In 1971, Sophia Loren went from silver screen to kitchen counter, playing the role of a perfect host to offer fans a real taste of her life with a book that included over 200 recipes. It read like a casual chat with her in the kitchen, full of love and inspiration, and the first edition sold hundreds of thousands of copies in Italy and abroad.
Loren wrote the book in 1968, when she was confined to the Geneva Hotel Intercontinental due to her pregnancy. In the forward, she wrote, “I needed two things for a book like this: time and a penchant for cooking. I never had much of the first in between movies, but I always had plenty of the second. With one nuisance: having to restrain myself, or I might ruin my waist.”
She went on to include recipes as well as childhood memories, stories from her travels, advice from many chefs, and a collection of personal notes that make the book a very special mix of di food, thoughts and reflections..
Here are a couple examples we enjoyed:
Dining with a large number of guests
They say, in terms of cooking, that you should not have more than eight guests; […] Try having more than eight people at the table: conversation and exchanges will become difficult. Everyone will end up talking to the person on their right or on their left, especially if the table is not round but rectangular. It’s even worse at formal lunches, when people all sit in line on one side of the table!
[…] I’ve tried to find a different solution. This is what I do: if there are more than twelve guests, I set different tables so everyone is comfortable, but I don’t have them served sitting down. Everyone can serve themselves at the buffet, and sit next to whoever they are more interested in.
I discovered this dish in 1956, in Madrid, Spain. Cary Grant – whom I was deeply in awe of – introduced it to me. I will always remember how he smiled, happy to be the Amphitryon presenting a new delicacy to his unaware guest. That smile gave me comfort and was the beginning of our friendship.