Beyond its title’s unexpected relevance, Always Home is the perfect book I to curl up with in these times. Fanny Singer has written a warm, lovely memoir about growing up as the daughter of culinary icon Alice Waters—who raised her to appreciate beauty in the world and to be grateful for good food, family, and friends. Singer writes with humor and grace and an awareness of the privilege she enjoyed growing up at Chez Panisse and traveling the globe on culinary adventures. Although she clearly adores her mother, she thankfully does not shy away from including her foibles—such as her insistence on highly curated spaces (leading to hiding clothing and items deemed too garish) and her complete lack of baking talent. This book is a total delight (the description of Fanny’s school lunches had me in stitches) and even includes recipes.
Beyond its title’s unexpected relevance, Always Home is the perfect book to curl up with in these times. Fanny Singer has written a warm, lovely memoir about growing up as the daughter of culinary icon Alice Waters, who raised her to appreciate beauty in the world and to be grateful for good food, family, and friends. Singer writes with humor and grace and an awareness of the privilege she enjoyed growing up at Chez Panisse and traveling the world on culinary adventures. Although she clearly adores her mother, she thankfully does not shy away from including her foibles—such as her insistence on highly curated spaces (leading to hiding clothing and items deemed too garish) and her complete lack of baking talent. This book is a total delight (the description of Fanny’s school lunches had me in stitches) and even includes recipes.
A culinary memoir-in-recipes about growing up as the daughter of revered chef and restaurateur Alice Waters: a story of food, family, and the need for beauty in all aspects of life. • With a foreword by Alice Waters
In this extraordinarily intimate portrait of her mother—and herself—Fanny Singer, daughter of food icon and activist Alice Waters, chronicles a unique world of food, wine, and travel; a world filled with colorful characters, mouthwatering traditions, and sumptuous feasts. Across dozens of vignettes with accompanying recipes, she shares the story of her own culinary coming of age and reveals a side of her legendary mother that has never been seen before. A charming, smart translation of Alice Waters's ideals and attitudes about food for a new generation, Always Home is a loving, often funny, unsentimental, and exquisitely written look at a life defined in so many ways by food, as well as the bond between mother and daughter.
About the Author
FANNY SINGER is a writer, editor, and co-founder of the design brand, Permanent Collection. In 2013, she received a Ph.D. on the subject of the British pop artist Richard Hamilton's late work from the University of Cambridge. In 2015, she and her mother, Alice Waters, published My Pantry, which she also illustrated. Having spent more than a decade living in the United Kingdom, Fanny recently moved back to her native California. Based in San Francisco, she travels widely, contributing art reviews and culture writing to a number of publications including Frieze, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, Apartamento, T Magazine, and Art Papers, among others.
“You will probably pick up this book because you’re curious about how it feels to grow up with Alice Waters as your mother. But you will inevitably be captivated by Fanny Singer’s sensuous voice and sensible soul. The writing’s lovely, but more than that, Fanny has struck a kind of brutal honesty that is extremely rare and completely beautiful. Her writing makes you want to taste every flavor she describes, and soon you’ll be dashing into the kitchen to make watercress soup, wild fennel cakes, and breakfast pudding. But the really important thing is that I’m pretty sure everyone who reads it will come away with the same feeling that I have: Why don’t I live my life like this? How can I do better? I love this book.” —RUTH REICHL, author of Save Me the Plums
“A charming and unique almost–love story, almost-memoir, with predictably fabulous recipes.”—MARK BITTMAN, author of How to Cook Everything
“To read Fanny Singer’s intimate and honest memoir is like having a mouthful of jewels. After fourteen years of cooking with her and her mother, Alice Waters, I got to know her even better through her perfect book. Singer’s writing reminds me about everything important to me in life, the four f ’s: friends, food, family, and fun.”—CLAIRE PTAK, owner of Violet Bakery in London and author of The Violet Bakery Cookbook
“Fanny Singer’s joyful, witty, and loving encounter with American genius inside the home and in the world heralds the arrival of a new voice, one that understands the pleasure to be found in discovery, and the ever evolving mystery embedded in the known. A book like no other, an instant classic.”—HILTON ALS, staff writer, The New Yorker
“Singer’s memoir, Always Home: A Daughter’s Recipes & Stories, is a tender portrait of the woman better known to the world as the mother of the farm-to-table movement.” —CHLOE MALLE, Vogue, “The 5 Best Books of 2020 (So Far)” “In this wondrous memoir-cookbook hybrid . . . Singer’s language is read-out-loud luscious, and her culinary coming-of-age story savory and sweet.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“This heartwarming, feel-good, highly recommended memoir will appeal to fans of cooking, culinary travels, and family ties.” —Library Journal
“Singer’s charming narrative, interwoven with Lacombe’s painterly black-and-white photographs, bursts with sensuous descriptions of tastes, fragrances, and textures as she recounts her “very rich and full and just a little bit unconventional” young life . . . . An intimate homage to an iconic restaurateur.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Singer tells her own tale and that of her influential mother, tying the two together with their love of food and knack for powerful storytelling.” —Town & Country (“6 Best Books to Read This March”)
"Fanny Singer’s book about growing up with celeb chef and food activist Alice Waters—her mom—is a refreshing reprieve from sad tales of famous family life. It’s an intimate look at how a woman at the top of her culinary game has kept a close, collaborative relationship with her daughter."—Chatelaine (“11 Books We Can't Wait To Read This Spring”)