Grant’s story follows the sometimes smooth, sometimes jagged, always revealing contours of her life: from her days as a dancer struggling to find her place at Julliard, to her experiences in and out of four-star kitchens in New York City, to falling in love with her future husband and leaving the city after 9/11 for California, where her children are born.
In dynamic, poetic prose, Grant relays the contours of her life ... It’s with the same attention and precision that Grant plucks and places her words. The vignettes in this lean collection are powerful, presented with plenty of white space between chapters, a pause to savor what is told and what is left unsaid ... In the final section, Grant provides recipes with wit and warmth ... Brimming with passion, tragedy and love, this slim volume delights, enlightens and satisfies.
... a series of vignettes, poetic and spare and powerful, that trace this writer’s life as a chef, a baker, a mother, a partner. I have never been a chef, so I found her passages from that period of her life compelling, but I especially appreciate her portrait of motherhood, including postpartum depression, the specific pain of childbirth, and getting an abortion as a mother of two. And yet it’s not a downer at all.
Sometime the subtitle really does tell it all. In this case, A memoir with recipes is the most succinct yet accurate description of this work; an often raw, stream of consciousness effort, describing the difficulties of being a restaurant line cook and new mother in equally vivid detail ... A somewhat idiosyncratic collection of the author’s personal favorite recipes range from pesto to spicy beef stew to strawberry balsamic tart, written in a cozy, conversational style, encouraging readers to use up what’s in the fridge ... A compelling memoir about cooking (at home and at work), life, and making it up as you go along.