Comments: Oh boy! Another needy, fifty-something, nearly adolescent male trying to find himself through food in Europe – this one through individual cooking lessons and cooking schools. If Bob Spitz can only master cooking, surely he will be able to get his life in order.
It doesn't exactly work that way. In the end, though, he comes to some reasonable conclusions about cooking and life, but there is a fair bit of moping before he gets there. The cooking lessons – especially the schools – turn out to be a very mixed bag, and who knew they would be populated with so many unpleasant American pupils?
There are a few actual flaws – he misquotes de Gaulle, for example, and provides a tabouli recipe with no cracked wheat. You will need to have some familiarity with food and cooking to follow the narrative. But it turns out to be an interesting ride from lesson to school, from France to Italy, and from lonely divorced dad to confident cook and – quite possibly – reasonably well-adjusted grown-up.