Cooking on the Line: From Food Lover to Professional Line Cook

Wayne Cohen. Larousse Churchill, $14.95 trade paper (258p) ISBN 978-1-4537-7819-7
In this absorbing memoir, Cohen—a college football player and business owner who always loved to cook—answers an online advertisement for a line cook and brings significant life skills but scant culinary experience to the kitchen. Working with a young chef and an ambitious menu, Cohen forges through mundane tasks and back pain and finds his personal and professional comfort zone despite hostile personalities and questionable restaurant operations. Eventually, Cohen becomes a chef himself, laboring to meet the many challenges of kitchen work while yearning to take the next professional step. He interns in the kitchens of celebrated chefs, discovers the latest trends and techniques, and receives other job offers before settling in with his mentor. The book is intensely detailed, and though the author's tendency to conclude each chapter with a melodramatic cliffhanger will likely irk some readers, Cohen's relentless positivity—a quality that often comes across as slightly vain—lends a nice energy to his story.
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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