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Book Review: "The Sharper the Knife, The Less You Cry," by Kathleen Flinn

Dec 31, 2011 06:01PM ● By Anonymous
I guess I have a thing for books about food that are set in Paris, because I absolutely adored "Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes," as well. Even though French food isn't my forte, there's something so romantic about the classic techniques, the beautiful language, and the background of the Eiffel Tower. 

The book tells the tale of Kathleen Flinn, an American who is laid off from her job in London. She knows the smart thing to do would be to move back to America where her boyfriend lives, and find another job. Instead, he encourages her to follow her dream and enroll at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and she takes the leap. He eventually joins her, and their sweet love story is interwoven between cooking classes and houseguests from various countries. 

The title of the book relates to cutting onions -- the sharper your knife is, the less the cell walls will break and cause your eyes to water -- but it's a phrase one of her cooking instructors used early in the book. 

Other reviews call this book "lifeless," "lackluster," and "quaint." Perhaps I just enjoy reading descriptions of the school, the recipes, and the cooking techniques and processes because I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, it did remind me -- as these types of books, as well as cooking TV shows usually do -- that I am quite happy being an at-home cook, as I am not cut out for the stress, discipline, and hardcore ways of professional chefs. 

I would give "The Sharper the Knife, The Less You Cry" four out of five stars, recommend it thoroughly, and I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes within its pages.