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Flavors of Life

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Flavors of Life is a collection of inspirational biographies, sharing the stories of 62 entrepreneurs from around the world. Ranging from a famous Swiss drummer to an American ballet dancer to those who grew up during the apartheid in South Africa or in a small village in the mountains of Nepal, they are connected by a common thread: all own a restaurant in Amsterdam. To t ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 24th 2016 by JL Publishing (first published May 4th 2016)
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May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I honestly never thought that behind restaurants there were incredible stories of overcoming adversities, tenacity or perseverance, passion for cooking or love for food.

Along came Flavors of Life, written by world traveler, expat and now author Jessica Lipowski who left the USA in search of adventures, opportunities and life-changing experiences at the other side of the planet, most specifically in the Netherlands where she currently lives.

Being an enthusiast foodie, she set out to try all diffe
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You can read this book in different ways. For instance, you can use the information for a successful culinary tour of Amsterdam. You can read it too as a collection of inspirational stories of people from all over the world who found their luck, and sometimes love too, out of their comfort zone. Or, you can read it too as a testimony of how rich a relatively small country as the Netherlands can be by welcoming different people. Each story presented in the book can teach you something and at the ...more
Savannah Grace
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The author brings the world to the reader as she tells their personal stories and the photos compliment each one. Having travelled to 100+ countries myself, seeing the photos and reading the stories from lives around the world makes me nostalgic for a time gone by in my own life. Some of the personal adventures and struggles faced in this book are mind blowing! Refugees escaping their countries to find protection in Amsterdam are the most impressive and eye-opening. “Flavors of Life” reminds us ...more
Samuel Sheffield
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m an expat living in Amsterdam so it was a delight reading similar stories of people arriving to this city and starting a new life. The hard work and effort of the author, Jessica Lipowski shines through on the pages. She has beautifully captured the honest stories of the sixty-two restaurateurs in the book and in the process has created a hymn about life.
I do warn you that this is expensive. Save enough money for the book and the bill at each of these restaurants because you’ll be tempted to
Claire Gibson
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was honoured to be asked to be a beta reader of this book. The concept was marvelous and a great way to introduce the world to the people behind the wonderful ethnic restaurants in Amsterdam.

The writing was not edited as much as it should have been and the stories lacked passion. I truly hope that this went through another series of editing and rewrite before it was sent to publish as it could truly be a successful first novel, with a good lead to becoming a noteworthy series.

I wish the writ
Maggie Watkins
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is so interesting and it’s obvious that a lot of time and effort went into it! I love reading all the short stories of all the lives of the restaurant owners. I think that every coffee table should have one.
Erik Scalavino
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you've never been to Amsterdam and want a taste of what it's like, sink your teeth into Jessica Lipowski's "Flavors of Life." Or if you have been to the city and long to return, this book is like a whiff of something wonderful cooking in the kitchen. I fall into the former category, and Jess's book has me excited (even more) to book a trip and visit some of the great places profiled in her comprehensive compilation. The stories of the owners are compelling, poignant, and inspirational. After ...more
Dana Elliott
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What fascinating descriptions of the unique lives of Amsterdam’s restaurant entrepreneurs! The author of “Flavors of Life” demonstrates a flair for crafting clever stories. The book’s format creates 42 vignettes with photo stories and neatly packages them in short chapters. This delightful format allowed me to read a stand-alone anecdote in a short window of time or else I could be carried through anecdotes upon anecdotes in one sitting. Because of the author’s clever detective work and reportin ...more
Richie Miller
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The author has done a great job in capturing the essence of a great deal of life's important aspects as she writes about unity in our love for a good company, family, fiends and of course food while she does so with writing about how diverse we actually are. I loved to read this book. Sometimes you just pick it up and read a chapter or two. Somehow, these stories always manage to cheer me up and remind me how lucky we are and it also very empowering to read the personal stories of these restaura ...more
Jennifer Dupuis
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The colorful cover drew me in to this book, and scanning the (full-color, full of pictures and maps) inside pages convinced me to start reading. The author has done something here that celebrates our world in a unique way: originally from Detroit (like me), she now lives in Amsterdam and she's collected the stories of 61 people from 41 countries who have opened restaurants in Amsterdam. As someone who has dreamed of living abroad and immersing myself in foreign culture, I find this concept excit ...more
Amy French
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed "Flavors of Life" that looks at the stories of sixty-two restaurateurs from around the world who have settled in Amsterdam. The author, Jessica Lipowski, brings to life their tales of immigration and entrepreneurial success. Their stories...sometimes sad, sometimes happy, but always interesting...left me wanting to read more. As a journalistic author, Lipowski excels. She does a great job providing enough historical context for each character to draw the reader in and draws infe ...more
Ann Hekhuis
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very entertaining read that blends restaurant information and interesting background information on the owners. After reading this, I've started to think about the background of any restaurant that I go to. This book has also peaked my interest in visiting the Netherlands to further explore such an exciting melting pot of a country. ...more
Lisa Vismara
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved the idea of this book and enjoyed the wonderful stories. I have never been to Amsterdam but the book may inspire a trip! I think this would make a great book club book and could be paired with food theme. It has made me wonder about the story behind some of my favorite restaurants.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a delight from cover to cover, full of dynamic and inspirational stories that bring life to the restaurants of Amsterdam and how they came to be. This book can be enjoyed in more ways than one, like a small snack if you read just one story on its own, or a multi-course meal as you devour many stories at a time. Regardless of how you read it, the depth of research and heart that Jessica Lipowski has poured into her work shows. So often I find myself seeking ethnic restaurants for a n ...more
Jessica Cutrufello
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading a story or two (each is only a few pages long) before heading to bed. It made for a nice feel-good moment before falling asleep. As someone who recently moved to Amsterdam, reading the stories of some of my favorite spots, and finding restaurants from reading this book makes it incredibly valuable and meaningful for me. I love trying new foods and new cuisines and Flavors of Life not only showcases restaurants, but many cuisines and cultures, and of course, the story behind it al ...more
Brandon Watkins
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazingly unique read. I've never come across anything like it!

The detail is unmatched as the author follows those around the world, who eventually gather in Amsterdam, building new lives, sharing their varying cultures and presenting delicious ethnic food for all to enjoy. Having the maps available displaying hometown countries was a definite plus.

For those who really enjoy eating outside the home, perhaps the reader might consider a possible challenge. Choose one of the restaurants
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had this book when I lived in Europe. Many stories about people who went against all the odds, opened restaurants and made a go of them. If you are planning a trip to Europe or just enjoy reading stories about people that overcome the odds against them and make winderful places to eat then this is the book for you. I highly recommend it, when you are traveling you want to find a place that is Good to eat at not pay big bucks for mediocrity. The stories are excellent.
Ann Leuenberger
rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2017
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, food
Travel is an organizing principle of my life. Also eating food. And have I mentioned beverages? In Flavors of Life, Jessica Lipowski has taken my three favorite activities and combined them with a few other of my favorite things and reasons for living: Amsterdam, people and cultures. In her adopted city, this American writer and traveler discovered other immigrants from around the world who had also chosen Amsterdam as home. What these people had in common was their love of food from their nativ ...more
rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2017
Jessica Lipowski
Mar 31, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: favorites
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Jessica Lipowski is the author of Flavors of Life (2016). Jessica, originally from Detroit, Michigan and a graduate of Michigan State University, moved to the Netherlands in February 2011. With previous journalistic work published on (part of USAToday) and in The Washington Times, she is now an author and lives in Los Angeles. The book, in combination with Jessica’s past work experience ...more

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