Friday, October 21, 2005

Aloha Friday Cookery Book Review

Girl Cook by Hannah McCouch

I must preface this, my first Aloha Friday Cookery Book Review, with a disclaimer. I normally avoid what is cutely called "chick-lit" as if it were a particularly noxious variety of bacterial infection. When I saw a review for Girl Cook, which described the heroine as a cross between Anthony Bourdain and Bridget Jones, though, I had to give it a try.

I was pleasantly surprised. The protagonist, Layla Mitchner, is a likeable though flawed cook who aspires to the saute' station but has been relegated by a chauvinistic chef to creating tall salads. She has no money, no boyfriend, and a rapidly expanding bottom (thanks to an ice cream addiction). Layla must, of course, choose between two men. She must, of course, take a giant leap to make her dreams come true. The plot is actually pretty standard, and just so-so (including the requisite gay best friend who says "you go girl" periodically).

It is Layla's voice and the authentic feel of the portrayal of the life of a professional cook that makes this novel worthwhile. The author attended Cordon Bleu, and has worked as a cook. She is in the know, as they say, and her experience shines through.

I would recommend Girl Cook to anyone who has a few hours to kill, and is looking for something lite and fluffy.


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