Maureen Alfieri wins our book review contest

The rules were simple. Leave an Amazon review of Beginning French that two or more people marked “helpful.” Your name would then go into a drawing for an authentic market bag stuffed with French goodies.

The winner of the drawing was Maureen Alfieri, a pre-med biology instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. “I never win anything!” she exclaimed.

In her Amazon review she called the book “enchanting.” She wrote, “Read this book…share it with the best of friends.” Then she gave softcover copies to her two sisters, and even tackled some of Sara’s recipes. “It’s the same thing I loved about Bella Tuscany,” the book by Frances Mayes. “The recipes are right in the story.”

Maureen’s interest in food grew from the childhood experience of helping her Italian grandfather in the kitchen. And his father—her great grandfather—was a respected pastry chef in Italy.

Today she continues the European tradition of cooking from scratch, and has even taken up the art of picnicking with her long-time partner Eddie. One of her staples is a recipe for home-made ravioli handed down from her grandfather. “I enjoy being in the kitchen—chopping, slicing, sauteéing—it’s a great stress-reliever after a tough day at school.” She loves the European idea that life should include quality time, namely, the sharing of food with friends and family.

Will she share the French goodies? “Absolutely. These will make great gifts for my mother on my weekly visits. My mom is my best friend in the world.”


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