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Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater Hardcover – February 21, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (February 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401324509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401324506
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Chef, author, and television Food Network personality Simmons recounts her life. Toronto-born before becoming a dedicated New Yorker, she had a unique upbringing in a family that valued the pleasures of good food. One of the aspects of her youth that sets Simmons apart is her deep attraction to South African food, developed on family visits to relatives there. She fell in love with dried meat strips (beef, chicken, antelope, and ostrich), which she recalls with great sensory detail. She also spent time in Spain and on an Israeli kibbutz. Returning to North America, Simmons enrolled in culinary school and labored in Le Cirque’s illustrious kitchens. Equal to her passion for cooking, her love for writing led to a career in food journalism, and she became an editor at a food magazine. In an emotionally affecting sketch, she reflects on the devastation wrought by her beloved elder brother’s mental illness. --Mark Knoblauch

Review

"Reading Gail's Simmons's memoir was like having a cappuccino and biscotti with one of my close girlfriends. What a treat!"—Giada de Laurentiis, author of Giada at Home

"In Talking with My Mouth Full, Gail Simmons takes us through her culinary voyage from her gentle upbringing in a food-obsessed family in Toronto to her present culinary star status. In a clear, firm, and concise style, she leads us through her journey from an apprentice and trainee at culinary school to Le Cirque to Vogue and Food & Wine magazine and, ultimately, to her leading role on food television. Her remembrances are a tasty, delightful treat to savor."—Jacques Pepin, author of Essential Pepin

"Gail's book impressively mixes memoir with recent culinary history, and has great recipes, too. Above all, she makes it abundantly clear that passion for food - and hard work - always wins out."—David Chang, Chef/Owner of Momofuku

"Gail Simmons is fearless, passionate and driven, yet she is humble, generous and stays true to the good values that she embraces. This book is inspiring for anyone who dreams about living their passion and finding fulfillment in their work. Talking with My Mouth Full is a joyful account of Gail's journey from her start as a line cook to her work at Food & Wine magazine and of course her role on Top Chef."—Eric Ripert, Executive Chef/Co-Owner, Le Bernardin

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Customer Reviews

The book was very well written.
Amazon Customer
Any young woman unsure about following the typical post-graduate career path will be able to relate.
SPD
I am a huge fan of Top Chef and especially Gail Simmons.
no name

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Baird VINE VOICE on March 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I had the privilege of attending a book signing with Gail Simmons hosted by Tom Colicchio, and at that event Tom described this book as a "love letter to food" and the culinary industry. I don't think a more succinct, accurate description of this book could possibly be found.

Full disclosure: I am a confirmed Top Chef fanatic, and Gail is probably my favorite judge. She has the best shoes, at any rate (sorry Tom). My partner and I saw her give a cooking demo in Bryant Park before Christmas, and we both eagerly attended the aforementioned signing. So one could make the case that I am biased when it comes to Gail--was, in fact, inclined to enjoy Talking with My Mouth Full no matter what she wrote inside.

To that I would respond that I am not without my criticisms of this book. There's an awkward sentence here and there. She has an overwhelming tendency to list things--at one point spending at least a page and a half going through the ingredients and foods one could encounter at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic (which Gail oversaw for a time).

So she isn't, technically speaking, the best writer in the world, but she IS a fantastic storyteller, and that more than makes up for it in my opinion. Gail has a winning personality and it shines throughout her memoir. Yes, the listing offends the English major in me, but I can see that the reason she indulges in it is that she has such a genuine fondness for it all. Even after all these years working in the culinary industry she is still in awe of it all. Those ingredients and flavors at the F&W Classic make her feel positively giddy. This is a woman who LOVES her job and the industry she works in, and that love is so palpable that the reader can't help but fall under its spell.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By dwilli on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some parts of this book were interesting and enjoyable like the (very brief) inside look at Top Chef and the descriptions of the places she's been and some of the great meals she's had. Some of the food descriptions were a little forced though-we don't need to hear about every morsel you've eaten. But overall I found this book unsatifying and kind of dull. It seemed more like a piece of PR or marketing rather than a memoir. It was like a sales pitch for heself, her family and everyone she has ever worked with. In fact, everyone she has met and worked with has been wonderful and became her best friend and somehow helped her get a fabulous job. There seems to be a lack of insight, candor and depth. The only real emotion she displays in the book is when she goes to a diner and they overcook her omlette, whereupon she bursts into inconsolable tears. If you're a big fan of the show or love to read about food it might be worth a read but otherwise fairly skipable.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Russell on April 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like reading about the background of people, and while this book is enlightening, it is not a fabulous read. Gail Simmons definetly had a privileged background and her connections in the food world certainly helped launch her career. She is very qualified to judge entrees! Kindle edition is not the best way to read this book as the pictures are difficult to see and they would add to enjoyment.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John A. Crawley on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's a book about a sweet and beautiful woman who was well loved, highly educated, lucky in life, doing things she was born to do..

zzzz....
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By BlairB on March 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Gail since Top Chef started, I've always appreciated her views and critiques of food. I felt like she was kind hearted and genuine while being constructive in her criticism. Through this book I learned her story, her background,and her many food adventures. Though I must say, I was hungry and jealous throughout most of the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and came out with an even greater respect for who she is and what she does.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By no name on March 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book the first day it came out. I am a huge fan of Top Chef and especially Gail Simmons. I was interested in how such a young woman was able to move her career forward in such a short time to a stage that is enviable to any regular person. I found the stories in Gail's book very interesting. I felt like I was able to follow her on her journey. And I feel now like I understand her better and can relate to her more. I could not put this book down and I would highly recommend it to my friends and my family. It is a MUST READ!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LeahChristine on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed learning about Gail, but I wasn't blown away by the writing or her story. I don't think the book is worth $12.99, but probably more around $7.99.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Hamlin VINE VOICE on April 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am sure most people that have an interest in Gail Simmons know her from the hit Bravo TV show Top Chef and that is probably why you want to read this book. If you are looking for gossipy tell all bits from the show you will only be slightly disappointed as she doesn't delve as deep into the inner workings that you may have expected. If you are looking for inspiration and an amazing story of a strong woman that followed her passion and was willing to work for it, you will be greatly rewarded.
For reasons I can't fully explain I have absolutely adored her ever since I saw her on the show. Her demeanor, input, and general being captured me quickly (as a gay man, I may have fallen in love with her for her wonderful wardrobe as well). When I found out she had written a memoir, to say I was excited is a gross understatement. To say that I enjoyed reading this book would also be a gross understatement. Not only does her writing capture every story and trial along the way it inspires you to choose the path that she herself followed. The path to follow a dream and be true to yourself.
The book is certainly about food, but it is also about a life. A life that was paved by will and sure, a little bit of luck. I encourage everyone to read this telling memoir and look further than the plate and look into the face of an inspirational woman that has done very well for herself.
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