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“If chefs are the new rock stars, Jason Sheehan is like a grunge guitarist of the old school. Sheehan cut his teeth in Buffalo and Tampa in the full-contact arena of line prep. The cooking venues were dingy; his hair long and stringy; and his path from the deep fryer to foodie journalist, as described in this hilarious memoir, featured more smoke breaks than your average AA meeting.” —John Freeman, NPR.org
“‘Cooking Dirty,’ a broad, prickly, affecting memoir chronicling his recollections of his first 30-odd years . . . Young and ambitious and in full voice, Sheehan no doubt has many adventures ahead to gather for his next memoir (or three). I’d expect them.” —Tucker Shaw, Denver Post
“It was bound to happen. After the publication of Kitchen Confidential and Anthony Bourdain’s meteoric rise from self-described journeyman chef/heroin addict to bestselling author and traveling TV host, it comes as no surprise that a new generation would be inspired to write about following Bourdain’s often-dissipated career path. Jason Sheehan is one of those guys. In Cooking Dirty, Sheehan chronicles his alcohol-soaked and drug-fueled journey from dishwasher in a Rochester, N.Y., pizza joint to jobs as line cook, bartender, ‘wheel man,’ and sous chef at a succession of diners, Waffle Houses, Chinese restaurants, grocery store delis, and other midlevel eateries to his current career as a restaurant critic for Denver alternative weekly Westword . . . [Sheehan] knows how to weave a good story while still being brutally honest about himself—‘a blue-collar, rust belt diner kid, a beans-and-weenies, steak-and-potatoes simpleton’ at the beginning of his cooking career. The two best laughs I had involved Sheehan’s description of surreptitious purchases of Gourmet magazine as a high school kid and his one failed attempt to ‘translate the language of baking into cook-ese’ (‘like trying to teach long division to a hamster’).”
—Virginia B. Wood, The Austin Chronicle
Had I not read Tales from the Radiation Age, I never would have been interested in reading Cooking Dirty. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Danielle
What could have been another whiney, self-promoting diatribe turned out to be a humble, well-written coming of age story, as Sheehan matures in the kitchen, in his relationships,... Read morePublished on June 29, 2013 by Ashland Mystery
I liked the detail and the writing style. Glad the author was rescued by the love of cooking and learning that there is comfort in foodPublished on June 24, 2013 by loves to read
Jason takes you on a trip through his teens and early twenties honestly and humorously. His style of writing grips you from the first page and takes you on a trip through... Read morePublished on April 19, 2013 by Karen K. French
I have been having some very strange experiences as a customer with restaurant personnel. Unlike decades ago when everyone was friendly, the restaurant personnel seem to be... Read morePublished on March 10, 2013 by elizabeth shackelford
This book is very much a 'wannabe' version of the classic Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. Read morePublished on August 12, 2010 by C. J. Thompson
I was a bit concerned when I first starting reading the book that this was going to be a lame attempt to one-up Anthony Bourdain, because the prose was so crass and boisterous in... Read morePublished on August 2, 2010 by Jason Richards
Of course this book will be compared to Kitchen Confidential and while it does not quite measure up to that book, readers who are interested in the cook's lifestyle or behind the... Read morePublished on April 5, 2010 by Kindle Customer
I just finished this 350 page book, that could have been written in 50.
It is the ramblings of a drunken fool who totally exaggerates the realities of the profession. Read more