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Barolo (At Table)


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At once an intimate travelogue and a memoir of a culinary education, the book details the adventures of a not-so-innocent abroad in Barolo, a region known for its food and wine (also called Barolo).

Table of Contents


1. The Fewest Idiots

2. Dialing for Raffaella

3. The Boy Brings Me

4. Enough

5. Four Sips

6. All You Have to Do is Say, "Si"

7. Grape-Shaped Ball of Light

8. Between the Bell Beats

9. Red-Beard's Silent Deal

10. Dixieland Basement

11. Pruning

12. Follow the Steeple

13. Limbo on the Landscape

14. Slow

15. Halves

16. Luca Sandrone Enters Shakedown Street

17. Chandelier, Carpet, Mariuccia

18. Orange

19. The Bleary Music of Wineshop Franco

20. Breadstick Hydra

21. Raw Meat and Barry White

22. When She Draws It, She Draws It

23. The Unfinished

24. Trust the Pear

25. Italian Butcher Shop Blues

26. Instructions of Ercole

27. Laundry

28. The Other Side of Tonight

29. Billboards, Booths, and Cameras

30. Valentina and the First Taste

31. Six Barolos, Four Figs

32. From Barolo to Vinegar

33. The Truffle of the Barn

34. Sleeptasting

35. One More Song

36. Heroes and Villains Commune Over Ceci

37. Nightpicking

38. La Partenza della Filovia

39. The Dateless Label

40. Something Small to Tide Me Over

41. Late

42. He Was Right

About the Author

Matthew Gavin Frank worked for over fifteen years in the food and restaurant industry in positions ranging from dishwasher to sous-chef, server to sommelier, menu consultant to catering-business owner, farmhand to janitor. An assistant professor of creative writing at Northern Michigan University, he has published essays in Gastronomica, Creative Nonfiction, and Best Food Writing 2006 and is the author of Pot Farm (Nebraska, 2012).


"A misfit in America, an unhappy cook in a series of second-rate restaurants, Frank seizes a chance to escape into a better world. We never learn how he first met Rafaella, or convinced her to let him pitch a tent behind Il Gioco dell"Oca, her bed-and-breakfast near Barolo. But there he is, struggling with minimal Italian, working the grape harvest with Luciano Sandrone, plunging headfirst into a world of mysterious, overwhelming sensations." Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator "Besides conveying the sensuality of the place, Frank offers insight into the region's history." Booklist "Aaahhh ... ! Here are all the joys of being young and exuberant and passionate and in love with women, and life, and better yet ... in Barolo. This remarkable and enchanting tale makes me want to set the clock back many years and to book passage to Italy and to the sips of the world's greatest wine, and to be inspired by all the things that make life such a wonderful journey! Kudos to Matthew Gavin Frank for reminding us what really makes life worth living!" Charlie Trotter, chef, author, and host of PBS's Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter "One swig of this book, and you're hooked". "If you love red wine, you'll love this book. And it's just as hard to put down this book as it is a glass of good red. This irresistible story takes you to the real Italy and its rich fragrant wine region where Barolo is made. I want to live in this book forever." Gale Gand, executive pastry chef and partner of Tru in Chicago and host of the Food Network's Sweet Dreams "In his memoir, Matthew Gavin Frank has truly captured the essence of this enticing region of Italy through his evocative descriptions of the landscape, the cuisine, the local characters, and his multifaceted experience with the Nebbiolo grape. This book transported me right back to Piemonte; wherever you are, as you read, you will start to smell the tartufo, the vineyards, the salumi, and of course the red wines of Barolo!" Belinda Chang, wine director at The Modern in New York City

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