A beautifully written food memoir chronicling one cook's journey from her rural Midwestern hometown to the intoxicating world of New York City fine dining and back again in search of her culinary roots. Before Amy Thielen frantically plated rings of truffled potatoes in some of New York City s finest kitchens for chefs David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten she grew up in a northern Minnesota town home to the nation s largest French fry factory, the headwaters of the fast food nation, with a mother whose generous cooking pulsed with joy, family drama, and an overabundance of butter.Inspired by her grandmother s tales of cooking on the family farm, Thielen moves with her artist husband to the rustic, off-the-grid cabin he built in the woods. There, standing at the stove three times a day, she finds the seed of a growing food obsession that leads to the sensory madhouse of New York s top haute cuisine brigades. When she goes home, she comes face to face with her past, and a curious truth: that beneath every foie gras sauce lies a rural foundation of potatoes and onions, and that taste memory is the most important ingredient of all. Amy Thielen's coming-of-age account brims with energy, a cook s eye for intimate detail, and a dose of dry Midwestern humor. Give a Girl a Knife offers a fresh, vivid view into New York s high-end restaurant before returning Thielen to her roots, where she realizes that the marrow running through her bones is not demi-glace, but gravy honest, thick with nostalgia, and hard to resist."...
|Title||:||Give a Girl a Knife|
|Number of Pages||:||320 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Give » Give a Girl a Knife|
Give a Girl a Knife Reviews
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.
About 14-15 years ago (how can that be?) I went to culinary school, and worked as a personal chef for about 18 months until the economy started tanking. At that time, I always had this dream of opening a little restaurant, nothing super fancy. Of course, once I worked at a restaurant for a brief period, that dream died quickly—I thrive on pressure and chaos, but the frenetic pace of cooking in a restaurant, not to mention the pressure of having to always get everything ri ...more
I received this book free through Goodreads Giveaways.
I thought I'd like this book more than I did, as I am also from rural Minnesota and moved to a big city (not NYC, but still). I just thought it was lacking. I enjoyed the NYC kitchen parts the best and once they were done after the first half of the book, I kept hoping she'd revisit her work. Amy Thielen is a good writer and this is a fine piece of work, it just wasn't that interesting to me.
After I finished the book, I found out she had a ...more
Not just another chefs memoir, but A paean to The beauty of food, the complexity of family, and the ineluctable pull place of origin.
Though it's nonfiction, Give A Girl A Knife was an interesting sister read to Stephanie Danler's debut novel, Sweetbitter, which I read only weeks before finally picking up Amy Thielen's compelling and beautifully written food memoir.
At thirty-some-odd-years Thielen chronicles her life thus far through the lens of family and food—beginning with her childhood, filled with her grandmother and mother's unique German-meets-Midwestern food, and eventually, moving from college to a small, off-the-grid ...more
the most exciting thing to me about this book was the familiarity. Amy Thielen is from Minnesota, studied English at a small private school, procrastinated on her future career, lived *in my neighborhood* for a while, and went to culinary school. THIS IS RELATABLE CONTENT for me. the time jumps in the book confused me a little, but it wasn't too bad. just a nice little foray into a life that's kinda sorta like mine. now I really want to move to the woods.
For some reason, this isn’t keeping my attention right now. I might try it again another time.
Three and a half stars. The first half of this memoir is strong and tight, but the story meanders after the half-way point and (I think) dwells too much on Thielen's family and life before becoming a professional chef. I enjoyed her recollections for the most part, and wish I could taste some of her food someday.
I love cooking memoirs. And this one was no exception. Beautifully written.