Disadvantages be damned, I would be a chef someday, and if I had to run into the side of a house to do it, so be it.
Mise en Place is the rollicking memoir of Marisa Mangani, a talented chef who takes readers on her journey through the mostly men’s club of restaurant kitchens as she travels from Hawaii to Oregon, New Orleans, Canada, Australia, and Florida.
Along the way she shares raw revelations: abuse at the hands of her stepfather, stories of love and loss, the pain of stuttering, a great passion for cuisine, and the heady sensations associated with food and motherhood.
Not just a gifted chef, Mangani is a very accomplished writer who brings us into her world with brio and humor. She holds nothing back, as she describes her struggles for acceptance in her field and her stumbles and hard-won successes along the way.
Mise en Place will appeal to all who love food and restaurants, but it’s also a vivid travelogue of the places the author has lived. Mangani has a beautifully hedonistic take on food, wine, and life-and her intense descriptions bring readers front and center into her world as she tries to carve out a living.
Her details of the inner workings of restaurant kitchens are quite enlightening. If readers don’t already know how hard the hospitality business can be on anyone who works in it, not just chefs, but owners, managers, servers, and dishwashers, they will once they’ve walked in Mangani’s shoes.
Mise en Place is a bold, new memoir that readers will find hard to put down.
“Mangani charts a deep dive through the roots of our modern American food obsession with a highly personal tale of memory, character, flavor, and place.”
-Ian McNulty, Food Writer, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate
“A foodie from the minute she first spat out her grandmother’s lima beans, Marisa Mangani was destined to become a chef-even if she didn’t know such a thing existed. Swirling with tastes and scents, her memoir chronicles an unconventional life, a life beginning in near-poverty and forged in a succession of kitchens and restaurants. The kitchen became Mangani’s sandbox, the place where she discovered her calling and confidence. ‘Good food always gave me hope for better times, ‘ she writes. Like a good hollandaise sauce, Mise en Place: Memoir of a Girl Chef satisfies the palate.”
-Pam Schmid, Nonfiction Editor, Sleet Magazine
“Mise en Place: Memoir of a Girl Chef is a bitingly honest view of a life lived in oyster bars, fish camps, and restaurant kitchens. Flavorful, rich, and evocative, Marisa Mangani’s memoir offers readers not just tales of food and cooking, but a provocative examination of the choices we make and the pasts that might have been.”
-Dinty W. Moore, Author of To Hell with It
“Readers of Gabrielle Hamilton and David Chang will devour this memoir about Marisa Mangani’s journey to become a chef. What began as a way to make a living became a passion for Marisa. Mise en Place takes us through kitchens from Maui to New Orleans to Oregon, and back again, with endless colorful characters and exciting adventures along the way. If you have ever wondered what is happening behind the kitchen doors at your local restaurant, this is the book for you.”
-Amy Fish, Author of I Wanted Fries with That
Publisher: River Grove Books
Pub Date: 08/2022
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 0.62d