I don’t remember how old I was when I first went to Greens, but I do know it was my first vegetarian restaurant and continues to be my favorite.

But it wasn’t until this year that I knew Deborah Madison’s story. She was the chef at the San Francisco restaurant, her first cookbook was the recipes from there, and she has authored several other books. Her latest book is An Onion in My Pocket: My Life with Vegetables (Alfred A. Knopf, 2020).

No recipes will be found in her latest book other than how to live an interesting life. Making it even more entertaining was listening to the book because Madison narrates it.

This memoir will take readers on a journey that is as much about Madison’s life with vegetables as it is the evolution of food in the United States. She didn’t grow up in a household where food was a central theme. It wasn’t until she was a young adult that she learned to cook and then it was under unique circumstances.

While many would associate Madison with the vegetarian movement, so to speak, the word vegetarian is one she detests. Vegetables—though, she loves, even though she now eats meat.

Madison doesn’t hold back on revealing embarrassing moments, triumphs and opinions. One definitely does not have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this book.



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