Review: Nine Lives: A Chef’s Journey from Chaos to Control by Brandon Baltzley

Nine Lives: A Chef’s Journey from Chaos to Control
by Brandon Baltzley
Rating: ***
Read 8/3/2013
An interesting, if incomplete, autobiography. Incomplete because the author isn’t even 30 yet, and one hopes he will be cooking for a good long time yet. He’s had quite a struggle with crack cocaine, and though he details various of his binges and rehabs, he never talks much about the mental state he’s in at any given time. I would have liked better more interior detail and less exterior. He gets fired a lot, but one never really gets that he cares, or how he feels. He falls in and out of love a lot, but again, there’s no real insight into his feelings. And he’s kind of a know-it-all. But again, a very talented, relatively young man, which in my experience anyway, is another way of saying “kind of a know-it-all”.

It sounds like I didn’t much like the book, but I did. I really enjoyed the brief tours of many famous kitchens. I especially liked Baltzley’s way of talking about food. I never had any question how he felt about THAT, which is probably why I wanted more feelings about things other than food.

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