Slow Life in a Tuscan Town
At Foodimentary I am always searching for the most interesting, unique and innovative expressions of the world and art of food. Douglas Gayeton’s Slow: Life In A Tuscan Town has all these traits in spades.
This triumphant book uses photography and storytelling in a way that transcends all book genres. It’s part cookbook, part essay, part memoir, part photography book, and a total joy. It is without a doubt the highest expression of the art of book publishing. My first reading of this book was a revelation, staying with me. Gayeton reminded me that the simple life does indeed exist. For several hours I felt part of an honest, exuberant journey, as I explored a quiet oasis in the Tuscan hills amidst a world of noise.
Gayeton’s cover quote tells of the simplicity and beauty of what exists within: “This book is about some people I met and the lessons they taught me about living slow, which began when a woman from Arcigliano brought me eight fresh eggs from her hen house.” I found myself instantly enthralled, the turn of every page drawing you in, discovering the complexity of simplicity. Brilliant!
The composition of this book through its sepia-tone photos, hand written notations, velum overlaid pages and bold font changes juxtaposed against photo collages makes one feel as if in each page you have indeed walked a mile in these noble people’s well-worn and humble shoes. For all its many charms and quirks and inspirations, Slow is, in the end, a work of art. You will want to display it for its beauty and to keep it close at hand as a reminder of the title’s ideal.
In her beautiful introduction, Alice Waters says, “Douglas Gayeton’s images beautifully capture a small Tuscan community that revolves around ancient traditions of growing, foraging, and sharing food…the townspeople come to life, together with the foods that are woven seamlessly into their daily routines.” Water’s admonishes us to “begin by simply breaking bread around the table, inviting our children into the kitchen to help prepare the family meal and planting a few herbs in a window box.” She closes with these words “your life will be richer for it.” I think you will say the same about this extraordinary book.