Follow Here To Purchase White Truffles in Winter: A Novel

Author:  N.M. Kelby

Publisher:  W.W. Norton & Compnay

ISBN: 978-0-393-07999-9

In this decadent novel, author N.M. Kelby transports readers into the world of acclaimed French chef, Auguste Escoffier, towards the end of his life as he is writing his memoirs. Also focusing on his ailing wife, Delphine, and his impudent housekeeper, Sabine, it tackles his life beyond the kitchens of the world’s finest hotels.

Escoffier is a passionate chef who loves everything about food preparation down to lovingly caring for the tools of his craft. This passion, at times, overcomes everything around him. He escapes into his work and is able to ignore his surroundings and circumstances. The same appears to be true of his memoir writing, which allows him to escape into his memories and avoid the painful present.

Kelby writes in a sensual, evocative style. Her mouth-watering descriptions of food provide a backdrop into which she inserts mysterious, distant characters one can never quite grasp. Their motivations are often elusive, their actions evasive, and their behaviours intriguing. All of these elements invite readers to draw their own conclusions.

I found the memoir vignettes quite appealing since they combined storytelling and recipes. The cookbooks I love the most give the background and inspiration of the dish being prepared and these chapters were reminiscent of such books, adding another dimension to the novel.

I must admit that before reading this novel I didn’t know much about Escoffier, who has been called the father of modern French cuisine, and was somewhat amazed at all the culinary wonders and techniques attributed to him. It reminded me of why I love historical novels: if written and researched well, they transport readers to another time and place and cast a spotlight on historical figures that have shaped our experiences in the present. Kelby manages this feat with panache and style. Stirring ingredients of truth into a bowl of fiction, she creates an extravagant recipe. ‘White Truffles in Winter’ is an indulgent read that you don’t want to resist.

*Bio Taken From

N.M.Kelby (Nicole Mary Kelby) has been translated into several languages and offered by The Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and Quality Paperback Book Club. She is the recipient of a Bush Artist Fellowship in Literature, an NEA Inter-Arts grant, the Heekin Group Foundation's James Fellowship for the Novel, both a Florida and Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship in fiction, two Jerome Travel Study Grants, and a Jewish Arts Endowment Fellowship.

Her story "Jubilation, Florida" was selected for NPR'S "Selected Shorts," and recorded by Joanne Woodward for the CD Travel Tales, and reprinted in New Stories from the South: Best of 2006 (Algonquin Books).

Follow Here To Purchase White Truffles in Winter: A Novel