Great book. Interesting read. It isn't what I expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned a lot about the restaurant business, and behind the scenes. When I go to a restaurant or pub I will look at it through different eyes.
This book was not what I expected. She talked a lot about sex and left me wishing for more talk of food and restaurant ownership. Also there’s an erotic drawing in the middle that surprised and embarrassed me in the waiting room at the doctor.
I'm obsessed with women writers of the chef experience books. Any of them, all of them; I'll even read all the male authors' books just to waste some time until I find another good one. So I figured this would be perfect for me. I've heard the author so many times on so many podcasts that I feel like she's a relative, writing for me. But this book is not that book. This book is way, way down in the weeds of cooking, restauranting, interactions in the back of house, all the nasty stuff you have to do to do this very hard work, all while being female.
Somehow it was so in the nasty details, way back there in the back of the house, that I couldn't read more than the first few chapters. I love her voice and her stories and her adventures when she's talking on air, being interviewed. I hated it here. Not sure why - she seems so real and so gritty and gutsy and fascinating, and who doesn't love the title?
Maybe I'll try again. But for now, I'll stick to hearing her beautiful snark out loud.
Not a huge fan of this one. She makes good points but makes them over and over. I'm sure it was very therapeutic for her to write but I don't need to see the f word multiple times on the page and it would have been nice to hear her refer to the act as making love once or twice as she very obviously loves her husband.
I could not put this book down. Jen's writing is clear and honest, with a lot of love, ambition and hard work. Loved reading a food book from the perspective of management and ownership - reflecting the work that goes into service, rather than the usual chef's memoir.
If you are interested in food and the restaurant biz, this new Canadian bio from Jenn Agg is a "must read!" While not a chef, Jenn has been literally creating the concepts, physical spaces and the flavours guiding several of this country's most exciting and innovative eating places. Toronto's Cobalt, The Black Hoof, Rhum Corner, as well as Montreal's "Agrikol (an interesting partnership with Arcade Fire's front couple Win Butler & Regine Chassagne) are her most successful establishments to date.
The writing really jumps to life when Ms. Agg carefully describes the creative processes surrounding each of the restaurants. You can literally feel her crackling with inspiration and creativity; I could have read about this stuff forever.
It's worth noting the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain is quoted on the dustjacket : "Whatever Jenn Agg says is worth listening to...this is the book we've been waiting for, a terrific, beautifully written memoir."
As a dedicated reader and writer, I'll take just small issue with Mr. Bourdain . I did not feel her lengthy pages devoted to the fine details of both her sex life or menstruation made the book stronger, and I wonder if it wasn't just hubris talking. And perhaps not quite as much about the male domination of her business (smart readers got it fairly early on, and believe her! ).
Still, these are moot points (and you can skip over these bits, if you like) : I think this is easily one of the best books I've read in 2017.
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