Wired Book Review: Alyssa Shelasky’s ‘Apron Anxiety’

Allie Is Wired certainly loves a late night party teeming with celebs and cocktails, but we also love curling up with a glass of cheap red wine and a good book – especially one filled cover to cover with tales of love and sex and food, like Alyssa Shelasky’s new memoir, Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen.

Shelasky, New York editor of Grub Street at New York Magazine, wasn’t always so comfortable with grub. A self-described “writer from the womb,” Shelasky wrote for People, Us Weekly, Gotham, Self and others before weaseling her way into an interview with an alluring and magnetic celebrity chef-on-the-rise. Shelasky’s chemistry with Chef was undeniable and soon after their first interview slash date, the consummate city girl – a girl who once started a fire while attempting to make hot cocoa – found herself moving from New York City to be with him in Washington DC.

Upon meeting Chef, she wrote, “At this point, the only thing I really know about the culinary scene is that white wine goes in the fridge, guacamole makes you fat, and Tom Colicchio is bald.” So while Shelasky never expected to be so lonely as she waited for Chef to come home from never-ending shifts at his new restaurant, she certainly never expected to find solace and comfort in the kitchen. To pass time and give her days focus, she casually began courting cookbooks and documenting her trials and triumphs on a blog, www.apronanxiety.com.

Shelasky’s memoir is peppered with recipes, her most meaningful and enjoyable culinary successes. Some are simple and decidedly non-gourmet – Heath Bar Trifle, anyone? – while others – Lamb Meatballs Garnished with Pomegranate Seeds – are elegant dishes sure to impress. Her stories are witty and self-aware without being terribly self-absorbed.

Apron Anxiety is released at major retailers on May 22, so pour yourself a big glass of red and prepare to get cozy with Shelasky. With a perspective that is funny, sane, and appealing to both food lovers and the kitchen-challenged alike, Apron Anxiety will speak to any reader who aspires to a life well-seasoned.

Alyssa Shelasky’s Apron Anxiety is available at Random House.

Wired Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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