Silver Travel Book Club

May 2023 – Taste: My Life Through Food

We’ll explore a different destination for each Book Club, and a lucky Silver Travel Book Club reader can win a free copy of that month’s book.

Please note: the prize draw is now closed.

just you

This month the Silver Travel Book Club — proudly sponsored by Just You —is reading Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci.

From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. He shared the magic of those meals in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, with Taste taking us beyond the recipes and into the stories behind them.

Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, New York, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.

Written with Stanley’s signature wry humour and nostalgia, Taste is a heart-warming read that will be irresistible for anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.

Discover Sicily

Both Stanley Tucci’s parents were of Italian descent, a country he has an enormous love for and you too can soak in the Italian culture as you sample the sights and flavours of Italy on a tour of Sicily with Just You. Sicily is truly a feast for the eyes (and your stomach!) with stunning ancient sites and wonderous natural beauty. Experience authentic Sicilian delicacies during a street food experience in Palermo. Snacking on the street is a proud, centuries-old tradition in Palermo, Sicily’s vibrant capital. Try the scrumptious delights of arancini, chickpea fritters, deep-fried rice balls and Sicilian pizza.

As you explore Italy’s largest island, you’ll discover a host of highlights. Its most famous landmark is Mount Etna, and you can choose to ascend Europe’s tallest active volcano by cable car. Perched high on a cliff is Taormina, and here you’ll see its incredible Greco-Roman theatre. Reveal in a rich collection of Roman mosaics at the Villa del Casale, before walking the streets of Palermo, with its diverse mix of architectural styles. Explore Monreale Cathedral, which boasts many sparkling treasures and enjoy a stroll around Cefalú, a beautiful Italian seaside town. Finish this mouth-watering tour with a glass of vino at our final hotel with its own private beach. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Sicily is a firm favourite.

To find out more, visit Just You.

How to win a copy of Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

In Taste, we hear Stanley Tucci’s wonderful tales of Italian food and history. Comment below and share one of your most memorable holiday experiences involving food.

A winner will be chosen at random in early June 2023.
The competition closes on 31 May 2023.

Read more about all our Silver Travel Book Club reads.

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63 Responses

  1. We stayed in Zlatibor, an upmarket ski resort for wealthy Serbians, famous for a calorific breakfast and ironically, the Čigota weight loss clinic. At a small lakeside café we indulged in komplet lepinja, described unappetisingly as a ‘flat bun with clotted cream and fat’ – in reality, a large warm dough vol au vent full of kajmak (savoury cream cheese) and meat dripping. This salty, fatty deliciousness at 320 Dinar/£2.43 was enough to share. Although served traditionally with a glass of sour milk, we opted for shots of fiery 40% plum Rajika.

  2. A competition win with Cabushon in France with Claudia schifier at a castle with 7 course dinner

  3. Chinese restaurant in Malaga with fantastic carved fruit and vegatables to accompany every course

  4. I went to my first Michelin Star Restaurant for my 40th in Ilkley (The Boxtree) and it was divine. An experience I will never forget as such a special occasion.

  5. One of my favourite holiday experiences was on a cruise to Alaska when I got to experience and taste the wonderfully fresh seafood that prepared on board. Not normally a fan of seafood, I thoroughly enjoyed the tasty delights served to us during that week.

  6. After attending a Medieval Event day, enjoying a fabulous French meal on the banks of the river Thouet in Montreuil-Bellay

  7. It’s got to be Welsh cakes that mamgu used to make when I visited in the summer holidays.

  8. An enormous crab simply cooked in garlic butter and eaten with our fingers in a riverside restaurant in Singapore

  9. A great holiday lunch we had in Arreita Lanzarote in a beachside restaurant full of holiday makers and lots of locals , always a good sign of excellent food.
    We sat outside watching families play cricket on the beach and enjoyed lots of local fish. Garlic sizzling shrimps in hot olive oil served with freshly backed warm bread rolls to dip into the garlic oil when cooled slightly to avoid burning your mouth. With this wonderful juicy pardon peppers roasted in sea salt, Puntillitas Fritas or fried baby squid in English served with fresh aioli sauce.
    Followed by the grilled local catch of fish served on a plater ready to pick up , heads included. Surrounded with fresh local grown tomatoes, cucumber, onions and Canarian potatoes served with green and red sauce full of flavour.
    To add to this we had a plate of fish fillets cooked in an aniseed flavour batter served with freshly cut lemons.
    To end the meal they served ice cream with local crushed almonds and honey topped with cream and washed down with some local wine with a coffee and liquor to finish.
    An amazing 3 hours chatting , people watching and enjoying excellent fresh local food in the open air with the breeze keeping you cool.

