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My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  3,561 ratings  ·  500 reviews
“Luisa has a way of telling a story that’s nothing short of entrancing.” —Deb Perelman, author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Chocolate and Zucchini.  101 Cookbooks. The Julie/Julia Project. In the early days of food blogs, these were the pioneers whose warmth and recipes turned their creators’ kitchens into beloved web destinations. Luisa Weiss was working in New York whe
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Viking Adult (first published September 12th 2012)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Who should read this book:
1. People who like to cook
2. People who like NYC
3. People who like Berlin
4. People who like the Italian countryside
5. People who wish they could live in Paris, even if just for a little while
6. People who like happy endings
7. People who don't mind a little navel-gazing in the pursuit of a narrative
8. People who do not appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to get collard greens, chile peppers and tamarind sauce in just about any grocery store here in the US
9. Peopl
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
I think this author probably does food blogging better than she does personal memoir. The recipes at the end of each chapter were the best part of the book- even though a lot of them were for things I don't see myself attempting anytime soon (roasted goose, elderflower syrup). She even managed to avoid, for the most pary, the condescending foodie voice that I loathe in many blogs and cooksbooks (eg. "For this part of the recipe, I use *insert exotic brand* of *insert exotic ingredient* which I b ...more
Albeit that I have definitely appreciated the included recipes and also do very well understand author Luisa Weiss' feelings of disjointedness with regard to what constitutes her home, her Heimat (as like her, I am often homesick for Germany or rather Europe when I live in Canada but also do not ever feel even remotely at home in Europe, and when visiting or living there, really always do miss North America as well), personally, I have to sadly admit that I have indeed found My Berlin Kitchen: A ...more
Danielle McClellan
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Oh dear, I wanted to like this book, which, like A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table is a memoir by a food blogger writer. Sadly, although both books cover similar territory--a memory, a recipe, a wedding--this one deeply lacks Wizenberg's sense of humor and light touch, and this author spends much of the book wringing her hands over one decision or another. I found her level of anxiety off-putting and felt that her life story was being told a bit prematurely before much h ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I was eager to read this book before it came out because I thought it would be a modern German cookbook. How wrong I was! I'm not sure how to label this new sub-genre of chicklit (foodie memoir with recipes?), but for what it is it's OK. Very similar to 'I Loved, I Lost, I made Spaghetti' and many others like it. I guess Ruth Reichl really set the template with her autobiography, but Ruth is really an amazing writer.

Luisa is very likeable - she seemed like someone you'd want to be friends with.
Sep 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
I truly, truly hated this, and think this book represents everything that sucks about blogging, and more specifically book deals that grow out of blogging. The author simply does not have a compelling story. Her life has been relatively mundane - which is fine, but certainly not worth writing about. However, even if this had just been a boring story, that would have been alright with me. What killed me was that the author THINKS she has a super compelling life story. She came across as overprivi ...more
Blog-to-book adaptations can be hit or miss; luckily, this one joins Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia and Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life in the winners column. Raised in Berlin and Boston by her American father and Italian mother, Weiss felt split between her several cultures and languages. While she was working as a cookbook editor in New York City, she started a blog, The Wednesday Chef, as a way of working through the zillions of recipes she’d clipped from here and there, and of reconnecting ...more
Sharon Huether
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story By Luisa Weiss Thank you Goodreads for sending me such a wonderful book. "It takes a village to raise a child" a phrase coined by Mrs. Clinton. There were so many people in Luisa's life that influenced her and her special talents, cooking was her forte. She even had a blog and many followers. One parent was in the US and the other in Germany. When she was an adult she flew back and forth from Germany to the US. What's so great about this book are the receipes and ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chris by: Kats
All I needed was a fabulous food memoir to break me out of my book slump. And a love story to boot! THIS is what a food memoir should be like! Think Laurie Colwin, David Lebovitz, Gesine Bullock-Prado, Elizabeth Bard--all great food writers whose memoirs I loved. Weiss takes us along the path of her divided childhood--Brookline, Massachusetts and Berlin, Germany--and the food memories that went along with that. She sometimes quickly fast forwards through parts of her life, but stops in parts whe ...more
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, giveaways
**I recieved this book free through goodreads firstreads!**

There is something wonderful about getting to read a book before it's officially's like being let in on a juicy secret! And this was a wonderful secret!

