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Wife of the Chef

2.95 of 5 stars 2.95  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Wife of the Chef is at once a no-holds-barred memoir of restaurant life and a revealing look at married life. For Courtney Febbroriello, the two are intertwined. She and her husband own an American bistro in Connecticut. He's the chef, so naturally he gets all the credit. She has the role of keeping things running, but she's the wife, so she remains anonymous or invisible ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 21st 2010 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 7th 2003)
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Community Reviews

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Mary Joy
This book is awful.

I didn't finish reading it, a rare thing. This book is just plain awful.

The writing, quite frankly, sucks. The writer, quite frankly, doesn't know how to write: the day-to-day ins and outs of a restaurant through the eyes of a chef's wife could have, would have, but ultimately was not written well here.

The author does not like food, and her interest in it is superficial, forced, and pretentious. I'm just as puzzled as her staff regarding her "vegetarianism": she eats eggs, yog
melanie (lit*chick)
It's definitely a different perspective on the behind the scenes restaurant world. I gave it two stars because it was interesting. I wanted to give it one star because the author's tone seemed to be childish- whiny & complaining. When she made a mistake she blamed it on someone else. She resents her husband's talent and doesn't even eat his food (she's a vegetarian and seems to take pride in being so contrary).
Her job doesn't seem much different than that of a stay at home mom (overworked, u
Tom Cain
I enjoyed reading this book. It wasn't very long (under 300 pages), but it gave an insiders view of the restaurant industry. If anyone thinks they can open a restaurant and make a pile of money in the first year; read this book. Courtney describes the long hours, the staff, the finances and the customers. Her view as owner/hostess/employee is probably the most honest of these type of books out there. I was shocked when I read that she and her husband lived in a rented apartment, because they cou ...more
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Unusual treatment of both the front and back of the house, thanks to Courtney Febbroriello, wife of chef Chris Prosperi, and co-owner of Metro Bis in Salisbury, Connecticut. Seems impossible to balance the two, to bridge the two and to acknowledge that the celebrity chef will be center stage. It's clear that Febbroriello runs the restaurant, providing the structure, organization and financial know-how to keep the place running and seats filled. It's clear that Febbroriello and Prosperi are a tea ...more
I confess that I read this book quite a while ago (probably 10+ years ago), so the details are a little hazy. But the idea of the book stayed with me after all this time--so it must have made an impression on me (and books that make an impression or worth reading!). I remembered that I liked the book because the author chose to tell a life story backwards--starting at the end and moving toward birth. I remember being intrigued by this idea so I bought it. When preparing to write this little desc ...more
Julie Davis
#65 - 2010.

I seem to remember having read this long ago. Just began it but if nothing else you will appreciate how very un-busy your life seems in comparison to that of a restaurant owner-chef. A standard behind-the-scenes in the restaurant business book. However, the frantic pace of the text covering one mishap and frantic problem after another serves to make one wonder how they remain in business or even married. I blame the editor for this as if the author had slowed down occasionally for som
Started off great - engaging, fast-paced - but started to lose steam shortly thereafter. There was no real structure or flow to the book, so while the anecdotes were interesting, it felt a bit aimless and disjointed. Also, the author focused almost exclusively on work; there were very few personal details shared, which really kept the story at an arm's length.

I did like the behind the scenes view from the more business-oriented side of the restaurant, since that's the author's main role. It was
Wow, someone woke up, had a nice bracing PITCHER of Carnation Instant Bitch and decided SHE was going to tell everyone how hard life was being the woman behind the chef at a semi successful restaurant. She is smarter, more refined, works harder, and is just plain BETTER than everyone around her—it must be tiring dealing with us weaker mortals while she is on whatever caused her time away from Olympus, where OBVIOUSLY she belongs.

The sad part is that the information in the book was fascinating,
Having worked in restaurants, and now doing private catering work, I have to admit that I love this book and I read it at least once a year. OK, some of the text is a bit awkward, and there's no real 'story', but the anecdotes are as true-to-life as any I've ever read. I keep hoping she'll write a second book so we can see how her life has changed over the years. Does she eat more widely now? Or is she still a gnocchi-and-cheese girl. Do they have more than one resto now? I love that she's the c ...more
Alex Whatton
An interesting, eye-opening read, but I wouldn't read it again. I do hope I will be a better customer from now on!
Astrid Natasastra
Read this book if you always wonder how does it feel like to date/marry a chef, because this is an honest book from a point of view of a wife. There are some moments when she admire him, when she disappointed in him... When she loves her job.. when she was frustated..
Reading this book makes me feel like meeting Courtney over coffee and listening to her life story right infront of me.
It's an enjoyable read and VERY detail, definitely recommended as a fresher alternative from regular chef's story
The writer, as the title states, is the wife of a chef of a bistro in Connecticut. She runs the office, works in the restaurant, manages the Express restaurant of the bistro, and handles their salad dressing business. In other words, she wears a lot of hats. I thought she had a great writing voice, addressing everything from restaurant employees to difficult customers. I didn't find her tone whiny at all, (as one reviewer described) just factual and articulate.
This was bad. She managed to take what could be an interesting tale of the behind the scenes work of a restaurant, and make it boring. The author needs a better editor. Also throughout the book she gets very defensive about how her work is just as important as her husband's. I believe that, but her constant declarations and whines make me wonder if she believes it. Not good at all.
I recently had lunch at the restaurant this author owns with her husband. It was lovely, and since I'm addicted to stories about what goes on behind the scenes at restaurants, I had to check out the book. Totally fascinating - I couldn't put it down! And confirmed for me once again that although I love to dine out and I love to cook, I could never, ever work in a restaurant.
Ok, I get it, I am marrying a chef. I am supposed to find this stuff really interesting...and the day to day is, just reading it isn't. Especially when it is mixed in with the occasional panic attack that if we open a restaurant this could be me!!!!
Febbroriello offers terrific insight into what it is like to work in the restaurant business: all of the guts and the infrequent glory of it. An easy, amusing read that is almost too harmless in its depiction of the brutal restaurant business.
Although I found the tone to be not a little obnoxious, great capture of what it's really like to work in a restaurant - at least according to what I've been told by people in the know.
Lynett Heritz
This is so real...anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant will understand!
Anyone who thinks they want to own a restaurant because 'it would be fun' needs to read this!!!
Interesting view of the world of dining. And from someone other than the chef's is fantastic. Cheers to the women who support the men in this insane business!
It was pretty good. Owning a business is hard work and never able to do other things. You are always tied up in the business.
Cute look into the life of a Chef Wife....but shes also part owner of the restaurant and was in it up to her neck. :)
gained a little bit of insights, but mostly liked because is was shared experiences
she seems a bit angry about life, but it was an entertaining read.
Ann DelVecchio
can't finish this one --just not that compelling
Nancy marked it as to-read
Mar 15, 2015
Kate marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2015
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