In a remarkable career that has spanned nearly fifty years, Wini Moranville has witnessed the American restaurant landscape transform from the inside out. At just shy of fourteen, she began a ten-year stretch working in a kaleidoscope of quintessential midwestern eateries of the time. Moranville’s hands-on experiences weave a vivid tapestry of the American restaurant landscape in the 1970s and 1980s. In the mid-1990s, the tables turned as Moranville became a prolific food and wine writer for national publications, as well as the dining critic for the Des Moines Register and dsm Magazine.

Amidst the vast changes that have occurred over the years, Love Is My Favorite Flavor underscores the timelessness of what it is we seek when we entrust restaurateurs with our hard-earned money and our hard-won leisure time. Dining out may have changed dramatically since the 1970s, but the joys of being in the hands of people who care deeply about our time at their tables have not.


“In the tradition of the great food writers of our time—from M. F. K. Fisher to Betty Fussell—Wini Moranville provides an insider’s view of the nuances, pressures, and delights of the food business. She writes of waiting tables in a Country Kitchen franchise to dining in the most elegant French restaurants. She writes of the straightforward but delicious meals on her grandparents’ Iowa farm to her wine-tasting trips to Chile and Spain. You’ll devour this excellent memoir, savor its aromas and flavors, and linger over the insights about the foods we love to eat.”—Mary Swander, former Iowa Poet Laureate, author, The Maverick M.D.

“Wini Moranville has convinced me that the very best preparation for becoming a restaurant critic is working as a waitress. Fortunately for us, she is a former waitress with a sharp wit and a way with words. Her memories of serving at many Des Moines restaurants in her teens and twenties are entertaining, but also truly enlightening. Her experience, insight, and humanity give us a new window into the restaurant industry. You might just find yourself thinking differently about the restaurants that you love and feeling a little nostalgic for long-gone restaurants you’ve never heard of before. Spoiler alert: it’s never just about the food. Savored or devoured, this book will leave you feeling deeply satisfied.”—Charity Nebbe, Iowa Public Radio

“To the cache of restaurant critics turned authors of well-loved memoirs, like Frank Bruni and Ruth Reichl, add Moranville, writer, cookbook editor, and restaurant reviewer for the Des Moines, Iowa, Register. Reading these stories of food and people, both local and international, anyone who has wielded similar forks and spoons (all fellow journalists, really) will giggle at Moranville's descriptions of food junkets, snobs, and hierarchy. . . . There's also much worthy of applause, like Des Moines's first vegan kitchen, a story of Christmas caroling with a lonely line cook, and a French bistro opening its doors for a U.S. couple sans euros.”—Booklist

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