Michael Andrew Stugrin Releases Memoir-Cookbook, Eat Your Memories: Views from Los Altos
Michael Andrew Stugrin's new book, Eat Your Memories: Views from Los Altos, is a memoir and cookbook, what critics call a foodoir. The book follows Stugrin's youth in rural Pennsylvania and a life influenced by his ethnic eastern European roots and Catholic religion, battles in the academic and business worlds, and establishing his business in Long Beach, CA.
Eat Your Memories: Views from Los Altos features: 30 exciting menus and 120 traditional and new recipes; teaching career in Iowa and Pittsburgh, including teaching Shakespeare to prison inmates; business career in speechwriting, public relations, and marketing; life as a gay man - in and out of the closet - in an age of changing social attitudes; fight cancer at the world's most famous cancer center in Houston, TX; experiences as a lifelong amateur cook and passionate gastronome; opinions about the top cookbooks and cookbook authors of the last 100 years; and views about today's culinary foams, reductions, and ingredient combinations in salads, soups, and even cocktails.
"While I've the avoided headlines-and jail, I've lived an intense and interesting life that's been equal parts wheeling and dealing in business, extensive travel, personal and family drama, and much thinking about and cooking of food," Stugrin says.
"As you get older, you don't know everything, but you develop a sharper sense of what you don't know and of what does and doesn't work. My book is literally about "los altos," the highs of life, but also the lows-my father's early death, 'falling out of' religion, falling into and out of love, and changing careers. Of course, fighting cancer ranks right up there with life-changing experiences. Through the highs and lows, constant sources of calm, intellectual interest, and pure enjoyment have been food and cooking. When I was getting radiation and chemotherapy in Houston, my little canvas satchel always contained the daily newspapers and a cookbook."
Michael Andrew Stugrin is 64. He was born and raised in Bloomsburg, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania. He earned an undergraduate degree from Bloomsburg University and a doctorate from Pennsylvania State University. He taught writing and literature at Iowa State University and University of Pittsburgh. He left teaching for a corporate career in speechwriting, public relations, and marketing with Westinghouse Electric, Unisys, Pinkerton, and other companies. For over ten years, he ran his own consulting and communications company before retiring in 2012.
Stugrin's writing and publishing career began in 1971 when he partly financed his graduate school education by writing Monarch Note study guides for Simon and Schuster. As a college professor, he published a dozen articles, many of which are still quoted by scholars; and during his corporate career, wrote thousands of speeches, articles, and press releases. More recently, he co-wrote Music Looks Forward: The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra 1934-2009 and writes articles for Symphony Magazine. Stugrin's next book, Mazurka and Clair de Lune, a collection of essays, will be published in late 2014.