by Kathleen Flinn

Reviewer Rating:


I really enjoyed The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry, Kathleen Flinn's previous book, which details her decision to leave behind her office job and move to Paris to attend the Cordon Bleu. 

Unfortunately, this book was a big let down. The Kitchen Counter Cooking School describes Flinn's attempts to change the way a selected group of about ten Seattle women think about eating and cooking. She recruits women who by and large don't know anything about cooking, don't like to cook, and have horrible eating habits. She then sets about to teach them (in kind of a patronizing way) how to cook and eat properly. The whole concept of the book felt like a gimmick created by a writer who had one successful book and then didn't know what to write about next but had already accepted an advance from the publisher (from Julie and Julia to Cleaving, anybody?). 

I'm sorry, but food politics is not a brand new subject for most people these days, especially people who read Flinn's previous book. Reading the sad tale of a woman only eats ramen noodles and how Flinn is going to change her life by introducing her to broccoli and teaching her how to use a knife is just plain boring for me. Maybe it's because I know a lot about food politics and cooking and have been reading gastro-lit for years now, but this book was not for me--I only made it through about halfway before calling it quits. Not only is the subject matter dull, but it is made more so by the mediocre writing style. I don't know what happened between The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry and this book, but hopefully the author's next work will be better. 


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