Who knew the life of a (at times) struggling, blue-collar chef could be so gritty, and so -- well, exciting? From the rollicking danger of working in the hottest kitchen imaginable (temperature-wise) in Tampa, Florida, to the behind-the-scenes antics happening after hours at a Chinese restaurant in upstate New York (I won't give a way the dirty, hilarious secret of *WHAT* actually went on there after hours - you'll have to read for yourself), this memoir is all at once laugh-out-loud funny (and it takes a LOT to get me to that point), sad, raw and touching.
And the excitement and chaos of the described anecdotes aside, Mr. Sheehan happens to be a really excellent writer; it is pure pleasure to read this book for that reason alone. Yes, there's profanity, but it's not superfluous. It is, quite literally, fully relevant to the stories being relayed.
I consider this memoir of a burgeoning chef to be somewhat a book in disguise. It's not really for foodies, not limited to enjoyment by those who have worked in kitchens or served as chefs -- although I'm sure that those who have worked in the restaurant industry would find that it resonates with them. But I never really did any of the above, and didn't enjoy the book any less as a result. It is ultimately the story of a young man coming to terms with his true passion and finding his calling and destiny through meaningful work. We should all be so lucky.
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