APRON ANXIETY by Alyssa Shelasky


My Messy Affairs in and Out of the Kitchen
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A cooking rookie's memoir of love and food.

When New York magazine Grub Street food editor Shelasky fell in love with a celebrity chef, she was unable to boil water for tea without melting the plastic pot. While "Chef" (as he’s called throughout) worked late nights at his two new restaurants in Washington, D.C., the author battled loneliness in their apartment. Unable to connect with Chef's cooking partners or feel comfortable at any social food-related gathering, Shelasky finally had an epiphany that hit her like "a ton of bricks made of Parmigiano-Reggiano"—she was going to learn how to cook. What ensued was a whirlwind of pots, pans, late-night trips to gourmet food stores and "clenching the spoon like a convict" as the author progressed from that first multi-stepped meal to hosting dinner parties for 12. She learned that "béarnaise isn't the name of a little old lady and that the act of trussing relates to roast chicken, not eighties hair," and she blogged about her cooking adventures at apronanxiety.com. Shelasky bares all, in the kitchen and the bedroom, as her romance with food replaced her love affair with Chef. Even though her relationship with Chef ended, the author writes, "sometimes I wonder if I'm still in the kitchen as a way of keeping my connection to Chef alive…after all, everyone cooks for matters of the heart. We're all in the kitchen because it fulfills a longing inside, whether it's for inner grace, pure survival, a renewed sense of self, or just the thrill of it.” Also included are 30 of the author's favorite recipes.

Amusing, compassionate story of love among the pots and pans.

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-307-95214-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Three Rivers/Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2012


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