In this window into the life of a chef's wife, Febbroriello challenges the stereotype of such women as pampered-she doesn't like exotic foods, is a vegetarian, subsists on potatoes and yogurt gulped down on the run. Febbroriello tires of hearing how wonderful it must be to be the wife of cook Christopher Prosperi of Metro Bis in Simsbury, Conn., and complains of condescending businessmen who assume they need to talk to her husband when she herself is part owner. She details the manic organizational demands of owning a restaurant, customer complaints, crowded lunches, a husband to whom every surface is a napkin; she even dishes out raunchy kitchen jokes. After her experience as Fry-O-Lator girl in a restaurant that allowed workers to pick up food that had fallen on a floor frequented by cockroaches, Febbroriello vowed never to eat out again-that is, until she became enamored of her husband-to-be and his passion for all things food. With chapter titles like "Combat Skills" and "The Rules of the Jungle," the book makes one wonder why anyone would want to be in this business. There is only passing mention of the rewarding customers and quirky regulars, and with only one recipe, there is more evidence of passion for bookkeeping than there is passion for food. However, those who have suffered the indignities and long hours of the restaurant business will appreciate her no-nonsense descriptions of the fierce competition for the best ingredients, wines and employees; the politics of reviewing; the financial woes; and the customers who can't make up their minds.
interesting, sort of female version of Anthony Bourdain, fun read.
A lot of fun if you enjoy restaurants. I really appreciate now how no matter how exceptional the chef is the restaurant can be no better than the front of the house leadership.
Really enjoyed this book! Nice to hear the other side of the story!