To be a poet one needs the six P’s – the pencil, the paper, the perception, the passion, the persistence and the unshakable persuasion that the poem is in fact possible and attainable. - Grace Perry

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spiced


A glass of wine, warm bubble bath and a good book. This has been my relief at the end of a day reading critical and literary theory.

I have been drawn to novels about food. There is nothing that warms the soil more than glorious imagery of rich and well prepared food. I began with Julie & Julia, a great read (far better than the movie). Followed by The Essential School of Ingredients, which, if you want some fabulously tasty descriptions of food and the people whom prepare it you cannot surpass this book.

Spiced has been another enjoyable read. Dalia Jurgensen captures the aggressive masculinity, misogyny and chaos that is rife in the kitchens of the restaurant world. She does this in such a way that, though I don’t fancy getting a job in a restaurant, I can admire those who do work in that world and still enjoy dining out. Jurgensen’s development and exploration of staff relations combined with the hazards of the kitchen and her own joy at designing and preparing perfect deserts makes this book a comfortable read. A reader can easily follow Jurgensen’s movement and relationship throughout her career. She doesn’t tend to capture the smell and tastes of her deserts, as the previously mentioned books do, but the picture that she paints of the social dramas and physical perils of the kitchen almost make up for this. My only real complaint of this book was that, I felt, it ended weakly. However, this remains a book that I would recommend to fellow readers and lovers of food.