Mediterranean Summer by David Shalleck (2007)

Can’t beat a book that combines sailing with cooking and takes place on the Mediterranean, from the French Riviera in the North to the island of Capri in the South.  The author, David Shalleck, is hired as the chef aboard Serenity a 100+ foot 1940’s era classic yacht, owned by an outrageously wealthy Italian couple whom he must please at every meal.  His challenge: never repeat a meal and use only the freshest local ingredients he can find for the three month sailing season.  So as readers we get to travel with him to local markets, fish mongers, patissieries, and latterie (cheese shops) from tiny villages to swanky cities as he plans his menus.  Some of his dicier moments: planning an onboard  party for over a hundred people during the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo for which he is to cook several courses (and find storage for all the food and drinks ); responding to “What are these green things?” when he served avacado slices at lunch one day; preparing a picnic for the ladies going ashore for the day with “simple foods” while keeping them cold all day without coolers.  While the lifestyle of the super rich got old after a while, the food preparation in the galley continued to entertain and inspire me.  A fun, relaxing read.  (non-fiction/memoir)

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