It was about the same time last year that Monica Bhide was looking for a food photographer…it was a quirk of fate that we met in one of the forums. She mentioned on the forum that she was looking for a photographer….in just a matter of weeks, I saw myself working with her for this amazing book. It has been a beautiful creative journey with “A life of Spice’, I loved working on each and every image - the creative freedom that Monica gave me is incredible. She hardly ever questioned my creative reasoning behind an image. I hand painted all the surfaces to showcase the rich colors that represent Indian and pairing those colors with spice was such a beautiful creative experience. I really hope my images do justice to her beautiful words. She’s an amazing writer and her words weave magic on paper. I am just soo excited to share the book cover with you. Hope you guys like it.
As I read her books from ’The Devil In Us’ to ‘A Life of Spice’, I see myself gazing into the horizon, thinking searching….somewhere they have influenced the way I create images. I really am not able to put it in words, but I know somewhere, they compel me to look inside and search for my own roots, the essence of who I am and express it in my images. Thanks Monica for writing and cheers for working with you in the future.
I am also sharing one of Monica’s favorite images from the book. She’s got raving reviews for the book, am sharing with you guys some of the reviews.
“Monica writes stories about food, but often they are really stories about searching. She looks for what the world will reveal if you ask questions of the things we usually keep silent. She’s a generous writer, seeking the finer, richer sides of us.”
Francis Lam, editor-at-large, Clarkson Potter, and New York Times Magazine columnist
“Monica Bhide is more than a food writer. She’s a chronicler of culture and family history. She is a romantic for the bond between parent and child. She is an essayist of her own heart and mind, fearlessly searching for the truth in both. She is endlessly fascinating to read.”
Tim Carman, James Beard Award–winning food writer for The Washington Post
“Monica's stories take us on a journey through time, across continents and cultures. With her we fast and feast for love, we share the wonder of fairy tales with a child, we feel the longing for a lost homeland, we delight in culinary discoveries, and we find our own identity in a new land. Throughout Monica reminds us that the essence of food is love—love for our family, our history, our humanity.” Elise Bauer, Creator of SimplyRecipes.com
“Monica Bhide’s unbridled devotion to food, words, family, and history is crystal clear in this delicious collection. Whatever Monica’s subject —her father as a young boy, the connection between her family and their mouthwatering food, or the importance of saving recipes—she writes with warmth, a keen eye, and an open and abundant heart.”
Elissa Altman, author of Poor Man’s Feast
“Monica Bhide weaves magical spells with her words. Brilliantly describing cuisines and stories that echo the chimes of a far away land while somehow simultaneously making one feel as if they are in her very backyard. Monica is magician with both words and food.”
Chef Maneet Chauhan, judge on Food Network’s Chopped
“In her cookbook and column, Monica Bhide writes about food with knowledge and authority and love, taking the reader on a colorful and delicious tour of her native land. But cooking, she also knows, is more than just what shows up on the plate, and in this evocative and searching book she takes us deep into culture, family, history and the daily traumas and joys and wonders of a life of engagement, purpose and passion.”
Todd Kliman, James Beard Award–winning food critic for The Washingtonian
“Fair warning: Monica Bhide’s latest food essay collection will make you hungry--but not just for food, but for life. Skillfully written, with heart and soul, A Life of Spice is a rich feast for the senses.”
Mollie Cox Bryan, author of the Agatha Award–nominated Scrapbook of Secrets: A Cumberland Creek Mystery
“In writing that’s as mystical and real as the scent of spices heating in a pan, Monica Bhide tells the story of her connections in the kitchen in a way that everyone who loves food—whether they cook or not—can understand and adore. This book is a treat.”
Debbie Moose, author of Southern Holidays: A Savor the South Cookbook
“Monica Bhide had me at Indian Onion Rings and Mangos and Champagne. Here is a woman, alive with creation, who connects at the deepest level with food and the table. My head explodes when I read a Monica Bhide story . . . I infer so much not just about Indian food but about the Indian psyche. What she delivers is a nuanced portrait of her subcontinental culture on a plate, with all the delicacy, passion and turmeric it deserves. Chalo, khanna kao!”
Alison Singh Gee, author of Where the Peacocks Sing: A Palace, a Prince and the Search for Home
“In these deliciously wrought essays, Monica Bhide reminds us that food is a lifeline, both real and figurative to which we all grasp. Written with transporting detail and emotional clarity, A Life of Spice comprises themes that transcend culture or kitchen, taking the reader to a delicious place where every flavor tantalizes the senses with deeper and deeper layers of understanding about ourselves and the others with whom we share our tables. Spanning India, the Middle East, and America, A Life of Spice is an essayist’s journey to the most hidden recesses of the soul—and it is a journey that the reader is luckily enough to join, if only for a brief, delectable time.”
Ramin Ganeshram, author of Stir It Up! and FutureChefs