What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me about Life, Love, and the Power of Good Food
Hyperion Books, Hardcover, 9781401324773, 250pp.
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
"The book is as much about nourishment as it is food. Barnes' affection for the fraternity brothers carries the narrative. . . . A heartening memoir of good food and tough love."
Newly arrived in Seattle, Darlene Barnes stumbles on a job ad for a cook at the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity on the University of Washington campus, a prospect most serious food professionals would automatically reject. But Barnes envisions something other than kegs and corn dogs; she sees an opportunity to bring fresh, real food to an audience accustomed to "Asian Surprise" and other unidentifiable casseroles dropped off by a catering service. And she also sees a chance to reinvent herself, by turning a maligned job into meaningful work of her own creation: "I was the new girl and didn't know or care about the rules."
Naively expecting a universally appreciative audience, Barnes finds a more exasperatingly challenging environment: The kitchen is nasty, the basement is scary, and the customers are not always cooperative. Undaunted, she gives as good as she gets with these foul-mouthed and irreverent--but also funny and sensitive--guys. Her passion for real food and her sharp tongue make her kitchen a magnet for the brothers, new recruits, and sorority girls tired of frozen dinners.
Laugh-out-loud funny and poignant, Hungry offers a female perspective on the real lives of young men, tells a tale of a woman's determined struggle to find purpose, and explores the many ways that food feeds us.