At the French Culinary Institute, Lauren Shockey learned to salt food properly, cook fearlessly over high heat, and knock back beers like a pro. But she also discovered that her real culinary education wouldn't begin until she actually worked in a restaurant. After a somewhat disappointing apprenticeship in the French provinces, Shockey hatched a plan for her dream year: to apprentice in four high-end restaurants around the world. She started in her hometown of New York City under the famed chef Wylie Dufresne at the molecular gastronomy hotspot wd-50, then traveled to Vietnam, Israel, and back to France. From the ribald kitchen humor to fiery-tempered workers to tasks ranging from the mundane (mincing cases of shallots) to the extraordinary (cooking seafood on the line), Shockey shows us what really happens behind the scenes in haute cuisine, and includes original recipes integrating the techniques and flavors she learned along the way.
I have recently started reading more and more different kind of memoirs and when I saw this one for review I decided to go for it. While it doesn't hold me rapt like my currently favorite, travel memoirs, it definitely added a different take to what I have been reading. I loved the author's attention to detail through out the story and even though the book ended the way it did you can feel the author's passion for food in every page.
I enjoyed the recipes from Ms. Shockey's travels, she includes quite a few beautiful looking recipes at the end of each chapter which will make this book for many a kitchen friend instead of a book to sit on the library shelf. I enjoyed meeting each new character with the author, she has a flare for people like she does for food.
Now, you are wondering why only three stars. The book is well written but just a good story. It didn't make me jump up and down and feel the emotions that the author felt as she traveled to a new place, made a new dish, or got hurt in her path to find love. I wanted these things but...they never showed.
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