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Love, Loss, and What We Ate

A Memoir

About the Book

A vivid memoir of food and family, survival and triumph, Love, Loss, and What We Ate traces the arc of Padma Lakshmi’s unlikely path from an immigrant childhood to a complicated life in front of the camera—a tantalizing blend of Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone and Nora Ephron’s Heartburn

Long before Padma Lakshmi ever stepped onto a television set, she learned that how we eat is an extension of how we love, how we comfort, how we forge a sense of home—and how we taste the world as we navigate our way through it. Shuttling between continents as a child, she lived a life of dislocation that would become habit as an adult, never quite at home in the world. And yet, through all her travels, her favorite food remained the simple rice she first ate sitting on the cool floor of her grandmother’s kitchen in South India.

Poignant and surprising, Love, Loss, and What We Ate is Lakshmi’s extraordinary account of her journey from that humble kitchen, ruled by ferocious and unforgettable women, to the judges’ table of Top Chef and beyond. It chronicles the fierce devotion of the remarkable people who shaped her along the way, from her headstrong mother who flouted conservative Indian convention to make a life in New York, to her Brahmin grandfather—a brilliant engineer with an irrepressible sweet tooth—to the man seemingly wrong for her in every way who proved to be her truest ally. A memoir rich with sensual prose and punctuated with evocative recipes, it is alive with the scents, tastes, and textures of a life that spans complex geographies both internal and external.

Love, Loss, and What We Ate is an intimate and unexpected story of food and family—both the ones we are born to and the ones we create—and their enduring legacies.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Startlingly honest… Not only is it a deeply revealing and personal book, but an evocative one filled with lovely turns of phrase.” —Daily Beast

“[A] surprisingly engrossing memoir/tell-all/cookbook.” —AV Club

“[An] appealing new memoir...The savoring of meals and snacks can be described as evocatively as the preparation.” —USA Today

“[An] open, thoughtful memoir.” —Seattle Times

“An absorbing memoir… An intimate, revealing portrait, far different from the woman blazoned in the tabloids.” —Kirkus

“[A] substantial and edgy memoir, LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT WE ATE, stands out amid the ebb and flow of today’s global celebrity-consciousness as the work of someone seriously dedicated to multiple achievements…. This is a true gem of a memoir for reading, tasting, sharing and learning.” —Book Reporter

“There is more to the memoir than Lakshmi’s turbulent personal life. She also writes lovingly of her mother and extended maternal family in India.” —Los Angeles Times

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062202611
  • ISBN 10: 0062202618
  • Imprint: Ecco
  • On Sale: 03/08/2016
  • Pages: 336
  • List Price: 33.50 CAD
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • BISAC2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Culinary
  • BISAC3: HEALTH & FITNESS / Women's Health

Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi

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