JULIET WITTMANFICTION. MEMOIR. CRITICISM. JOURNALISM
Praise for Stocker’s Kitchen
An agonized and lyrical story filled with people who are often damaged, often inspired, always fascinating. I love how the author takes a troubled soul–Stocker is only one example–and develops a character we want to know, someone we root for and suffer with and learn from in this exuberant and gorgeously-written book.
Juliet Wittman’s timely novel casts a clear eye on life in the professional kitchen. Her prose revels in the tactile pleasures of working with food and the romance of lives devoted to craft. But it never shies away from the toxicity of that culture. After reading the novel you want nothing so much as to try Stocker’s food.
As a chef, I believe the meal is at the center of human experience, and it is at the table where we are nourished, come together with friends and family and connect to tradition. This is the spirit that animates Stocker’s Kitchen. But it was the colorful characters and their stories that intrigued me most, and I flew through the novel.
This book is so rich in its descriptions of food that at one point while reading I pushed the pages to my nose, convinced they smelled of braised rabbit. (This is) not the kind of cuisine to be preserved in cookbooks, but the kind that lives somewhere between the page and the imagination, the imagination and the heart. It’s a feast for the reader’s soul.