  10. Best meal ever was a cote de boeuf shared with my father in a ferme auberge near Albi in France- locally grown on the farm

  11. Down a cobblestone street in the heart of Pamplona sits a wonderful restaurant on the second floor of an old building. With windows looking out onto the sunny street and surrounded by crisp white linen and gleaming old silverware, I was introduced to the magic of white asparagus, fresh and steaming with a light sauce that gave my mouth a taste of heaven.

  12. Lunch at a vineyard near Sienna in 2022. We went to have a tour and to taste and buy wine for our daughter’s wedding. It was a lot of fun as well as being fantastic Italian food and the wine was so fabulous we bought the first vintage of their white. IN fact, it had never been sold and was so new that the owner said we could label the bottles ourselves. It was amazing.

  13. What an outstanding love of food Stanley has and his appreciation for it . Despite life’s extremely hard times he comes through with appreciation and care for others. Lovely to have a book written to record his experiences and recipes.

  14. years ago i won a wonderful wine tasting tour in the Rhone valley … every day the tasting was accompanied by superb food, having come out of a bleak Scottish winter the whole experience was a dream!!

  15. A perfect night to remember, just the two of us together, dining in a wonderful restaurant in Cambodia where we shared fabulous local cuisine, listened to live music and danced away the evening.

  16. Cappadocia and a visit to the home of our Turkish walking guide. His mother had prepared a delicious array of food and it was a fascinating insight into his home-life. I am sure our gracious host was somewhat puzzled by all these English women treating her donkey as if it was a pet and asking what it was called.

  17. My food experience was at the Y hotel on Yas Marina.Abu Dhab. A whole room was dedicated to deserts. Chocolate fountains tempted B you to plunge marshmallows into them and eclairs of every kind floated up to you. But the best was the Italian meringue infused with a liquor of your choice and blasted with liquid nitrogen

  18. A Ferrero Rocher flavour ice cream in Bergamo. Been dreaming of it ever since.

  19. Eating with group of friends and family in south africa. The side of ribs my then 15 year old brother ordered almost scared the life out of him. It was huge straight out of the flintstones and the look on his face just said ‘help me’.

  20. Chinese food being cooked right in front of us in a restaurant in Tenerife. Excellent, tasty food but the chef throwing the food at you whilst you held up your plate to try and catch it. Good fun, a bit messy and really tasty!

  21. My greatest food experience for a holiday was on a cruise to the Greek Islands on P&O.
    There was an array of over 70 different varieties of food. Just great!!

  22. One of my most memorable meals was a dish of fava in Molyvos on Lesvos when the owner of the restaurant said she thought I was Elton John! This was the second time this had happened to me – a music duo in Skiathos Town thought the same. I could only assume Greek TV reception was very poor 🙂

  23. Recently we visited Ingleside Hotel in Cirencester. My husband is a travel blogger. We are always treated well but this time, the food was out of this world. Everything was to perfection.

  24. Such happy memories of family holiday al fresco meals sourced locally, prepared and cooked together; to treasure when the suntans have long faded. So much of what travel is about

  25. I have been learning Italian on line during lockdown and have not missed one day of study. It has been a great discipline for an elderly lady and kept my dream alive of visiting Sicily one day.

  26. I, too, love trying food from around the world and will always eat ‘local’ when on holiday, from fine dining to street food I love the experience. Chicken & ribs in the States, street food in Thailand, BBQ in Australia and of course fish & chips by the seaside in UK!!!

  27. A simple Pizza Margherita in a cafe in Naples, plastic tablecloths, vespas outside.

  28. I recall waiting for a night flight back to Uk from Buenos Aires and wanted to waste the time, so with my new friends we decided to have a traditional meal. We ordered a steak, well it was the size of a post card and about 2 inches thick and not very expensive. Luckily we had time on our hands whilst we enjoyed this local steak, helped with the local wine, some bread and a couple of tomatoes. 5 hours latter we left the restaurant, having consumed all. So the message is when in a country try the local food.

