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Skirt Steak: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat and Staying in the Kitchen Hardcover – October 24, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I start with the positive aspects of my experience: I love the title, cover, and concept of this book. Ms. Druckman was on our local NPR station the day I ordered it. In the process of discovering my second profession, which includes the culinary arts, I ordered "Skirt Steak" while she was still on the radio. When I picked up the book a few days later I was settled in with a great glass of white wine, in front of a cozy fire, and a quiet house. Suffice it to say, I was poised to love this book - and I set it down after two chapters and have not picked it up since.
To begin with, the writing is that of an (almost) attorney. Very literal, overly descriptive, and written with an obvious intent to ensure that even a five year old understands her point(s). The demographic of Ms. Druckman's audience is relatively well educated, curious, with a fair amount of life experience under her/his belt...no need to explain the minutiae. I am also not a big fan of people who dwell on the negative. I don't want to be lied to but I most certainly appreciate some sense of humor, compassion, or tenderness (even when the going gets tough).
Again, I love the concept of this book but not the book itself. Maybe Ms. Druckman's next endeavor will hit that sweet spot where humor, intellect, and appreciation of ones audience meet.
It takes a whole chapter for her - with quotes from some of the chefs she interviewed - to try to come up with a definition of the word "chef". I'm not sure one was ever forthcoming, because by about mid-chapter, I was already skipping ahead to see where the in-depth interviews were. Unfortunately, there weren't any: just snippets, interspersed with long passages detailing the writer's own experiences and impressions, her fan-girl relationship with some of the chefs, and so on and on. The style is gee-whiz with a generous sprinkling of girly parentheses and italics.
It's almost as rare for me not to finish a book as it is not to finish a meal, but a few bites of this one were more than enough. I hop someone will take this subject and start over, devoting each chapter to one of the interesting female chefs this country has produced, and letting her speak for herself - without the parentheses.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No story line, just a bunch of chatter. It was a boring book to me. I'm not interested in all the definitions of the word chef.Published on June 30, 2013 by Linda Coy
This sounded like an interesing topic but it was totally boring, could not get through the whole book, poorly written, nothing interesting, or informative.
The author's "voice" is to talk about the challenges of writing a book on women chef's over and over. I would have preferred a more confident point of view.Published on February 22, 2013 by Deborah R. Bander
I've been a female chef for over 10 years now, and there is just SO much to say about it. It's about more than sexism or gender roles, it's more than finding a balance of career... Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Allison Marie
I received 2 copies of this book and there is ink all over many of the pages. It appears to be an error at the printer but maybe it is intentional. Unfortunate choice.Published on December 17, 2012 by Nancy Kaplan
Charlotte Druckman's book is smart, funny, and deeply insightful. She reveals the world of women chefs in an original and engaging manner with no holds barred. Read morePublished on November 23, 2012 by Cynthia E. Seidman
This is a very informative and well written book. The subject has been well researched and is presented in a well organized and entertaining manner.Published on November 3, 2012 by Lulinada