Menus aren’t just sets of dishes that work together, they can also create very different moods; they can take you places, from an afternoon at the seaside in Brittany to a sultry evening eating mezze in Istanbul.
James Beard award-winning author Diana Henry started a menu cookbook when she was sixteen, and still finds planning a menu her favorite part of cooking. Henry talks with New York Times food reporter Julia Moskin about how to create a meal that flows and that the cook can manage without becoming totally stressed. She shares the stories behind the menus — about places, journeys or particular experiences that explain her choice of dishes.
The book’s title, How to Eat a Peach, refers to a dessert Henry saw being served on her first trip to Italy. Italians, when it's too hot to cook, simply slice a peach into a glass of chilled moscato, leave it to macerate for a bit, then eat it. Simplicity and generosity are what it's about and this became a leitmotif for Henry’s cooking.