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Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013: Over the long last weeks of 1970, the era’s true tastemakers--Julia Child, M.F.K. Fisher, James Beard, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones, among others--serendipitously found themselves gathered in Southern France. Decades later, Luke Barr, M.F.K. Fisher’s grand-nephew, discovered her journals and letters and set about recreating this time of improbably wonderful convergence, when they cooked, feasted, and talked deep into the night, arguing about technique and taste until loyalties were redrawn and opinions reinvented. Beard, Childs, and Fisher each came away with new visions for a new American food culture, distinctly different from their culinary heartland of France. With Fisher’s instinct for elegantly simple and sensuous detail, Barr immerse us in this sea change, when our collective culinary ambition started its shift from Mastering the Art of French Cooking to The Art of Simple Food. --Mari MalcolmAbout the Author:
Luke Barr is an editor at Travel + Leisure magazine. A great-nephew of M.F.K. Fisher, he was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Switzerland, and graduated from Harvard. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their two daughters.
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