Friday, February 5, 2016

My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris

Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey
: July 27, 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
When I first saw this book I remember being intrigued by seeing Tel Aviv in the title. In general, I'm a fan of cooking memoirs, but that was what won me over. (Also there was the tiny detail that I found it at a Borders closing sale so it was crazy discounted.)

After culinary school Shockey decides to stage, or what you could call a restaurant intern, at four restaurants across the world. In her memoir so goes into what it's like working in a fancy kitchen, the differences in them depending on where they're located, and of course all the delicious food she discovers.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that while in New York she worked at wd-50 for Wylie Dufresne. Surprisingly, those chapters were some of my favorites. I was intrigued by her time in Vietnam, but never really felt transported there. The parts in Israel that I was so excited for, seemed to go by way to quick and didn't seem to have much substance. The last section in Paris was again interesting, but I never really got a feel for the city.

I loved the idea of this book, but overall it fell a little flat for me. Shockey had a great adventure, but never I seemed to understand why she wrote a book. She didn't necessarily seem excited about the adventures she went through and by the end she was kind of over cooking, so I never really got why she wanted to relive those experiences.

Despite this, I loved the look into a restaurant kitchen, especially one as famous as wd-50. There were some delicious sounding recipes as well, especially one in the Tel Aviv section for halvah ice cream, that I can't wait to make.