For readers who have ever wondered what it’s really like to work the line at an upscale restaurant, you finally get your chance with Sous Chef, Michael Gibney’s debut entry into the Kitchen Confidential-genre of food writing. As a junkie of this genre, I assumed I was picking up another memoir of smoking, drugs, yelling chefs, maybe some sex in the walk-in, but this book surprised me from the start. Written in the second person, the author takes you through an entire day in the life of a sous chef in a high-up, but not too high-up, restaurant. It includes diagrams, lengthy explanations of not only kitchen stations and obscure recipes, but also the dynamics of the kitchen. And he nails it, as he should with his years in restaurants.
This book is getting tremendous buzz, with blurbs from the cooking world wunderkinds Gabrielle Hamilton and Anthony Bourdain. With such strong writing skills, I expect to hear more from Gibney, assuming he can find the time when he’s not in the kitchen.