Author(s): Luke Barr
Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today's tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters-some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope-complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.
"Luke Barr has inherited the clear and inimitable voice of his great-aunt M.F.K. Fisher, and deftly portrays a crucial turning point in the history of food in America with humor, intimacy and deep perception. This book is beautifully written and totally fascinating to me, because these were my mentors--they inspired a generation of cooks in this country." --Alice Waters "Luke Barr conjures the past and pries open the window on a little known moment in time that had profound implications on how we live today. With an insider's access, a detective's curiosity, and a poet's sensitivity, he illuminates a culinary clique that not only changed the way we eat, but how we think about food. "Provence, 1970" is as much a meditation on the nature of transition and the role of friendship, as it is on the power of food to unite, divide, and ultimately nourish the soul. For this a 'non-foodie' it was a revelation--for the connoisseur among us, it may well be orgiastic." --Andrew McCarthy, author of "The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down" "Luke Barr has brought the icons of the food world vibrantly to life and captured the moment when their passion for what's on the plate sparked a cultural breakthrough. His graceful prose provides a thorough, affecting account of their talents and reveals how their disparate personalities defined the very essence of French cuisine." --Bob Spitz, author of "Dearie" "Brilliant conversation, dimmed lights, culinary intrigue, urchin mousse, a glass of Sauternes . . . Luke Barr has written one of the most delicious and sensuous books of all time. It brims with love of food and wine." --Gary Shteyngart, author of "The Russian Debutante's Handbook "and "Super Sad True Love Story" "Luke Barr has written a lovely, shimmering, immersive secret history of an important moment that nobody knew was important at the time." --Kurt Andersen "Luke Barr has written a wonderful, sun-dapple
Luke Barr is an editor at "Travel + Leisure "magazine. A great-nephew of M.F.K. Fisher, he was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Switzerland, and graduated from Harvard. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their two daughters.