When Anne Else married at the age of 19, she had never cooked a meal, despite having grown up above a grocery shop. That shaky start notwithstanding, she went on to become an enthusiastic cook—with a bit of help from Elizabeth David, Nancy Spain, Katharine Whitehorn, and the Duchess of Windsor. In this captivating memoir, Else recounts the story of her life, from her first marriage and motherhood; through becoming a feminist, divorcing, remarrying, finding her birth mother, and the heartbreaking loss of family members; to forging a lively community of new friends through her food blog in her 60s. By turns charming, funny, warm, poignant, and wise, this book offers readers delicious recipes from every era of Else’s cooking career.
About the Author
Anne Else is a New Zealand writer, editor, blogger, the author or coauthor of five books on women and social history, and a cook and gourmand. In 2004 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature.
“As with all life stories, the individual details make it extraordinary—and in Anne Else’s case the details are more extraordinary than many.” —Ruth Nichol, New Zealand Books
“I fell in love with the style of this book from the start . . . it is an absolute delight to read this delicate morsel of a book that leaves a lingering taste of a meal lovingly shared and enjoyed.” —Elisabeth Marrow, Daily Post
“She has the writer’s instinct for a good story and the editor’s keen eye for accuracy and brevity. . . . This is a disarmingly intimate life account that fast forwards and winds back as she savors and suffers a life of friendship, motherhood, love, loss and mealtimes.” —Susette Goldsmith, Listener
“The only thing it left me wanting was more. Like a good meal, I just didn’t want it to stop. It felt like a real privilege to read such and intimate and honest story.” —Sue Kerr, Five Course Garden
“Anne Else writes beautifully about food memories, good and bad, and interweaves funny, interesting, and at times sad stories about people in her life. The recipes mentioned are collected at the end, by the time you finish this life-affirming memoir, you’ll feel like those recipes have been passed on by an old friend.” —Shelley Howells, Kia Ora
“After flicking through just a couple of pages The Colour of Food had me hooked . . . it reads like a novel, but it is real, touching and insightful. . . . An absolute gem.” —Nom Nom Panda
“I hadn’t quite anticipated how [Else] would draw me in with her incredibly vivid storytelling—I ended up reading the whole thing in less than 24 hours. . . . Her experiences are rich and varied, she is open and honest, and the emotions—at both ends of the spectrum—reach out of the book and grab you the whole way through.” —Rosa Slack, The Culinary Explorations of Mrs Cake
"Seriously good writing is Anne’s staple, with well-blended handfuls of humour, social commentary and a couple of dozen recipes included." —Ruth Brassington, Scoop