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The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School



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Penguin Books
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This is the funny and inspiring account of Kathleen Flinn’s struggle in a stew of hot-tempered chefs, competitive classmates, her own wretchedly inadequate” French, and the basics of French cuisine. Flinn was a thirty-six-year-old middle manager trapped on the corporate ladder—until her boss eliminated her job. So she cashed in her savings and moved to Paris to pursue her lifelong dream of attending the venerable Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. Fans of Julie & Juliaand the late Julia Child will be richly rewarded by this vibrant tale of self-discovery, transformation, and ultimately love.

Author Biography

Kathleen Flinn has been a writer and journalist for nearly twenty years. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun- Times, Smithsonian, USA Today, Men-'s Fitness, The Globe and Mail, and many other publications.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. ix
Prologue: This Is Not for Pretendp. 1
Basic Cuisinep. 5
Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsalp. 7
Lost in Translationp. 17
Culinary Boot Campp. 25
Taking Stockp. 35
Memoirs of a Quichep. 46
La Vie en Rosep. 56
No Bones About Itp. 66
Splitting Haresp. 74
The Souffle Also Risesp. 83
As the Vegetables Turnp. 92
Final Exam-Basicp. 103
Intermediate Cuisinep. 113
Class Break: Spainp. 115
C'est la Vie, C'est la Guerrep. 118
A Week in Provencep. 128
Rites of Passagep. 134
The Silence of the Lambp. 143
"I Am a Pizza for Kathleen"p. 150
A Sauce Thicker Than Bloodp. 158
La Catastrophe Americainep. 164
Bon Travailp. 171
Final exam-Intermediatep. 177
Superior Cuisinep. 183
Class Break: Normandy, then Americap. 185
Back in Bleup. 189
Great Expectationsp. 202
Gods, Monsters, and Slavesp. 211
La Dansep. 220
Bye-bye, Lobsterp. 231
I Didn't Always Hate My Jobp. 243
An American Hospital in Parisp. 249
Final Exam-Superiorp. 259
Epilogue: Thanksgiving in Parisp. 271
Extra Recipesp. 275
Acknowledgmentsp. 279
Selected Bibliographyp. 281
Index of Recipesp. 283
Menu Guide for Book Clubsp. 286
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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