Firstly, let me say that I do not know how to cook. If it's not frozen with instructions on the box, I'm absolutely lost. But ironically I like to read about people who can in fact cook.

Luisa Weiss however, makes me WANT to learn how to cook. The way she weaves her memories
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This was one of the better written food memoir books. It would have been interesting to better understand why she moved to the U.S. with her father when she was three, rather than staying in Berlin with her mother. Most mothers wouldn't let their ex-husbands take their children to a foreign country, so I wonder what was going on there.

She also seems to want to move back either to the U.S. or to Berlin every few years, which makes me wonder if, in a few years, she is going to tell her husband sh
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
The publisher states this is a good read for those who loved JULIE AND JULIA and I agree. A memoir about a woman who returns to her home town of Berlin to make a new start. She was inspired by Little House on the Prairie books which always warms my heart.
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I'd heard great reviews about this book from the foodie bloggers I follow. It was good but not as good as I was expecting. And I'm not sure I'd try any of the recipes - not really my style of cooking. A nice love story though...
Wonderful story about an Italian American woman, raised in Berlin and Boston and her search for home and happiness through food and cooking. Really enjoyable read.

MMD Reading Challenge - A Book about a topic or subject you already love.
This truly is more of a lovestory only speckled with culinary anecdotes throughout, culminating in a truly marvellous sounding wedding in Italy. (The DREAM).
I would have expected some more foodie tidbits and more about the blog, all in all it was a nice read and since this is Luisa´s personal story, who am I to judge her life - buuuut I must say some of it felt a bit boring to read, there is something missing in the writing at times and it's not as immersive as I'd hoped.
Another thing that annoy
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think my favorite type of memoir might just be ones like My Berlin Kitchen where a chef or food enthusiast waxes poetic about their most treasured meals and recipes, filling the pages with personal anecdotes and "insider" tips. I get that these kind of memoirs aren't for everyone - after all, they aren't fast paced and not much happens other than cooking, baking, eating and the occasional trip to a local farmer's market. But I love them, especially when they're as well-written as this one was. ...more
Kelly Hager
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is subtitled "A Love Story (With Recipes)" and that's basically the gist of the book. But it's actually not just a love story in the traditional sense. It's the love she has for family and friends, the love she has for cooking (and for books!) and the love she has for her two hometowns---Berlin and Boston.

Obviously I connected to her love of books but I also connected to the way that she felt torn between her two selves, the European self and the American one. The only real problem with her
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am usually attracted to books dealing with identity issues, as far as different cultures and nationalities are concerned. This one falls exactly into that category written by a young woman born in Berlin, Germany to an Italian mother and an American father. She grows up on both sides of the Atlantic and is now searching for that feeling of "home". Well, when you add her descriptions of food and cooking, and a few recipes here and there, it makes for an interesting read.Her writing feels honest ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like The Wednesday Chef a lot, but I haven't been reading long enough to remember the whole story. This book was a nice summing up, as well as being many more things: cookbook, memoir, love story, coming-of-age. Maybe it's my age, but very much of it felt so familiar. Also, there are several delicious-sounding things in here that I want to cook.
Angie Hardy
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Who hasn't dreamed about starting over in a completely different country. This book definitely made me want to visit Berlin. I really adored Luisa and the recipes sounded mouthwatering; I plan to try some of them.

