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A Memoir

by Tess Rafferty

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-250-01143-5
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Calamities in the kitchen for a newbie chef.

Rafferty, former writer for The Soup, brings yet another snarky voice to the myriad of memoirs that revolve around culinary experiments and dinner parties by inexperienced cooks. What distinguishes this author from others is her insatiable appetite for wine, her indomitable spirit in the face of catastrophe, her resolute desire to please everyone and her offbeat sense of humor. Rafferty wittily pokes fun at herself and her attempts to pull off Martha Stewart–type meals in a tiny apartment hardly big enough for one, let alone seven guests who often don't know the difference between good and bad wine. Runny gravy, watery polenta and a cranky boyfriend running on empty are all included in a hodgepodge of memories. Attacking each meal with gusto, Rafferty discusses entertaining at some of the most important food moments of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as preparing a dinner for well-known restaurant owners and volunteering to cater a baby shower for 100 guests. She yearns to satisfy appetites and create memories that extend beyond the frazzled nerves (before and after the meal) and the occasional outbreak of tears. For Rafferty, "preparing food is a meditation," even if something goes wrong and "the food sucks." Recipes at the end of each chapter enhance the narrative, but some readers may find more fluff than sustenance as they tag along for the ride.

Energetic account of a comedienne’s mishaps in the kitchen as she prepares meals for family and friends.