Chef + Memoir = Chefoir?

 

From Addis Adaba to Göteborg, Sweden to Harlem, Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir Yes, Chef is a fascinting look into the life of one of the country’s most well-known chefs. He’s not alone it the mess hall tell-all field, though. Direct your foodie fans to the following:

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Bourdain’s tell-it-like-it-is style perfect for describing the “back of the house” workings of a professional kitchen and the lifestyle that accompanies coming in to work at 3 p.m. and working in hot kitchen until midnight. The sex, drugs and rock and roll cooking memoir.

Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford
Sometimes, it’s ok to meet your heroes. Journalist Buford’s admiration for Crocs-sporting celebrity chef Mario Batali leads him to working on the lines at Batalis’s restaurants and traveling to Europe to apprentice with authentic regional chefs.

The Hunger: A Story of Food, Desire, and Ambition by John DeLucie
DeLucie quit his job in finance, took a 10-week cooking class, and sauteed his way through New York’s kitchens until he ended up serving the celebrities when he opened The Waverly Inn with Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn
When 36-six-year-old middle manager Flinn is downsized, she buys a ticket to Paris and enrolls in Le Cordon Bleu. A fish out of sparkling water, Flinn vows not to let the hard work, competitive classmates, or poor understanding of the language stand in her way.

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hunter
The chef/owner of New York’s much-buzzed-about restaurant Prune, puts her MFA to use in this captivating memoir. After her parents’ divorce, the warm, hearty meals of their Pennsylvania farmhouse are replaced with McDonalds ketchup packets and scraps from a backbreaking catering job. Working in countless kitchens making other people’s food, when she finally calls the shots her dining directive is simple—give them comfort.

The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection by Michael Ruhlman
Could this book be any chefier? Part One: Ruhlman observes the Certified Master Chef exam at the Culinary Institute of America. Part Two: He works for pre-Iron Chef Michael Symon in Cleveland. Part Three: He works for Thomas Keller, proprietor and chef of Napa Valley’s French Laundry. It’s like interning on Mt. Olympus.

The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef by Marco Pierre White
Breaking rules, plates, and egos along the way, White made history as the most decorated chef in the UK and the youngest ever to win three Michelin stars. Some say he makes Gordon Ramsay look like Emily Post.

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About the Author:

Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, a Booklist reviewer, and one of Library Journal's 2009 "Movers and Shakers." Follow her on Twitter at @KarenKleckner.

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