Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bread and Butter by Michelle Wildgen

Kitchen Confidential meets Three Junes in this mouthwatering novel about three brothers who run competing restaurants, and the culinary snobbery, staff stealing, and secret affairs that unfold in the back of the house.

Britt and Leo have spent ten years running Winesap, the best restaurant in their small Pennsylvania town. They cater to their loyal customers; they don't sleep with the staff; and business is good, even if their temperamental pastry chef is bored with making the same chocolate cake night after night. But when their younger brother, Harry, opens his own restaurant—a hip little joint serving an aggressive lamb neck dish—Britt and Leo find their own restaurant thrown off-kilter. Britt becomes fascinated by a customer who arrives night after night, each time with a different dinner companion. Their pastry chef, Hector, quits, only to reappear at Harry's restaurant. And Leo finds himself falling for his executive chef-tempted to break the cardinal rule of restaurant ownership. Filled with hilarious insider detail—the one-upmanship of staff meals before the shift begins, the rivalry between bartender and hostess, the seedy bar where waitstaff and chefs go to drink off their workday—Bread and Butter is both an incisive novel of family and a gleeful romp through the inner workings of restaurant kitchens.

When I started this book I was immediately drawn into their brothers’ story and I quickly read three chapters in almost twenty minutes. I couldn’t help but laugh sometimes at the arguments “Leo and Britt would have with their little brother Harry” about the restaurant.  I loved how the epilogue was short enough to keep a person’s interest, but also gave a little history about how the brothers were as young children as well as how they became restaurateurs.  

      I found chapter 6 through chapter 11 to be a little boring and I couldn’t wait to get through them and get to other chapters. Once I passed chapter 11, I found that the brothers’ story,  both as individuals and as a group, helped give me a little insight as to how family that works together can get on each other’s nerves fairly quickly, but despite all that they are still there for each other.  I wish more families were that way now, but it is refreshing to see it in a book if not in real life. I think those that love culinary type stories would enjoy this book as well as most men. I don’t think everyone will love this book, but I do think more people will like this story than hate it.  I give this book and the author an “A.”

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Tiffany

No comments:

Post a Comment

The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to leave a comment. It's appreciated.