My Berlin Kitchen Book Review and Giveaway

{This giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Annie, comment #28.  You won!}

Have you ever read The Wednesday Chef?  I found it one day years ago when I was blog surfing (is that what it’s still called?)  I immediately fell in love with the recipes, the writing, and the way I felt after reading.  One of my favorite things about reading blogs was being transported into an episode of someone’s life.

I received a preview copy of My Berlin Kitchen by Luissa Weiss, The Wednesday Chef, and I was immediately drawn into her world and memories.  You see, I’ve always been a little jealous of people who were born outside of the United States, particularly Europe.  They seem to lead more adventurous lives and eat more interesting foods, and have better stories to tell.  Far better than my (boring) upbringing in Utah.  That’s not to say I don’t have a special place in my heart for Utah.  I do.  And perhaps that’s why I identified so much with Luisa’s journey back to the city of her birth, Berlin.

I kept reading page after page, staying up too late for two nights reading until my eyelids wouldn’t stay open any longer.  I read between loads of laundry and a quick jaunt to my room to get dressed for the day.  (It turned into an hour of escapism and not even my kids found me.)

When I read the last page, my first thought was, “Oh…it’s over.”  Sigh.  I wanted it to keep going and at least I know I can keep up with Luisa on her blog.

My Berlin Kitchen is everything a memoir should be.  It reminded me a lot of Jacques Pepin’s memoirs I read in March while I was on my trip to Virginia.  The style is similar and so if you have read that book, prepare to be even more delighted with Weiss’ memoirs.  She writes with exquisite details her memories of meals with family and friends, new recipes she learned to make, crazy things that happened while she was in Paris, and so on.  When she was writing about her time in New York, I found myself transported right back there myself.  Her descriptions of New York were both accurate and funny, and made me a little homesick.

But it was her love story that kept me turning page after page.  I’m a sucker for a good love story, and this is one really good love story.  (I don’t want to give too much away!  But if you read her blog, you already know how it ends.)

So, this is my new favorite book and I want you to read it too.  I have a copy to give to one of you!  Hooray!

Giveaway info:

*All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. 
*The giveaway will end next Thursday, September 13th at midnight EST. 
*The winner will be chosen at random and contacted by e-mail and announced at the top of this post.
*Open to U.S. residents. 
*If your e-mail address isn’t linked somewhere on your profile or blog, please leave it in your comment or e-mail me.  (cafejohnsonia at gmail dot com)

Good luck!

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  1. I’m really excited to read her story and blog. My aunt was a Berlin bride during Hitler’s Germany. I was fortunate enough to be there in 1966. Our group drove behind the Wall through.Checkpoint Charlie just five years after it went up. Scary times.

  2. I love “cookbooks plus” as I like to call them. I love cookbooks and new recipes but having the stories and anecdotes is just priceless. Thank you very much for sharing! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  3. This book sounds like something my daughter would love to read. ( me too!) She went to Berlin two summers ago for a 6 weeks language course for college. She went all by herself! Now she loves everything Berlin. I know she would love this book. If I don’t win it I will have a great idea for a Christmas gift!


  4. This has been on my to read list for a couple of weeks! I’d love this.

    Thank you so much for the giveaway.

    taralorraine at


    I currently live abroad (Poland) so its hard to find a lot of ingredients that are available back home (USA)… so having a cookbook in a language I could READ and with one that has ingredients that are closer to my current home would be AWESOME.

  6. Ooooh…I would love to win this! My husband and I were fortunate enough to go to Berlin a year ago and I absolutely fell in love! Thanks for a chance to ‘feed’ my Berlin addiction!

  7. I would absolutely love to have this book… I lived in Germany for 7 years, and traveled to Berlin many many times…always finding the food in that area to be delicious, and different from what I could find in Hamburg, or Frankfurt, or Munchen.. I have many cookbooks from the different regions, but nothing that is exclusively Berlin!

  8. I totally understand when you mean you felt jealous with people born and brought up in Europe. I feel that way too living in the US. This books will be the perfect nostalgic memory of Europe for me to slide away into a gateway of heavenly dreams in Berlin!

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