MY FAVORITE PEOPLE, MY FAVORITE RECIPES: DAVID LEITE
At my very-first IACP conference, I met this great, gregarious guy who seemed to know everyone and have the skinny on everything. Because he does. David Leite (Portuguese for milk, rhymes with eat) curates the award-winning culinary clearinghouse Leite’s Culinaria, which he founded in 1999, before blogs were a thing. His 2010 book The New Portuguese Table won the IACP/Julia Child First Book Award. His brand spankin’ new Notes on a Banana (Banana is David’s family nickname) explores another country — a bigger, darker one — bipolar disorder. Leite has not only struggled with it, he’s pulled off the magic trick of turning his experience into a joyride of a read. The book is also a love story about his larger-than-life Portuguese family and of course it’s also about food. “It was one of the ways we bonded,” he writes.
Leite’s Culinaria lets everyone bond over food, with food essays, chef interviews, recipe-testing programming and recipes sourced from all over, including this one for DYI Larabars.
This stunning and long-awaited memoir is a candid, courageous, and at times laugh-out-loud funny story of family, food, mental illness, and sexual identity.
Notes on a Banana is his heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, yet tender memoir of growing up, accepting himself, and turning his love of food into an award-winning career. Reminiscing about the people and events that shaped him, David looks back at the highs and lows of his life: from his rejection of being gay and his attempt to “turn straight” through Aesthetic Realism, a cult in downtown Manhattan, to becoming a writer, cookbook author, and web publisher, to his twenty-four-year relationship with Alan, known to millions of David’s readers as “The One,” which began with (what else?) food. Throughout the journey, David returns to his stoves and tables, and those of his family, as a way of grounding himself.
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