The popular "Orangette" blogger has penned a second book.
Five years ago, Molly Wizenberg, the food writer and blogger behind the ultra-popular "Orangette" site, wrote movingly about the death of her beloved father, Morris Wizenberg, aka "Burg," in her first book, "A Homemade Life." Now, she is back with "Delancey," a second memoir with a different—but just as central—man at its center: Molly's husband and business partner, Brandon Pettit.
Together, Wizenberg and Pettit opened the Seattle wood-fired pizza restaurant of the book's name, a major gamble that paid off handsomely as it is now one of the city's most popular and well-reviewed eateries. But in spite of the romantic idea behind Delancey—a DIY labor-of-love created by a cute young food-obsessed couple—in her new book Wizenberg reveals that the opening process wasn't all wine and roses. Rather, it was a supremely trying and stressful time in the just-married couple's lives, and one that revealed new strengths and weaknesses in both Wizenberg and Pettit.
“Opening this restaurant was the hardest thing we’ve ever done—we were learning how to hire people, dealing with a cook who was trying to extort us, cooks who tried to pit us against each other,” Wizenberg told the New York Times in 2011. Yet Wizenberg's mother, with whom she is very close, urged her daughter to record the details of the arduous process, telling her she'd want to write about it someday.
"Delancey" is the product of that motherly advice. Last night Wizenberg, who is currently on a nationwide tour in support of the book, appeared at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, where she read from the book's introduction and participated in a conversation with Francis Lam, her friend and a food writer currently working as an editor at Clarkson Potter. As Wizenberg explained, opening Delancey was Pettit's idea—and just one in a long line of the whimsical music composer/violin-builder/ice cream-maker's fancies, leading Wizenberg to doubt his commitment to the project and his ability to follow through on it. But her new husband's tenacity ends up suprising her, and Wizenberg realizes that she was the short-sighted one.
"If anyone was the villain in this story it was me," Wizenberg told the assembled crowd. "I was the one who was really ugly."
But that's all water under the bridge now—the couple has a successful restaurant as well as a toddler, June. To read more about how they got there, pick up a copy of Wizenberg's new book.
For information on Molly Wizenberg's current book tour, visit her website.
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