reading this book will make you want to cook!
Historically the facts behind the book are true. Auguste Escoffier was a historical character responsible for much of what we would recognise about the modern restaurant experience. His recipes do indeed include many we would recognise today as absolute classics; such as two created for Dame Nellie Melba- the Peach Melb
May 22, 2012 Pippa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an extraordinary novel that brought to life the complex chef Escoffier and those associated with him whilst being based on a few concrete facts.

The descriptions throughout, particularly of the incredible dishes, were rich and complex. The food was brought to life and and as a reader my senses were awakened to the inventiveness and imagination of such a groundbreaking chef.

Despite this incredible attention to detail and description, the novel flowed and the characters were well develop
May 28, 2013 Deideinogod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Język książki mnie uwiódł. Treść sama w sobie była niesamowita. Ważne, że forma jej nie przerosła. Były momenty, gdy się śmiałam, momenty, w których łzy napływały mi do oczu. Najważniejsza jednak jest inspiracja, którą dała mi ta książka. Inspiracja aby pochylić się nad wszystkim, co przygotowuję do zjedzenia. Aby nie być tylko kucharzem, ale artystą. Autorka przygotowywała książkę przez dwa lata i zrobiła to cudownie. Na moich oczach Escoffier ożył, stał się nieznośnym i, przynajmniej dla mnie, ...more
Mar 13, 2013 Sfar89 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't fully enjoy this book. This book sounded like a good read, and is why I suggested it to my book club. I never felt a connection with any of the characters. I could have even put the book down half way and never picked it up again, and that wouldn't have bothered me.
The cooking and food mentioned in the book were its only saving grace. I love to cook. I could feel my hunger as Sabine ate the langoustines in the stairwell, and licked her fingers clean. By the end of the book I realized t
Cherie Magnus
Jun 11, 2012 Cherie Magnus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, even more so if you are hungry.
As far as I can tell, the facts of Escoffier's life are there. Perhaps his private life is embroidered a bit,
but it is a novel after all. A very entertaining read, especially if you are a foodie like me.
However living as I do in a land where the ingredients he uses do not exist (except for eggs, cream and parsley), I was frustrated at the sensuous descriptions of the dishes.
If you like to cook--if you like to eat well, this easy read can be
Jan 19, 2012 Candice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carol W.
A fictionalized account of the life of Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935). Such beautiful writing! I could almost see, hear, feel, smell and taste the story. The descriptions of some of the dishes he prepared made me want to prepare them myself. Although fiction, many things were true. He did win his wife, the poet Delphine Daffis, in a poker game! He carried on a decades-long affair with the actress Sarah Bernhardt. He lived apart from his wife for a good deal of their marriage. N.M. Kelby tells his ...more
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Dr. Nicole Mary Kelby is the critically acclaimed international author of seven novels including THE PINK SUIT, WHITE TRUFFLES IN WINTER and the New York Times bestseller IN THE COMPANY OF ANGELS. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Bush Artist Fellowship in Literature, Florida Book Award, and both the Florida and Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship. She is toured and ...more
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“And he was forever hers. No matter whom he loved, or was loved by, the shadow of her always remained.” 3 likes
“Her heart beat with the rattle of broken wings.” 3 likes
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