In 'Charlotte,' Decadent Childhood Memories | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

In 'Charlotte,' Decadent Childhood Memories

Play associated audio

Author Charlotte Silver describes her childhood as rich with food, experiences, odd (and wonderful) people. She grew up in her mother's Cambridge, Mass., restaurant — Harvard Square's Upstairs at the Pudding — a rather glamorous upbringing complete with foie gras and other delights.

In her new memoir, Charlotte au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood, Silver vividly tells the story of her adventures in the famed establishment. Named after a dessert created by her mother, Silver describes Upstairs at the Pudding as a historic building nestled above the Hasty Pudding Club, one of the oldest social clubs for Harvard students.

Silver tells NPR's Rachel Martin that, as a child, she remembers Upstairs at the Pudding as a building "not of this era," and that the restaurant served as a "faculty clubhouse." "It was so much part of Harvard," she says. "You would often have famous professors and public intellectuals dining there, and it was also a place where celebrities came."

In Charlotte au Chocolat, Silver recalls some of the restaurant's extraordinary events such as Harvard's Man and Woman of the Year awards and Strawberry Nights, a celebration in February that brought out movie stars during "the dreariest time of the year in Cambridge."

"Everything would become terribly glamorous when Ella Fitzgerald and Harrison Ford showed up," Silver says. "But it also was a place that people in the community went to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or just to have a lunch."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Turner Was A Brute, But He Painted With Romantic Radiance

One of Britain's best-loved artists, J.M.W. Turner, has been brought to life on the big screen. A new film paints him as an occasionally boorish man who turns out incandescent work.
NPR

Antarctic Holiday: A Christmas Feast In The Loneliest Spot On Earth

For Dr. Gavin Francis, Christmas Eve marked the start of a year-long stay in an icy research base 8,700 miles from home. In this "empire of ice and isolation," he says, food is essential to morale.
NPR

'Rum, Rumba, And Romance': A Book On Cuba's Enduring Mystique

This week, President Obama announced that he will begin to normalize relations with Cuba. Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco recommends a book about Cuba's imprint on the American imagination.
NPR

Obama: Sony Should Have Talked To Him Before Pulling 'The Interview'

The FBI has concluded North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack on Sony Pictures. NPR's Scott Simon talks with White House correspondent Scott Horsley about what happens now.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.