Weekend Cooking: Sous Chef

Posted 11 July, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Weekend Cooking: Sous ChefSous Chef by Michael Gibney
Published by Random House Publishing Group on March 25th 2014
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Cooking, Essays & Narratives, General, Personal Memoirs, Professional
Pages: 240

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Told in second-person narrative, Sous Chef is an immersive, adrenaline-fueled run that offers a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the food service industry, allowing readers to briefly inhabit the hidden world behind the kitchen doors, in real time. This exhilarating account provides regular diners and food enthusiasts alike a detailed insider’s perspective, while offering fledgling professional cooks an honest picture of what the future holds, ultimately giving voice to the hard work and dedication around which chefs have built their careers.   In a kitchen where the highest standards are upheld and one misstep can result in disaster, Sous Chef conjures a greater appreciation for the thought, care, and focus that go into creating memorable and delicious fare.

An interesting little memoir that’s told in a weird second person format. Overall, it’s pretty enjoyable. It’s especially enjoyable if you like to eat at expensive high end restaurants. Sous Chef gives an enlightening feel of what goes on behind the scenes at such places. This is the part of the book that I enjoyed the most. 

I reveled in the idea that celebrities aren’t getting any special attention from the kitchen, but even someone as ‘lowly’ as a staff writer for the New York Times receives VIP status. Who says journalism is dead? 

The second person style didn’t really work for me. It was arresting at first, but after a bit I found it to be a little irritating. The narrative is strongest during the sections before and during the actual service. The last portion of the book waxes a little philosophical for my taste – the meaning and importance of preparing good food for people and the such. I appreciate the sentiment but it did seem to meander on a bit too long.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to foodies. Especially foodies with expensive tastes in restaurants. I loved finding out exactly how things work behind the scenes.

Everyone else? Well, it’s probably a take it or leave it book for you. Especially if you can’t comprehend why anyone would pay $500 a plate for a single meal. 

I also enjoyed the review on Beth Fish Reads for this book.  

So, Reader does Sous Chef sound like it might be for you? What’s the most expensive meal you’ve had? Did you love it? 


April @ The Steadfast Reader


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