Monday, June 9, 2014

A New Respect for Cooks

I seem to be on a roll with 'cooking' books recently.  First, Kitchen Confidential, then Delicious! and now Sous Chef.  Needless to say, I have gone from hungry to exhausted and have a whole new respect for what goes on behind the scenes in a kitchen.

Michael Gibney condenses his life of working various kitchens into a 24-hour, minute-by-minute, read of what it's like to be a sous chef.  And frankly, I am ready for a nice sandwich and a nap. At 214 pages, the intensity and relentless pace propels you along.  Working a kitchen isn't necessarily sexy or cozy.  It's pressure, non-stop, from the moment they step in the door, to when the last plate is washed and put away to start another day.  Frankly, while I think being a 'chef' would be great and exciting, there is no way I could do the job necessary to be successful.  But it makes for a fast-paced read.  Just be sure to go out for a good meal afterwards and send your thanks to all the kitchen staff!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Delicious! is Delectable

When I first starting nibbling on this book, I almost put it down.  It was good, but not sure I wanted to spend my limited reading time on it.  Then I picked it up for a second bite and was soon devouring it. 

Billie has arrived in New York City, a little California girl with a nose and palate for cooking which is beyond ordinary - to everyone but her.  After the decades old magazine she is working for closes and she is left answering customer complaints about the recipes, she finds a letter which leads to another, which leads to a great story.

In between Billie's search for Lulu in the convoluted filing system of the late librarian, Bertie, she discovers she has a bounty of new friends.  Sammy, another writer let go from the magazine.  Sal, who owns and runs Fontanari's, a family owned Italian market.  Mr. Complainer, a customer, who becomes more than just a pain to wait on.

Billie's search for Lulu, and her relationship in writing with the legendary James Beard, is echoed by Billie's discovery of just who she is.  Several mysteries about herself slowly unfold to those around her.

Delicious! is layer upon layer of savory goodness and now I must go and see what else Reichl has cooked up.