Shelasky, Alyssa. Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen. Crown, 2012. ISBN 978-0307952141 272 pp. $14
I am unfamiliar with Shelasky’s prior work; she’s another blogger with a publishing contract. She comes across off the bat as a shallow city dweller who comes to love and appreciate food (after going on ad naseum with examples about how it wasn’t important to her). She doesn’t seem to have many original recipes to share, which is actually okay–a foodie by definition is a fan of food, not necessarily a cook. Chapter two is nothing but celebrity name-dropping and fast-paced lifestyle.
After that, though, things get interesting: she uses her journalistic credentials to meet a Top Chef contender, and they fall head over heels. It’s hard enough to date someone in the food service industry (long hours and never available on the weekend) let alone someone who is working towards opening/owning his own restaurant (never available!) and the relationship and ensuing engagement is rocky. Shelasky is candid about her bad behavior–about a year in, she decides to learn how to cook, instead of making sandwiches for her SO. It doesn’t save the relationship, but she finds herself.
The writing isn’t bad, but the book lacks narrative structure early on. Shelasky finds her voice and hits her stride, and the story is a compelling one.