A sizzling peek at what goes on in a restaurant kitchen



If you’ve ever considered spending time in a restaurant kitchen, Michael Gibney’s book Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line may pierce your fantasy with the sharp point of a Sujihiki knife. The book covers one day in the life of a chef whose love of cooking transcends the anguish of kitchen life. From the tranquility of the opening minutes to the chaos of mid-dinner service, it puts you in the middle of an upscale New York kitchen. It’s written in the second person, so “you” are the nameless chef — a technique that distances you from the action, as opposed to drawing you in. But you can’t help but feel the stress of managing the line when the tickets are flying in and the fish isn’t done. Like Anthony Bourdain, Gibney is a working chef. His knowledge of kitchen culture creates a deliciously entertaining read. Anyone who has wondered what is happening beyond the kitchen doors will learn from this book — but whether they want to pick up a set of chef’s knives will be up to them.

Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, Michael Gibney, $30.