Chef's Apprentice Review
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I really wish there was more to this book. David Hoffman’s stories about his adventures behind the scenes in the kitchens of San Francisco’s most famous restaurants are fantastic -- though I must admit that they make me want to stay at home, where I usually know what goes into my meals. He tells of long hours with crazed chefs, working in sweltering kitchens that felt more like boot camp than fine dining, and running through the streets to pick wild fennel seasoned with... you don’t want to know.

I absolutely loved the first 69 pages of this book (despite the occasional editorial slip-up). But that’s when the problem came in. It appears that Hoffman ran out of restaurant-related stories to write about, so he threw in three unrelated pieces to fill some space. And while the additional stories were amusing, they had nothing to do with the subject of the book.

I think Hoffman could have found better ways to fill space -- perhaps with an introductory chapter to explain what, exactly, possessed a former New York photojournalist who knew absolutely nothing about cooking (and who also happened to be a vegetarian) to move to San Francisco and try to become a gourmet chef. Perhaps he should have moved on to just one more crazy gourmet restaurant. Or perhaps he should have expanded the book’s subject to include the adventures he had once he set aside his ever-sharp knives and started his own newspaper. In fact, I hope he does. Because I loved what I read. Hoffman has a consistently witty voice -- and I’d love to read more.

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