Italian trattorias ... don’t often serve dishes worthy of the label ‘magnifico.’ ... If this is home cooking, it’s the kind Michelangelo’s mother used to do.
Alan Richman, Golden Dish Award, GQ
Emotionally resonant, wickedly candid, and warm-hearted, Once Upon a Tuscan Table is a savory stew of tantalizing recipes, memorable characters, and lively anecdotes. As Canadian-born Sharon Oddson Gargani recounts her life, in good times and bad, food is always in the foreground—from Grandma Gerda’s roast stuffed goose at Christmas to the signature dishes of her internationally renowned Florentine restaurant and cooking school.
In a narrative worthy of comic opera, we follow the travails and triumphs of Sharon and husband Giuliano, as Trattoria Garga evolves from a tiny hole-in-the-wall to a favored haunt of glitterati set in a fourteenth-century palazzo. Over the years, accolades from Gourmet and other international magazines (including GQ’s coveted Golden Dish Award and Bon Appetit’s “Best Class in a Restaurant” in Florence) have come in quick succession.
The author penetrates deep into the complex world of the fascinating Gargani family—ruled by its matriarch, the inimitable Zoe—whose immense vitality goes hand in hand with medieval mysticism and Old World superstition. Once Upon a Tuscan Table is a touching love story, a thrilling travel narrative, a boisterously amusing coming-of-age chronicle and, of course, a fabulous cookbook, in which every recipe is a gem.
About the Author
Sharon Oddson Gargani is a partner of Trattoria Garga and proprietor of La Cucina del Garga cooking school. She lives in Florence, Italy.
Rena Bulkin, a freelance writer, is coauthor of The Second Avenue Deli Cookbook. She lives in New York City.