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Skirt Steak: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat and Staying in the Kitchen

2.33 of 5 stars 2.33  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In this in-depth, behind-the-scenes tell-all about the lives of women chefs, journalist Charlotte Druckman walks the reader into the world behind the hot line. But this is a different perspective on the kitchen: one told through the voices of more than 70 of the best and brightest women cooking today, These are female chefs performing culinary and domestic high wire acts: ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 24th 2012 by Chronicle Books (first published October 12th 2012)
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Ultimately, enlightening and filled with insights from a wide variety of women who have taken on the task of working in the restaurant industry in their various ways. However, the book was a difficult read due to it's format as opposed to it's content. The author's asides and footnotes, while intended as informative, often broke the through line of the idea/story being shared and on several instances presented a condescending tone while being repetitive and/or inane. With so many voices appearin ...more
Devon H
At first glance, this book is oozing feminist thought, from the pink accent pages to the concept behind the book: women chefs in America. Unfortunately, the book does not deliver its promise. Druckman brutally reinforces gender roles and gender stereotypes. The way she compiles the information she gathered from 73 female chefs does not promote the female agenda (perhaps it’s a white feminist approach? idk, seems misogynistic). I would give this a 4/10; interesting idea, but the writing misses th ...more

Exhausting in its flippancy. She may have gotten to a valid point eventually, but I wasn't willing to wade through the casual asides to find out.
I so much wanted to like this book and I looked forward to reading it after seeing a note about it in a food mag. After 80 pages, I gave up. For some reason, she had extensive footnotes (on some pages there was more footnote than regular text) that further explained her thoughts or provided additional background on almost every page. But the material in the footnotes was interesting and should have been in the text. It was so distracting and difficult to read. In the end the book didn't move alo ...more
I was so excited to read this book when I saw it on my library shelf, but it (mostly) disappointed me. I feel like Druckman spent way too much time going off on little side thought tangents (very evident in the extremely distracting, goofy footnotes) and didn't take advantage of the valuable insight she got from her many interviews with female chefs. The book came across as too feminist to me, just too much intentional use of "witty" dialogue and snappy, short sentences that seemed way too force ...more
I was SO excited to read this book and SO disappointed with it. I quit reading it after only 2 chapters because I really could not stand the way the author wrote. She divided the book into categories like "What is a Chef" and "Education" and wrote about each subject with a lot of quotes from various female chefs, but the most irritating thing was almost every pages had footnotes - some pages had like 4 or 5 footnotes! Sometimes they were actually helpful, but most of the time it was something la ...more
Yes, this book does use a lot of direct quotes. And, yes, there are a lot of parenthetical asides. That being said, I stuck with this book and after the first 100 pages or so I started flying through it. I guess the psychology of the subject really drew me in. The take away for me, I think, was that success is hard work, that success is different for everyone, that a person's version of success can change over time, and that sometimes you have to tell the men and the traditional "structure" that ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Stacy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: food
I received an advance reader's copy of this book and was captivated by the stories of successful women chefs and restauranteurs and their trials and tribulations. Her access to some of the country's top culinary talent is outstanding. However, the author's compulsive footnotes to explain things that could be easily explained withing the text became wearying and quite frankly, twee. I'm hoping that in the final edit of this book, those are significantly reduced. Druckman's audience is primarily w ...more
Sally Sas Pants Pants
as a female who has worked in kitchen for the past 7 years I really was hoping that this book was something more powerful and really dove into subjects that were apart of what it really is to be a woman in the kitchen instead it ended up seeming more of stereotypes and feeding into what is already a male dominated realm. Utterly horrific and very much a let down, I would never encourage anyone to pick it up unless it was free.
The concept of this book had promise.

To give this 1-star is to insult all other legitimate 1-star books, but Zero stars is not an option. I could only make it through the first 2 chapters before I gave up. Meandering, wordy style relies on parenthetical asides that distract from whatever points I presume the author was trying to make. If it is worth saying, put it in the text with no apologies ... writing 101. I want my money back.
I couldn't actually finish this book, which is a real shame because I was interested in the subject matter, but the writing was just too annoying. The chatty voice, the constant self-reference, the absurd footnotes, and the block quotes were insufferable.
Annie Bronchetti
Not a fan of the format - if you need more than a sentence or two to define a point, then that point ought to be included in the original paragraph in which it was footnoted. Or given it's own paragraph. Too much bouncing between the body of the book and the footnotes, very distracting.
Jada Roche
What a hot mess of a headache this book is. I get it lady, you're "hip". You like footnotes. I tried multiple times because what the chefs are saying is clearly worthwhile but ladies, I'm sorry, this author ruined this.

Taking back to the library only about 70 pages in.
Must read for chefs or women thinking about being a chef. Boring for everyone else. Author's writing style is annoying with unnecessary details about herself (Her computer's name, song titles of her favorite in junior high, etc).
Rachel Watkins
This is an interesting and enlightening read for any foodie, particularly if you're female. Lots of insight on the culinary world from a woman's perspective, as Druckman interviewed over 70 females during her research.
While this book satisfied the curiosity I had (I now understand Elizabeth Falkner's attitude better), from beginning to end it was a bit like being hit over the head with a cast-iron skillet.
I picked up the book (actually, I ILLed it), read a few pages, and was "eh". Didn't grab me the way I had hoped it would. So technically I didn't read it, but I didn't have any desire to.
Couldn't even really get started after flipping through it. Overwhelming amount of info. Not so interested after all. Thank goodness it was a library book.
Nick Santos
The footnotes are awesome. It reminded me of David Foster Wallace's essays on star tennis players, but here the stars are chefs.
Really interesting stuff about women chefs. A lot of stories of women chefs and how they went to where they are now.
Kathleen Iannone
Disappointing. I almost quit halfway thru. I should have.
More of an organized survey
Peggy Watts
Did Not Like It.
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