- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Hyperion (August 6, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401324770
- ISBN-13: 978-1401324773
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,927,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me about Life, Love and the Power of Good Food Hardcover – August 6, 2013
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Few sane cooks would take on the trials of cooking five days a week for a fraternity house, but Barnes did just that at the University of Washington. Working as a private chef in Dallas for a sociopathic billionaire and family had given her a thick skin. But nothing prepared her for the challenges of cooking for a houseful of testosterone-driven undergraduates. Her first task beyond simply keeping the kitchen vermin-free turned out to be getting her complacent suppliers to deliver fresh produce and meat at fair prices, so that she could feed her charges more than typical processed institutional foods. Recruiting competent kitchen help proved similarly daunting. Over time she gained first respect and then love for her guys, and they learned to appreciate more than just her cuisine, especially in the face of devastating tragedy. She has included a few simple recipes with this unique, funny, touching memoir. --Mark Knoblauch
About the Author
Darlene Barnes has been food and word passionate all her life, cooking professionally for the last eleven years. Born in the New Orleans area, she spent most of her precollege years in London, eventually moving to Canada with her husband and graduating from Queen's University with a BA in English. From 2006 to 2013, she cooked for the men of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, offering fresh food and largely unsolicited advice to her college-age customers. She blogged about the experience at hungryboys.net and continues the teaching, learning, and connecting through food at darlenebarnes.com. Barnes lives with her husband in Seattle, where her two grown sons also reside.
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Top customer reviews
This last applicant is in fact our author. She certainly can be smug in her definition of real food, and she has pretentious of being a dreadful prig. Somehow, however, she proves to be a real person who really cares about houses of rambunctious boys who at first glance have little to recommend them. She does share with them, "a longing for connection and purpose, not to mention a heavy dose of laughter and fun in life." This then is the story of an outsider fitting in. The fraternity is not one of the shiny status ones, nor is it animal house.
I grew to really like Barnes, despite her smarmy criticisms of some of my deeply favorite foods. She allows herself her pratfalls, her own pretentiousness, and her sometimes delusions. For this I applaud her. In addition, I recommend the book. The back room of a fraternity was not necessarily one of my wished for armchair trips, but it proved a terrific surprise.
Barnes does a great job combining serious messages with hilarious stories, having you laughing one page and nearly crying the next. But in the end, you realize you've read a poignant tale about acceptance and belonging in unlikely places with unlikely people.
I wish I could quote the whole 3rd chapter to show first-hand how entertaining this story really is, but you'll have to read it yourself!