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Enter Cat Cora's memoir Cooking As Fast As I Can. In this frank and well-written account, Cora reveals both the good and the bad of her childhood, the story of her culinary journey, and many details of her personal life.
Rather than summarize the memoir, I'll list a few highlights and then provide some general thoughts on the book and the audiobook.
Things that stuck with me
- From a young age Cora had to find to way to deal with a variety of tough issues, such as sexual abuse (from a cousin), being adopted from birth, and growing up gay in Jackson, Mississippi.
- Cora is humble about her achievements and quick to point out her mistakes and weaknesses.
- It's really tough to be a world-famous chef, and I'm surprised any relationship survives the whirlwind of television production schedules, restaurant responsibilities, endorsements, and lecture circuits.
- I loved the story of how Cora met Julia Child when the older woman was on a book tour.
If you're hoping for an inside look into the Food Network, you'll find a few tidbits. If you want to learn how to open a restaurant or become a household name, you'll need to look elsewhere. Cat Cora's Cooking As Fast As I Can is an intimate story in which she talks about her great good luck, her hard work, her dreams, and her difficulties. I recommend this book for foodies, for people interested in LGBTQ issues, and for anyone looking for a good memoir.
Note on the audiobook: I listened to the audiobook edition of Cat Cora's Cooking As Fast As I Can (Tantor Audio; 7 hr, 55 min) read by Cassandra Campbell. My full positive review will be published by AudioFile magazine, but let me say here that Campbell's accent, pacing, and emotional range fit the memoir perfectly. If you're so inclined, do not hesitate to pick up the audio.
Published by Scribner, 2015
Source: Review: print & audio (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)