Saved by a sprig of Rosemary from the desensitized world she had come to inhabit: Molly Birnbaum, a young chef just beginning her career, lost her sense of taste and smell after a bad car accident.
In the kitchens of New York, where she worked, she couldn’t taste anything anymore, having to work from memory, mixing spices and greens and measuring out ingredients by eye or by weight.
Her future seemed destined to follow the paths of other taste-deprived chefs, much like Beethoven, who in old age ended up being unable to hear the music he was composing.
Until, almost miraculously, she remembered the first time she ever smelled anything. The smell of the fresh, just-cut rosemary was the beginning of her slow, strange rehabilitation, surrounded by her stoves and the dishes she prepared for her customers.
The story of how Birnbaum recovered her sense of smell is now a book: Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way.