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Preview — Cooking Dirty by Jason Sheehan
Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen
Cooking Dirty is a rollicking account of life “on the line” in the restaurants, far from culinary school, cable TV, and the Michelin Guide—where most of us eat out most of the time. It takes the kitchen memoir to a rough and reckless place.
From his first job scraping trays at a pi
Like Bourdan, Sheehan enjoys portraying not only how horrible the kitchen is, but also how horrible he and everyone else is as well. In the hands of a lesser writer, this material--particularly the consumption of vast quantities of drugs and alcohol--would grow tiresome. But he's good at capt ...more
Jason Sheehan is a Cook, mind you - not a Chef. There's a big difference. Cooks like Jason are the guys (almost always men) who crank out the burgers and the eggs over easy and the pizza day after day. They stand on their feet for 12 hours at a time. They cut themselves with knives and burn themselves with hot oil. They get hot and sweaty and swear at each other and, at times, punch pumm ...more
There's more of the kitchen management and logistics in Sheehan's work than I usually find in this genre, and it's fascinating to see the complexity of the work.
Delightful! and some vignettes are just hilarious! Sheehan well deserves his James Beard award, and I just hope that he's got another cou ...more
Almost all of the books I read come from the library. Sometimes my local librar ...more
This book chronicles his life working in kitchens--not famous ones, just regular ol' restaurants. At times, it got a bit redundant. I wanted to say, okay, we get it: cooking on a line during the rush is like going into battle and the guys who do it are tough. The book could have standed a bit of editing--too many si ...more
A few of my favorites pieces by him:
Mama's House - Eating Ethiopian Food with Denver's Ethiopian Population's Mother
I quite enjoyed the start of the book where Sheehan describes how he got into cooking, by accident it seems and his early years working in a pizza parlour and a Chinese restaurant, that doubled as a gambling den and hosted the local swingers club. Both of which Sheehan indulged in. But then he goes o ...more
On the other hand, I think Cooking Dirty needed some serious editing. Sheehan's style includes a lot of ranting and raving-- which gives him his unique voice, but at the same time, gets ultra-repetitive. There were multiple lengthy musings on every element of restaurant l ...more
About this podcast:
Jason Sheehan, the food writer for Denver’s Westword, won a James Beard Award in 2003. His essay “There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Barbecue” was reprinted in the book "This I Believe," and his work has appeared in Best American Food Writing for the past five years. Sheehan reads from and discusses his new me ...more
Or, in the words of someone whose words I wish were mine and am thus appropriating, upon glancing at the book jacket: "One of the great bad boy chefs. An infamous user of hair gel."
Everything about this book was teeth-grindingly predictable, from the mixture of bravado and self-deprecation, to the misogyny and substance abuse, to the war, mafia porn, and Apocalypse Now references.
This, of course, didn't come as a total surprise. ...more