I won this book on GoodReads First Reads program.
Melissa Allen
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A highly enjoyable read if you love cooking and travel/food of other countries. This book gets a lot of negative reviews for not being “transformative”—know going in it’s not that kind of memoir. It is about a woman with a good life—not without hardships, but it’s a pretty charmed life and she acknowledges that wholeheartedly. She shares her wonderful real life love story, and overall this is a light, fun and interesting memoir. A side note—I listened to the audible version which I would not rec ...more
Nora Philbin
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Memoirs should always be paired with a menu, and the recipes in the book are such a wonderful edition. I loved being taken along on an honest, not always flattering, journey that I think many of us dream of one day taking: going home and seeing our past through the lens of who we are now.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The audio version does contain recipes on the mp3, but I was listening in my car, so this review does not include recipes. The food, though, sounded really good. Mostly, though, this is a story about heartbreak & then finding ourself, and then it's a love story, and then food. Not my usual order, but I liked it a lot! ...more
Marjorie Elwood
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just what the subtitle says it is - a love story with recipes - this is a haunting and honest story about feeling divided by geography, family loyalty, and romantic relationships. The recipes look delicious as well.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
People who don't like this book
1. Maybe have never made a really good meal?
2. Aren't Romantics
3. Don't like love stories
4. Didn't read the back cover before signing up?
Part travelogue, part memoir, part history lesson, part cookbook, and yes, as advertised on the cover, part love story - I really enjoyed "My Berlin Kitchen," and I was moved by Weiss' honest narrative style and her journey. I picked it up after first finding her cookbook on German baking (those of you who want a full, honest-to-
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
I really wanted to love this book. All the elements were there - memoir, a girl growing up on two continents, life in multiple cool cities (Berlin, Rome, NYC, Boston, Paris). But as darling as the author is, there was a LOT of detail in each sentence, and I was forced to start skimming. I also felt she hadn't lived long enough to really come to any life conclusions (even though some were presented). She wasn't far enough out from these experiences to have perspective. I most enjoyed the last par ...more
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, arc, blog, arc-donation
Originally posted at Nose in a Book

This book made me so happy. I’ve read the author’s’ blog, The Wednesday Chef, for quite some time, so when there was a chance to get an ARC of her book My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story, I had to enter. I loved almost everything about this book. The cover, the writing, the recipes.

This is the story of Luisa Weiss. She was born to an English father, Italian mother, in cold war West Germany. She moves a lot between various countries and ends up taking a jump and
I was looking for something light to read. Fluffy, comforting and with a guaranteed happy ending. Extra points if it talked about food. This book hit me right in the ennui, the one that I battle day in and day out. It made me feel that I too am lost in a city where I’ve never felt like I belong. This book drove me to write, whether it would be a food blog or a short story. It filled me with such fierce yearning that I don’t know how I managed to breathe through it.

That’s what this book made me f
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it

Excellent. Inspired me to get back into cooking and the courage to cook for a large group.

I put off reading this because I was so looking forward to it and it did not disappoint! I had never heard of the blog or author before seeing this on the Giveaways page but I was cheering and connecting with the author throughout the book. A warm, approachable personality shines through the book and including actual recipes was awesome!

My criticisms are that as the cha
I don't regret spending time with this book--and I had so looked forward to it too. It has its charms. I read it eagerly--except for a bit of a lull in the middle where there's a crisis. There's plenty of French and Italian food and atmosphere in here, but the more interesting parts are the German sections because that's a lesser-known area in the likable food-memoirs of today. She's an interesting woman, Luisa Weiss, with her many cultures and all those languages. She's shy and not showy. She l ...more
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Luisa Weiss was born in West Berlin and spent her childhood shuttling back and forth between her Italian mother in Berlin and her American father in Boston. She started her much loved and highly acclaimed food blog, The Wednesday Chef, in 2005, and has worked as a literary scout and cookbook editor in New York. She now lives in Berlin with her husband and son.

News & Interviews

In most historical romances, love and marriage go together like...well, a horse and carriage. But what if the girl part of the girl-meets-boy...
35 likes · 14 comments
“I couldn't will my beloved Berlin streets across the world or make the people I loved appear when I needed them, but by summoning the flavors of Berlin and the foods of my loved ones, my kitchen became my sanctuary, the stove my anchor.

Distance means nothing when your kitchen smells like home.”
“Distance means nothing when your kitchen smells like home.” 5 likes
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