Before she became a celebrated chef, Cathy Cora was just a girl from Jackson, Mississippi, where days were slow and every meal was made from scratch. Her passion for the kitchen started in her home, where she spent her days internalizing the dishes that would form the cornerstone of her cooking philosophy, incorporating her Greek heritage and Southern upbringing - from crispy fried chicken and honey-drenched biscuits to spanakopita. But outside the kitchen, Cat's life was volatile.
In Cooking as Fast as I Can, Cat Cora reveals, for the first time, coming-of-age experiences from early childhood sexual abuse to the realities of life as a lesbian in the Deep South. She shares how she found her passion in the kitchen and went on to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and apprentice under Michelin-star chefs in France. After her big break as a cohost on the Food Network's Melting Pot, Cat broke barriers by becoming the first-ever female Iron Chef.
©2015 Catherine Cora (P)2015 Tantor
"It is a must-read for those in search of true happiness." (Deepak Chopra, author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success)
"Cassandra Campbell successfully negotiates one of the trickier aspects of narrating autobiography: creating a personal connection between author and listener while remaining almost invisible.... Campbell uses a subtle Southern accent to help anchor Cora's background but wisely refrains from attempting impressions. Her performance imparts a satisfying emotional level, projecting sadness without becoming morose and highlighting the author's successes without going over the top. Campbell's nonjudgmental and respectful narration allows the chef's voice and personality to take center stage." (AudioFile)
I'm not sure if it was the writing or the narrator who distracted me. I found some of the story interesting, especially her early life, her parents and her personal demons. I would have like more food insights, instead of just lists of food on her menus of places that she worked or created. The editing was also an issue. How many times does one have to read how many days a year she was traveling. It would have been nice if her editor pushed her to give more insight into the personalities of the Iron Chefs she worked with for all those years....not I won 56 to 48, etc. I just kept thinking, here is another list...I worked here, I created this, I was trying to create my brand, and blah, blah, blah.
Chef bios are one of my favorite genres. This book just didn't do it for me.
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