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The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking Schoolby Kathleen Flinn
Synopses & Reviews
A delightful true story of food, Paris, and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
In 2003, Kathleen Flinn, a thirty-six-year-old American living and working in London, returned from vacation to find that her corporate job had been eliminated. Ignoring her mother's advice that she get another job immediately or never get hired anywhere ever again, Flinn instead cleared out her savings and moved to Paris to pursue a dreama diploma from the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.
The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the touching and remarkably funny account of Flinns transformation as she moves through the schools intense program and falls deeply in love along the way. Flinn interweaves more than two dozen recipes with a unique look inside Le Cordon Bleu amid battles with demanding chefs, competitive classmates, and her wretchedly inadequate French. Flinn offers a vibrant portrait of Paris, one in which the sights and sounds of the citys street markets and purveyors come alive in rich detail. The ultimate wish fulfillment book, her story is a true testament to pursuing a dream. Fans of Julie & Julia, Almost French, and Eat, Pray, Love will be amused, inspired, and richly rewarded by this seductive tale of romance, Paris, and French food.
"'When the author, an American journalist and software executive working in London, is sacked from her high-powered job, she enrolls as a student at the Cordon Bleu school in Paris. With limited cooking skills and grasp of the French language, she gamely attempts to master the school's challenging curriculum of traditional French cuisine. As if she didn't have enough on her plate eviscerating fish and knocking out pt choux, she determines to write a book about her experience and gets married along the way. The result is a readable if sentimental chronicle of that year in Paris in which her love life is explored in great detail, dirty weekends and all, and cooking features as a metaphor for self-discovery. Some readers may feel disappointed that the narrator's encounters with French cookery remain largely confined to her lessons at the Cordon Bleu. On those rare occasions when she ventures into the food-obsessed city, the descriptions of meals are glancing at best. Although her struggles with the language and lack of knowledge about the culture lend comic elements to the story (once, trying to order a pizza over the phone, she said, 'Je suis une pizza' — I am a pizza), they, too, constrain the author's culinary explorations. (Oct.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This tasty offering...seems destined to earn an honored place on the crowded bookshelves of many foodie readers." Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"A joy to read....A compelling story about learning to cook and learning to love at the same time, told with humility, humor, and passion." Bill Radke, host of NPR's "Weekend America"
"An engaging story about a fantasy fulfilled. It's Under the Tuscan Sun goes to cooking school." Michael Ruhlman, author of The Elements of Cooking and The Soul of a Chef
This is the funny and inspiring account of Kathleen Flinn's struggle in a stew of hot-tempered chefs, competitive classmates, her own awretchedly inadequate French, and the basics of French cuisine. Flinn was a thirty-six-year-old middle manager trapped on the corporate ladder — until her boss eliminated her job. So she cashed in her savings and moved to Paris to pursue her lifelong dream of attending the venerable Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. Fans of Julie and Julia and the late Julia Child will be richly rewarded by this vibrant tale of self-discovery, transformation, and ultimately love.
Luisa has a way of telling a story thats nothing short of entrancing.” —Deb Perelman, author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Chocolate and Zucchini. 101 Cookbooks. The Julie/Julia Project. In the early days of food blogs, these were the pioneers whose warmth and recipes turned their creators kitchens into beloved web destinations. Luisa Weiss was working in New York when she decided to cook her way through her massive recipe collection. The Wednesday Chef, the cooking blog she launched to document her adventures, charmed readers around the world. But Luisa never stopped longing to return to her childhood home in Berlin. A food memoir with recipes, My Berlin Kitchen deliciously chronicles how she finally took the plunge and went across the ocean in search of happiness—only to find love waiting where she least expected it.
Read Kathleen Flinn's posts on the Penguin Blog.
This is the funny and inspiring account of Kathleen Flinn’s struggle in a stew of hot-tempered chefs, competitive classmates, her own “wretchedly inadequate” French, and the basics of French cuisine. Flinn was a thirty-six-year-old middle manager trapped on the corporate ladder—until her boss eliminated her job. So she cashed in her savings and moved to Paris to pursue her lifelong dream of attending the venerable Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. Fans of Julie and Julia and the late Julia Child will be richly rewarded by this vibrant tale of self-discovery, transformation, and ultimately love.
About the Author
Kathleen Flinn has been a writer and journalist for nearly twenty years. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and many other publications.
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