When I Met Food: Living the American Restaurant Dream

Kathy Sidell . Bibliomotion (Pathway, dist.), ($24.95) 272p ISBN 978-1-937134-31-0
Sidell's account of life as a restaurateur isn't the first or likely the last, but it ranks among the best. After finding a career in film production creatively rewarding but unfulfilling, and nursing her wounds from a fresh divorce, she found her true calling while working in a friend's food shop. Encouraged and invigorated, she opened what would become a coterie of restaurants around Boston. Sidell's frank take on the process of opening and running restaurants retains a fair amount of the romance readers may anticipate (it's all about hospitality; the employees feel like family!), but her businesslike approach takes center stage, adding depth and setting it apart from similar memoirs by making it more useful for those considering opening their own establishment. Recipes for hits at her restaurants (signature burgers, Crispy Steak Bombs) as well as her failures (Hamburger Bread) mix with personal favorites to help break up the narrative and offer insight into the approach to dining that flows through all her restaurants. Though it's often a sobering read, would-be restaurateurs, particularly women, will benefit greatly from Sidell's candor and advice on knowing when to say no, finding investors, and honestly assessing mistakes. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 11/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 265 pages - 978-1-937134-32-7
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