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White Jacket Required: A Culinary Coming-of-Age Story Hardcover – September 4, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling Epicure (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402777779
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402777776
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jenna Weber attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, FL, with the goal of landing a job at one of the top food magazines. Instead, she ended up becoming a hugely popular blogger and writing this, her first book. Visit her blog at eatliverun.com to get an up-to-the-minute look at Jenna's world of food. She lives in Santa Rosa, CA.

More About the Author

Jenna Weber is the writer and creator of the popular food blog, Eat,Live,Run. For the past five years, she has been welcoming readers into her life and teeny tiny kitchen, serving up delicious recipes for tasty meals and treats.

Jenna graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in English and Creative Writing in 2007. From there, she attended a travel and food writing course in Paris, where she fell head over heels in love with just about every French bakery and pastry shop that she passed. Upon returning home to the States, Jenna decided to pursue her lifelong passion of food (desserts in particular!), and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando, Florida.

Jenna has worked as a pastry chef, bread baker and food writer. White Jacket Required is her personal story of attending culinary school with the goal of becoming a food writer rather than a chef. She hopes it inspires others to go after their dreams, no matter how big they seem.

Jenna loves yoga, traveling, black licorice, shopping at Target and cuddling with her cat, Dexter. Visit EatLiveRun.com for an up-to-the-minute view of her world of food.

Customer Reviews

Jenna's blog was the first I ever read.
Krista Spear
I think this is a good example of someone who blogs shouldn't assume they will make a good author.
She writes very well, it was a very easy read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Christina Hayes on September 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the format of the book, with recipes after each chapter- and most of the recipes are quite good. The narrative itself, though, is fairly thinly developed. The first few chapters seem devoted to "what a quirky kid I was!" The rest of the book recounts the few years after Jenna graduated from college, and they lack a coherent narrative. The book tries to shoehorn her experiences into "young woman follows her dreams!" but I think "young woman flails about, trying to find something worthwhile to do with her life" would be more accurate- and a much more interesting read.

The book also suffers from Weber's refusal to let her readers in on the emotions she's feeling; we learn more about the devastation she felt when she got shin splits from running than we do about how she dealt with a real tragedy, and her boyfriend of many years is given the most superficial of descriptions.

As another reviewer mentioned, there are a few inconsitentcies in the narrative, which can be irritating. Worse are the details that seem left out, that I want to know more about: Wait, you were a sorority girl at University of Alabama? Wait, you're a devoted yogi? Wait, who's this best friend that you're visiting whom I haven't heard of until this page? Wait, were you happy and popular with serious boyfriends in high school or a shy new girl?

Overall, a *** read. Interesting and readable enough when you want something light, and there's a kernel of a good book there, but it's just not developed well enough- or Weber doesn't let us in enough- to make it great.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By brit on October 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The reviewers who note the frustrating inconsistencies, erratic pacing, and lack of emotional depth are spot-on. The book is worth reading if you're a fan of the blog. Although you'll have to overlook the vast difference between the writing tone on the blog and the one in the book (among other inconsistencies). Another element that I found extremely frustrating was that many of the recipes are already on the blog and have been for years. It seems as if she tried to copy Amanda Hesser's Cooking with Mr. Latte or Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris but fell drastically short. Both the aforementioned are much more interesting reads. After enjoying the blog for years I expected more from Jenna.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chicago Book Addict TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Having read the author's blog on and off since its inception, I was curious to read her first book, White Jacket Required: A Culinary Coming-of-Age Story. Billed as a culinary coming of age story, it follows Weber from her decision to pursue culinary school post college to her experience actually at school to her struggles afterward to find her purpose and live a full life. The premise was one that appealed to me because as a 29-year-old the struggles of adjusting to life post-college are still pretty fresh in my mind. I also think that social media like Facebook can give you the impression as an early 20-something that your friends have it all together so if you are struggling, it can be refreshing to read the story of someone in a similar position.

Unfortunately the execution didn't quite realize the full potential of its premise. I found the book to be a nice account of Jenna's early 20-something life, but to me nice only makes for a 3-star, not 5-star read. For me it didn't really flow as a book. Her entire culinary school experience felt really flat to me. There wasn't much tension there and though I get the sense it was a trying time for Jenna, she only seems to touch on the surface of her emotions at this period in time. I was also expecting a little bit more in how she described the whole experience. Her description of food was okay at first, but became quickly formulaic as she described almost every culinary experience the same way. It lacked a lot of the depth and variety I've come to find from other food writers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Reader of the blog on May 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The bottom line is, the review entitled "a tale of two Jenna's" is entirely accurate. The book is very inconsistent and jumpy. I am a reader of the blog but I was disappointed by the book and the obvious discrepancies from what is written on the blog. Clearly Jenna is a talented woman with many things to be proud of, the review is obviously not an attack on her as an individual. Those of us who read blogs appreciate the realness of getting to know someone on-line, it is a let down when they author a book that leaves the reader feeling confused as to what is really true. I'm not sure if Jenna was swayed by her editors or publisher to change the facts in the book to make it more appealing or if what is written in the blog is inaccurate, but either way, there are too many instances where her stories don't jive, even down to the dates. I can't imagine none of them, Jenna included, would think that the blog readers wouldn't notice this. That said, even if these inconsistencies did line up, there are other things that were to me, wonky about the book. For example, there is absolutely no mention of blogging whatsoever until around page 100 when suddenly she says she appreciated all of the comments on her blog regarding her brothers death. Blog? What blog? I mean, the blog is why she got the book deal so you would think in a memoir there would be more than one sentence about it, especially one that comes out of nowhere. Either way, this sort of left me feeling disillusioned about the blog itself. I sort of wish Jenna would have waited until she was in her 30's to write a memoir. I think at that point she would feel more comfortable in her own skin and allow herself to be truly honest with her readers; in this book that isn't the case.
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