Linden Tree presentation: April 14th (at) 7 pm
MY NEPENTHE – Bohemian tales of food, family and Big Sur
Join us for an illuminating discussion about food, wine, family, art and architecture. Enjoy delicious treats from Romney's book while viewing images from Nepenthe's early days as well as a rarely seen trailer from the 1964 movie The Sandpiper, featuring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and filmed in Big Sur.
Romney (Nani) Steele is a writer, a cook, and an artist, and the granddaughter of Bill and Lolly Fassett, creators of Nepenthe Restaurant. She grew up at the family restaurant and opened Cafe Kevah, located on the grounds of Nepenthe, at 26 years old. Her first book, My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur (Andrews McMeel Publishing, Nov 2009) is part visual storybook, part history and cookbook. Romney holds an MFA from Mills College, and currently lives in Oakland with her two children.
Nepenthe has become a cultural icon synonymous with Big Sur and the free-living bohemian lifestyle. Early on it was also noted for its unique architecture–a modern, wood and glass structure designed by Rowan Maiden, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesen fellow. Today, the original family cabin (purchased from Rita Hayworth), Nepenthe Restaurant, Cafe Kevah, and the Phoenix Shop make up the legendary establishment that continues to represent the spirit of its past patrons and its owners. As Nepenthe celebrates its 6oth anniversary year, Romney delves into her own memories, those of family members, and the restaurant’s archives. In the process, she re-creates Nepenthe’s years of bringing writers, artists, dancers, travelers, actors, and cooks together around the table.
More on Nepenthe's unique architecture: Poetry of Place
“A very special book about a very special place.” —Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Foo
“What a world Romney Steele has given us in My Nepenthe! This personal tale is as tender and bright as a bite of Nepenthe Cheese Pie and will transport me—and you—to Big Sur and the days and nights of this magical place. My Nepenthe serves a big, gorgeous slice of American culture that I loved visiting through words and memory.”—Deborah Madison, author of What We Eat When We Eat Alone and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
“Nepenthe was unique and didn't follow any particular style trends. It is a very strong building, unique in many ways.” –Henrik Bull, Architect