The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry – Kathleen Flinn
The author returns home from a vacation with her boyfriend, Mike, one fine day, to discover that she has lost her corporate job. Not that she loved the job much, anyways. She is wondering what to do with herself when Mike suggests that she should run after a dream she always had – of studying at Le Cordon Bleu. Kathleen likes cooking but, in spite of this dream of hers, she has never thought of becoming a chef or anything of that sort. She applies to the famous cooking school, and is accepted too. In a major leap of faith, she pulls out all her life savings and moves to Paris to join Le Cordon Bleu. Support and inspiration from Mike is unflinching. The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry is the author’s memoir of the days she spent learning cooking at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.
I liked the experience of reading this book, but I didn’t grow to adore it. It was enjoyable to read about the author’s experiences in the kitchens of Le Cordon Bleu, and about the many people she met there. However, there is very little about the author’s personal life, which I would have loved to read too, which I think would have made the memoir much more rich and warm. But then, the memoir is not supposed to be about the author’s personal life.
It was definitely an above-the-average read for me, which had the potential to be so much more interesting, at least in my opinion. I am looking forward to read the other memoirs the author has written, now.
Eating India: An Odyssey Into The Food And Culture Of The Land Of Spices – Chitrita Banerji
I have Smitha to thank, for recommending Eating India: An Odyssey Into The Food And Culture Of The Land Of Spices. In this book, Chitrita Banerji, famed food writer, writes about a journey that she undertook to explore the myriad cuisines and flavours that make India. From the spice- and coconut-laden food of South India to the sugary delicacies of Gujarat, the author moves from one region of the country to another, getting in touch with the right people, asking questions, tasting the variety of foods that each region has to offer, and making notes. In between, there are bits of history about the regions she visits, as well as personal anecdotes.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Eating India: An Odyssey Into The Food And Culture Of The Land Of Spices. The author has a lovely writing style, evocative and fresh and passionate, and her descriptions of the places she visited as well as the food she tasted are gorgeous. The book made me crave to visit the places that the author visited and to taste the foods that she tasted.
My only grouse with the book was that the foods of some regions feel a little less researched than the rest. For instance, there is no mention of ‘patra’, which is a very famous Gujarati dish. I wish the author had gone into more detail about the food part of the book, but then maybe that would have made it a very bulky read. Some parts of the book felt disjointed from the rest, as if they were just there for the sake of being there. These didn’t, in any way, take away from my reading of the book, though.
An excellent read, I would say. Highly recommended. I am waiting to get my hands on other books by the author now.