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October 2012

My Berlin Kitchen: West Coast Tour Update

From Los Angeles, we went south first, to San Diego and more sunshine, a cozy afternoon tea organized by the intrepid reader behind Adventures By The Book, then transcendent sushi at Sushi Hane, where the beer was icy, the peppers spicy and the sushi like velvet.

Just a day later, we flew up the coast to Seattle. Seattle! I met Molly's baby girl June, ate Delancey's pizza and tomatoes so good I'd happily take them and nothing else to a desert island. Tara from Tea & Cookies did a bang-up job of hosting the book event at Seattle's University Bookstore, asking great questions and being her delightful, twinkly self.

Then on to Portland, in a terrifyingly tiny airplane that flew into the clouds and past Mount St Helens (!) for just one short evening. (Too short, since we fell in love with the city right away.) I read at Powell's to an incredible crowd and debated pitching camp in the cavernous bookstore for the rest of my life. What an incredible place! What I didn't know is that it would soon get competition.

My Berlin Kitchen: West Coast Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen: West Coast Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen: West Coast Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen: West Coast Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen: West Coast Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen: Book Tour Update

The past week has been the thrill of a lifetime. Flying over Los Angeles. Waking up to palm trees. Seeing the wide expanse of the Pacific. Even a jetlagged baby awake for the day at 2:38 am couldn't dampen our spirits. And meeting the first readers at the fantastic Vroman's in Pasadena was beyond amazing. When that first event was over and I hummed with adrenaline and happiness, I could already tell I wouldn't want this tour to ever end.

My Berlin Kitchen: Book Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen: Book Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen: Book Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen: Book Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen: Book Tour Update

My Berlin Kitchen - Away We Go!


This is my friend Gemma. Isn't she pretty? I love that smile. She's been a loyal reader since the very beginning, always demanding new posts, eating my leftovers (we lived two floors apart from each other for a few years in Queens) and bugging me about when I'd ever get around to writing a book. Oh pshaw, I'd reply and get back to baking cookies or making pizza or whatever I had to do that evening for dinner. I'd feel flattered and a little embarrassed too, but mostly I didn't think I had it in me at all. So consider me the most surprised of anyone that I did do it in the end. I did it! I wrote a book!

It has been, no joke, one of the biggest thrills of my life to hear and see, via Twitter and Facebook and emails and Instagram (I'm @wednesdaychef there), the book landing on all your front steps this week. I can't stop pinching myself. I have loved hearing your first impressions and seeing the recipes appear as finished dishes in your kitchens. Actually, even more than loving it, it has been blowing my mind. How is this my life?

And tomorrow we start the first leg of our crazy journey, baby in tow, across the pond. (Pleasegodlethimsleep.)

This is where I'll be reading over the next two weeks:

Friday, September 21st, 7:00 pm:
LOS ANGELES, CA - Vroman's Bookstore

Saturday, September 22nd, 2:30 pm:
SAN DIEGO, CA - Adventures by the Book, Westgate Hotel

Monday, September 24, 7:00 pm:
SEATTLE, WA - University Bookstore. Bonus: Tara Austen Weaver will be hosting this!

Tuesday, September 25th, 7:30 pm:
PORTLAND, OR - Powell's Books

Wednesday, September 26th, 6:00 pm:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Book Passage

Thursday, September 27, 12:00 pm
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Rakestraw Books

Thursday, September 27, 7:00 pm:
SANTA CRUZ, CA - Bookshop Santa Cruz

Sunday, September 30, 5:00 pm:
WASHINGTON, DC - Politics & Prose

Monday, October 1, 7:00 pm:
NEW YORK, NY - Powerhouse Arena

Tuesday, October 2, 7:00 pm:
BOSTON, MA - Harvard Book Store

Can't wait to see you there. And to give my friend up there with the shiny eyes a big old hug. Living up to someone else's hopes for you is a pretty spectacular feeling. Living up to something you never in a million years thought you could do is stratospheric.

My Berlin Kitchen - Getting Fired Up!

Folks! If you pre-ordered your copy of My Berlin Kitchen on, it'll be released and sent out on Thursday. This Thursday! If you preferred to wait and give your hard-earned dollars to bricks-and-mortars bookstores, they'll be selling the book as of next Monday. That's 8 days from now! Haa-haa-hooo-heee!!

Now for a bit of shameless self-promotion:

O Magazine's October issue says My Berlin Kitchen is one of 10 Titles To Pick Up Now! It's also gotten wonderful mentions in Elle, Marie Claire, Culinate, Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist.

The first blogger reviews are coming in and they have me practically in tears. In a good way!

Food Loves Writing says: "I went into the book eager to hear how Luisa and her husband met, what made her move to Berlin, more details about her life in New York publishing. What I didn’t expect was to find so much that resonated with me, like the way she wrestled with decisions or the security that cooking could provide when she lacked it..."

Lit Laugh Love says: "I can guarantee every single one of you that this will be the most tattered book on my shelves as the years go on. This is a book I’m going to turn to—for strength, for memories, for someone to share heartache with, for recipes, for solace, and most importantly for the reminder that life goes on. We need to follow our guts. We need to 'be brave'."

BrodartVibe says: "Her journey finding herself within these separate lives is a great adventure with lots of great recipes along the way. This book in many ways reminded of the journey of Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love."

If you'd like more reader reviews, click on over to My Berlin Kitchen's page on Goodreads.

Also, the book's adapted first serial is running in this weekend's Wall Street Journal. Remember that disastrous cake I posted about a few years ago? The full story's in the book, but to tide you over until then and to whet your appetite for gooseberry cream cake, check out the article and recipe here.

Finally, a huge thank you, dearest readers, for your pre-orders and enthusiasm. I can't believe the book will be in stores and in your hands so soon. What a crazy, crazy ride this whole book-writing experience has been. (More on that soon, I promise!) I so, so hope you like it.