Posted by: annmucc | March 20, 2009

Life on a Plate

This is ‘The Journey of an Unlikely Chef‘…not me (I’m not chef…I can cook just not to go hungry, but that’s about it for enthusiasm so far)…but Sid Owen. Another book I got from the library, and just finished reading this morning (yesterday I went to sleep early, so yeps! I woke up early again this morning…but at least it is not too bad…the only thing I am a bit curious about this night is that I went to sleep with a t-shirt and a sweater on and woke up with no sweater…not sure what happened…and I have no recollection of anything…boqq! must be my old age!)

This book is about Sid Owen’s (apparently an EastEnders cast member…good for him! I never watched the show except to listening to snippets of the irritating opening song as I am switching channels…that seems to have put me off watching…Sorry Sid!) relationship with food. He starts from his childhood, writing how on Staurday and Friday it was fish and chips and mash and potatoes, and the way of getting food from the local area…goes on to him and his brothers moving with their aunt and uncle, and how they influenced them with their choices of produce and food (they had more money, so could afford to choose the best)…then on to the influences he got as he travelled around places and met people from other cultures…and on to when he started his restaurant in France, writing about how that came along and how it worked out (very well it seems). 

Another aspect of the book is the numerous (more than 100) recipes interspersed through the pages of the book. I guess this was meant to be a selling point for the book, as as you e.g. are reading about the Thai influence, you get a number of Thai recipes from Sid. However, for someone like me who was reading the story for its own sake (and did not really look at the recipes O:)), it was a bit of a distraction from the main story line, as I had to flip over a couple of pages and figure out where the story continues to go on following the story. Another problem for me was that the setting for the recipes and the generally story seemed to be the same…so it was not possible to determine if something was a recipe or the story just by a brief glance sometimes (especially when a recipe overflowed into the next page)…this meant that I often lost the drift of the story as I flipped through pages looking for the next page of the story and having to read the first few lines to figure it out (also I am sure I missed quite a couple of pages :)). The recipes interspersed the story every 2 pages or so, making this a more relevant issue. Not sure how to suggest to improve on this, besides changing the typesetting of the recipe and story pages (to make them visually identifiable immediately), since I guess the book is not meant for someone like me 🙂

Otherwise, decent book I think…didn’t set me alight on fire with enthusiasm, but it was OK (I am realising that as I write about more books here in my blog I am starting to become more criticial and more exacting in my expectations and descriptions…sorry authors! I like you all 🙂 – but hope that the readers appreciate it)

 

Chefs :)

Chefs 🙂

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