The latest entry in the Be What You Want series serves up a useful introduction to the world of culinary arts.
Through a lively narrative spiced with interviews, profiles, quizzes and recipes, Bedell offers plenty of enthusiasm and a dash of caution for young people who love food. Interspersed profiles introduce readers to the likes of Roland Mesnier, executive pastry chef at the White House, and Sarah Clements Olivieri, co-owner of a food truck in Orlando, who share insights into the industry. Advice common to several interviews is to start early, find mentors and don’t invest heavily in culinary schools before knowing that’s what you really want to do. Bloggers, videographers, food critics and cookbook writers add to the heady stew of ingredients necessary in turning an interest in food into a career. Recipes are included, though they vary in their use of metric or English measurements; only one provides conversions. Furthermore, some recipes (crispy duck salad and orechiette pasta with late-summer squash, tomato jam and Pecorino) seem a stretch for novice cooks. The extensive glossary probably didn’t need to include “cookbook,” “fast food” and “ingredients,” and the extensive bibliography’s websites and online articles are a full course compared to the few included books, which are more of an amuse-bouche.
Overall, a lively introduction to the food business that may well help readers find their place at the table. (industry resources) (Nonfiction. 9-16)