Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Never order chicken on a Monday by Matthew Evans

In a previous life as a young journalist reporting at local council meetings in suburban Sydney, I knew which local restaurants to avoid, thanks to the weekly health inspectors' reports.
Matthew Evans' book - subtitled Kitchen Chronicles of an undercover food critic - gives readers and would-be diners a similar heads-up, albeit not of any named restaurant.
It's horrifying to read about the expensive restaurants in which he trained as a chef serving up food concocted with the cheapest - or even borderline "off" ingredients, and the appalling treatment meted out to staff (think Gordon Ramsay at his yelling worst).
The main surprise, however, is that despite restaurant training ruining his illusions - and his health - Evans is a committed foodie (and a good one, too; I love his recipes in a weekend magazine, and the little stories he tells to go with them).
Do yourself a favour - give yourself a good laugh by reading about Evans' adventures in the kitchen and as a food critic who now prefers to eat at home. And the title? For an explanation, you'll have to read the epilogue: Things they don't tell you when you book.
Rating - I give this 4/5 Not bad!
Get this from the library
Reviewed byJan @ Ballarat branch

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