Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Book review: Let Me Eat Cake

This is my first book review, but I hope to do more in the future. About a week ago I was browsing the Cooking section of Borders, specifically the Baking section, with my mouth watering. When I saw this book, I knew I needed it simply by the title. Upon reading the description I was sold, or rather, the book was.

Let Me Eat Cake by Leslie F. Miller
Rating: 2.3 sprinkles (out of 5)

I wanted to like this book. I really did. The description sounded so promising; I thought it would be everything my heart desired. But the truth is that I was thoroughly disappointed.

In particular, the author bugged me. Which really can spoil a book. She gave so much good information about the history and current state of the baking world. Which was great! But she also gave way too much personal information. It sometimes felt as though I were reading her journal to a psychologist. Littered with countless remarks about being fat from cake, her weight, and concern for constant dieting, I worried that she may in fact have some degree of an eating disorder. At the very least, she should not be writing a book that requires so much eating of cake if she is so worried about her weight.
Another contributing factor to my dissatisfaction with the book may have been that she bashed one of my favorite chefs, Duff Goldman. Leslie recounted her first interaction with him at a conference when she eaves dropped on a conversation he was having with a fan. She interrupted their conversation only to correct Duff on information he was giving. She was later shocked to find Duff was upset that she had embarrassed him. So maybe they didn't have a great first meeting, but it sounded like she had met with him a few times afterwards but her writing showed she still held a grudge.
Because she sounded like such a snob, I felt the need to put her in her place. I sent Leslie an email because throughout the book she was calling Duff's sous chef Jeff, when really his name is spelled Geof. She quickly responded to my message saying she was aware of the mistake and had apologized to Geof. I'm sure she's been made aware of her error a lot, but I still felt great correcting the woman who corrected my idol.

In summary, this book gives good information about cake culture, but it's not worth reading through the author's snobby self deprecation.

XX bakey love

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