Summer Reads: Delancey by Molly Wizenberg

DelanceyMollyWizenbergcoverMolly Wizenberg’s name is familiar to many food bloggers and food blog readers. You might know her as the voice behind Orangette or, alternatively, the author of the delightful book A Homemade Life. Now you might even know her as the wife of Brandon Pettit, he of the Delancey (Seattle) restaurant fame. In her latest book, a memoir, fittingly entitled “Delancey”, Molly tells the story of her relationship, of opening a restaurant with Brandon and, well, surviving that – no mean feat!

Molly and Brandon met when they were fairly young – she, a budding food writer (well that turned out well!) and he, a PhD student with varied interests – coffee machines, violins, composing and pizza, to name a few. Very early on in their marriage, Brandon suggests he open a pizza restaurant and Molly agrees – not because she necessarily supports the idea but because she was sure he wouldn’t follow through. Well what happens once the decision is made is most definitely what I’d call “follow through”  and everyone knows that opening a restaurant requires Herculean efforts and time and patience and money.  Watching (reading) as Molly and Brandon navigate their way though not just teething problems with the restaurant but also their own marriage makes for a “can’t put down” book – you’ll find yourself saying “I’ll put it down after just one chapter”, then realise you’ve finished it in one sitting.

Molly writes with honesty and humour and you’ll find yourself cheering the Delancey team on, heart sinking with theirs when things go wrong, laughing out loud with them and celebrating what ends up being a spectacular success story.  If you’ve ever tinkered with the idea of opening a restaurant, this is a must-read. There will be parts of the book which will make you want to give up on your dream because Molly doesn’t sugar coat the truth, but ultimately, the story shows that with passion, savvy and a lot of hard work, it can be done.  But it’s not just about opening a restaurant – it’s about living a life with Brandon – and negotiating joint and individual passions within one marriage and compromising when necessary to make things work. And there are recipes – not for pizza but more for the sorts of dishes Molly and Brandon ate as they were working on setting up the restaurant, the sorts of dishes people who work in food eat when they are at home. I’ve already bookmarked most of then!

Highly recommended.

* I’ve actually eaten at Delancey a few years ago when I attended the International Food Bloggers’ Conference and can attest to the fact that those are some spectacular pizzas!

Buy Delancey on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository.


A Delancey giveaway for Canadian readers!

Thanks to the kind folks at Simon & Schuster I have one copy of “Delancey” to give away to a lucky Canadian reader.

How to enter:

There are 2 ways to enter (maximum of two entries per person for the duration of the contest).

1. Leave  a comment on this post telling me why you’d like to read “Delancey”.
2. Tweet the following message: Enter to win @mollyorangette’s “Delancey” from @SimonSchusterCA + @eatlivtravwrite (Canada) Details:   then come back to leave a second comment letting me know you did.

Eligibility and contest rules:

– Open to Canadian residents only.
– No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
– Winner will be chosen randomly (using from all qualified entries on Sunday July 13th 2014 after 6pm EST.
– Winner will be notified via email Monday July 14th 2014.


Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “Delancey” for review purposes.  I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.


Please note: The product links from Amazon, and The Book Depository are affiliate links. If you click on these links and purchase the product I have linked to or any other product, I will receive a small percentage of the sale price.


Many of you will know I’m in France for most of the summer.  While I will be eventually blogging about things I do here, the best way to keep up with me will be by following my photos which you can do on my Summer 2014 set on Flickr or Instagram where I am @eatlivtravwrite (if you don’t have the app on your phone you can still check out the photos online.

26 thoughts on “Summer Reads: Delancey by Molly Wizenberg”

  1. I love getting an insider’s glimpse into the goings on, and beginnings of restaurants. Plus this one sounds good!

  2. I’m not Canadian so can’t enter the contest. I have this title on my “to read” list. Do you ever listen to the Spilled Milk podcast? It’s hilarious. She and co-host Matthew Amster-Burton have good chemistry. It reminds me of Car Talk but about food.

  3. Sounds like a great read, just what I need these days. The weather’s too hot to do any baking or real cooking, honestly. So, relaxing with a good book is just the right idea. Thanks for the book review, Mardi.

  4. I don’t usually read these types of books. BUT Mardi on reading your review I have downloaded a sample to see if it keeps me has hooked to read as you did.
    Great review! 

  5. I would love to win a copy of Delancey, because I read A Homemade Life a few years back (at the recommendation of a friend – THANK YOU, GG!) and have been patiently waiting for a follow-up book! I like to think that patience is rewarded 🙂

  6. I have never eaten at Delancey. I would love to read this book to learn more about their marriage and their love story with restaurant. I enjoy reading Memoirs.

  7. I would love to read Delancey! Molly has been such a warm and sure guide in my own kitchen adventures, and I loved A Homemade Life.

  8. I loved A Homemade Life and am a regular Spilled Milk listener! Molly’s such a great writer and I’d love to check out more from her.

  9. I have been rradingn Molly’s blog since 2007, when my new friend told me about this woman, obsessed with banana breads. Since then I have grown to love not only all her banana bread recipes, but also her character and wit, her honesty and I’ve been lucky enough to eat the pizza at her and her husbands restaurant. Molly and her stories never fail to dissappoint and I can’t wait to read more of them, especially those about food and relationships, since they are the ones I love best.

  10. I would love to win this, as I love reading memoirs and I would love to find out about her personal life and adventures in the food industry.

  11. I read her first book A Homemade Life and I really loved her writing and sense of humour. Plus her recipes are fabulous! Would love this!

  12. I would like to read Delancey for the relationship drama and the striving to make a dream manifest and come true.


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