  29. On honeymoon in Italy we had a mixed experience of food, chose a tourist restaurant next to Vatican and had an awful meal. When visiting Pisa went to a very busy restaurant for lunch, got told where to sit and told to have the special by mama in charge. This was a magnificent pasta dish with exquisite flavour I still remember after 23 years.

  30. Once met Stanley at a restaurant in San Sebastian. Lovely man, let us share his table.

  31. most memorable foodie experience on holiday probably has to be delicious oysters in awesome oceanside setting in Knysna (South Africa) – so wonderful that I had to order a second dozen….!

  32. We’ve just come back from Sicily having spent a fibulas holiday in an AirBnB on the cost north of Catania. The seafood restaurant opposite the apartment was delicious (and the local red wine smooth and fruity). We watched divers bringing up the catch of the day in the morning from our balcony. I am recommending this as a holiday destination to anyone who will listen to me, LOL.

  33. Thursdays at the beach with friends. I was lucky enough to live in Italy for sixteen years and summers always meant Thursday at the beach with friends. We would arrive in the morning and book our table at the Dunes trattoria. No sandy sandwiches for us but a beautiful freshly cooked meal of freshly caught sea food, mussels and lobster were our favourite. Mussels to start, pasta cooked in the lobster sauce then the lobster to follow, washed down with fresh white Italian wine. And finished off with an espresso. Yes, lots of fresh. Then back to our beach chairs to relax, swim and sun bath before going back to the Dunes for wonderful Italian ice cream. We would drive home at the end of a perfect day already looking forward to the following Thursday and another perfect day.

  34. Ah, Italy…foodie and travellers’ capital of the world! Love it! Can’t wait to see it…to taste it…again!

  35. I remember very well being in some tiny town in the Australian outback where I tasted barramundi fish for the first time – grilled on a barbie, of course!

  36. I have been fortunate enough to travel the silk road, Uzbekistan was a true delight.
    Eating the national dish “Plov” which had been cooked by a local woman, being the only foreigner at the table was just a wonderful experience. Our communication may have been inhibited by the lack of understanding of the language, but oh the food spoke volumes!!

  37. great months holiday in Australia, husband had a lovely time trying Kangaroo steaks and burgers, and other such delights. He really enjoyed it.

  38. My first visit to Italy, in August 1986, was my first experience with pizza.

    As a group of 6 undergraduate students, we travelled to southern Italy and based ourselves in Sorrento, from which we explored southern Italy from Rome, through Naples, along the stunning Amalfi costal road and on to Salerno, then to Sicily.

    Our base in Sorrento was ideal. We stayed at the modern Parco Del Sol hotel, which had a superb swimming pool for cooling off on the hot August days, and was surrounded by lemon trees. The lemons were the most succulent and tasty that I have ever tried.

    We were all students in our 20s and so explored the bars, restaurants and other delightful eateries in Sorrento. Here we came across Bar 13 in Sant’Agnello – a wonderful Bistro with friendly staff and great food. Seafood came in fresh daily via the fishing port of Sorrento.

    It was at Bar 13 that I not only had my first encounter with pizza but thankfully selected the Neapolitan pizza marinara. Absolutely delicious, as was their calamari and seafood selections. We always sat outdoors at Bar 13, so I couldn’t even tell you what the interior was like. The staff, like the food, were fantastic.

    That was some thirty-seven years ago, but I can still taste that wonderful food and still sense the ambince of being there.

  39. Lanzorote, many, many years ago. I think the restaurant was called Ikarus (It was! They have a Facebook page!) we had a lunchtime sitting with the children in tow. The staff were so attentive and gave the children colouring pads and twig-like crayons.
    All the dishes we had were beautifully presented and I had a soup called Fire and Ice – it was a perfectly divided bowl of soup with one half a red spicy soup and the other side a light green cold soup. It looked like a work of art and tasted wonderful.

  40. Chicken curry and rice at a bush restaurant in Borneo. After a long hot jungle trek my companion and I found this place which I think was there to feed the workers of a local logging company. The chicken was grabbed from the flock pecking underneath the cabin, slaughtered and cooked fresh! I subsequently became a vegetarian….. but the meal was memorable and delicious.

  41. My wife, Daughter and myself decided to stay in Malaga for a week in mid September about five years ago. I had been recommended a a Beach Front a restaurant named El Tintero – in the East of the City, not on the Radar for a lot of Tourists. As we were staying five minutes away, it was rude not to try it!
    We were not disappointed. A beach Front location, with fantastic service and great Spanish Cuisine, washed down with Rioja to die for!

  42. In January we took a memorable 3 hour foodie walking tour of the Old Quarter in Hanoi …we tried so many different street food dishes – crunchy green papaya salad, pillowy bao steamed buns stuffed with mushrooms, a bowl of fragrant chicken pho scented with lemon and basil, crispy fried prawns, a spicy pork banh mi (baguette), sweet Vietnamese egg coffee…we were stuffed by the end of the evening, but enjoyed every minute and mouthful!! A wonderful insight to hidden corners of the city, life behind the scenes and fabulously tasty food.

  43. My most memorable experience of eating in Italy was when my husband and I took a bus from Positano to Montepertuso up in the hills. We wandered into a very small outdoor restaurant with just a few tables and vines growing all around. From our table we were looking down on the deep blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea. We were the only two people there at first and we ordered a simple meal of panini’s with local cheeses and tomatoes and basil. There were large dark coloured butterflies flitting about and gradually one or two more people came in. The lady proprietor put on some music, brought everyone a glass of her own limincello and people started to dance to the music. I’ve never forgotten that simple, delicious lunch or how romantic those couple of hours felt. Magic.

  44. A trip to Sandy Lane in Barbados where we treated our daughters to the most wonderful afternoon tea. Although they were older teenagers, their faces when the cake stands appeared took us right back to when they were very little girls and everything was magical – such a treasured memory

  45. We love finding special food finds whereever we go! We were lucky enough to once eat at Noma in copenhagen and that is an experience we’ll forever remember as my son was very young at that time but very interested in food even at his young age and they so kindly took him on a tour of the kitchens and meeting all the chefs after our meal. Truly a magical experience!

  46. I was lucky enough to win a luxury break to London, my home town, which included dinner at Tom’s Kitchen close to Tower Bridge where my partner and I ate the most beautiful halibut dish which I thought would be the gastronomic highlight of the weekend but the Sunday breakfast at the Radisson Blu Edwardian was the best hotel meal either of us had enjoyed, huge fresh buffet and a cooked-to-order service second to none! No room for the late Sunday lunch we’d planned but a wonderful way to spend an hour or so watching the cable cars cross the Thames and being spoilt rotten.

  47. Staying with friends in Montefalcione in southern Italy. A small village where everyone was involved in making hundreds of jars of tomatoes to last through the year. My job was to turn the handle as buckets of tomatoes were poured into the funnel filling the jars, one by one. A wonderful community feel. Great memories.

  48. I really enjoyed Stanley Tucci’s `Searching for Italy`on tv and as I can’t have him as a charismatic companion on my Italian trips I’ll be grateful for a copy of `Taste` instead. I’ve narrowed down my memorable food experience to Italy – to the Castello district of Venice. On an unexpected extra day’s stay (due to a strike by air traffic controllers) we were strolling through a scruffy campo when we happened upon Osteria `Ài do Pozzi` and liked the look of the menu and the fact that there appeared to be locals eating and drinking there. The waitress spoke good English and each of us (5 adult family members) chose something different for a main course. Some of us started with spaghetti vongole and I then had my favourite Venetian liver which was served here with white polenta instead of the usual yellow. It was delicious. The waitress brought us salads and saute potatoes to share and we had the most marvellous final meal together: a wonderful memory as we will never again be able to holiday together due to my brother-in-law’s advanced dementia.

  49. Can’t remember what you call it, but about 30 years ago whilst on holiday, we had about a dozen different courses in a restaurant in Cyprus – small portions, but they just kept coming for a couple of hours. Some were better than others, but it was a wonderful experience. Not sure we could manage that these days! Happy days!

  50. Strawberries and cream in a small cafe in Scarborough on a hot summers day when I was little, not very exotic I’m afraid but very memorable x

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