[amazon pdf ebooks] Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey, 0446559873

  • Full Title : Four Kitchens: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris
  • Autor: Lauren Shockey
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition
  • Publication Date: July 27, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446559873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446559874
  • Download File Format: epub
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At the French Culinary Institute, Lauren Shockey learned to salt food properly, cook fearlessly over high heat, and knock back beers like a pro. But she also discovered that her real culinary education wouldn’t begin until she actually worked in a restaurant. After a somewhat disappointing apprenticeship in the French provinces, Shockey hatched a plan for her dream year: to apprentice in four high-end restaurants around the world. She started in her hometown of New York City under the famed chef Wylie Dufresne at the molecular gastronomy hotspot wd-50, then traveled to Vietnam, Israel, and back to France. From the ribald kitchen humor to fiery-tempered workers to tasks ranging from the mundane (mincing cases of shallots) to the extraordinary (cooking seafood on the line), Shockey shows us what really happens behind the scenes in haute cuisine, and includes original recipes integrating the techniques and flavors she learned along the way. With the dramatic backdrop of restaurant life, readers will be delighted by the adventures of a bright and restless young woman looking for her place in the world.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

At the French Culinary Institute, Lauren Shockey learned to salt food properly, cook fearlessly over high heat, and knock back beers like a pro. But she also discovered that her real culinary education wouldn’t begin until she actually worked in a restaurant. After a somewhat disappointing apprenticeship in the French provinces, Shockey hatched a plan for her dream year: to apprentice in four high-end restaurants around the world. She started in her hometown of New York City under the famed chef Wylie Dufresne at the molecular gastronomy hotspot wd-50, then traveled to Vietnam, Israel, and back to France. From the ribald kitchen humor to fiery-tempered workers to tasks ranging from the mundane (mincing cases of shallots) to the extraordinary (cooking seafood on the line), Shockey shows us what really happens behind the scenes in haute cuisine, and includes original recipes integrating the techniques and flavors she learned along the way. With the dramatic backdrop of restaurant life, readers will be delighted by the adventures of a bright and restless young woman looking for her place in the world.

Amazon Exclusive Essay: An Edible Education
Lauren Shockey

It’s ironic that I ended up becoming a food writer. As a child, I was certainly one of the pickiest eaters around. What I didn’t like constituted a veritable universe of the edible: hot dogs, chicken legs, salmon, broccoli, olives, sushi (save for cucumber rolls), Brussels sprouts, oranges, cabbage, beans of any kind, apple juice, fish sticks, spinach, hard-boiled eggs, tofu, shrimp, and even peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches (though peanut butter alone, on white bread with the crusts cut off, was acceptable). Plus a slew of others, but you get the idea.

But cheese topped my list of despised foods, especially those malodorous varieties, like Roquefort, Taleggio, and Limburger. And melted cheese was even worse—how the smell amplified when it was cooked! I considered a night at a fondue restaurant equivalent to child abuse. I even turned up my nose at pizza—at slumber parties I peeled the mozzarella off my slice, delicately placing it in a small congealed heap at the edge of my plate. When I went to Italy with my parents as a middle-schooler, I mastered the phrase “senza formaggio,” or “without cheese.” Imagine the laughs the Italians got out of that one!

Yet a funny thing happened around the time I hit adolescence: my tastes began to evolve slowly. I became a little more adventurous. Shrimp scampi suddenly didn’t look so scary, and who knew—Brussels sprouts actually tasted great if they weren’t overcooked. Seduced by its warm creaminess, I even began leaving the cheese on my pizza.

“It’s a slippery slope once you start eating mozzarella,” cautioned my father. “Next you’ll be showering your pasta with Pecorino.”

“No, that’ll never happen,” I said.

But, of course, he was right, and not only about the Parmesan. By the time I started college, I was spreading chunks of chevre on crackers at parties and no longer withholding the grated Parmesan in my Caesar salads. And the more I freed my palate, the more I realized just how much I’d been missing out on. I also discovered that I loved the thrill of experimenting with new and exotic ingredients in the kitchen. This was a big reason why I went to culinary school and not long after set out on a year-long journey to write Four Kitchens: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris.

I hope in reading the book, you’ll share my joy at the stove and at the table as I explore a world of new tastes. That you’ll share my wonder as I apprentice at wd~50, a restaurant that serves kooky dishes like cubes of fried hollandaise sauce and Tater Tots made not from potatoes but green tomatoes. That you’ll fall, like I did, for the verdant herbs gracing the tables of roadside restaurants in Hanoi. That you’ll be want to stock your kitchen with zaatar, a musty spice blend I discovered in Tel Aviv that goes amazingly with anything from roast chicken to velvety sweet potato and feta soup (recipe included in the book!). And that you’ll appreciate the dedication and impossibly long hours it takes to be a chef in a top Parisian restaurant.

And, most importantly, I hope it will inspire you to follow my lead and open yourself to new edible adventures. Your taste buds will thank you. Trust me, mine did.–Lauren Shockey


“Something hot to read this summer.”―The Providence Journal

“This interesting blend of history, culture, cooking, and travel is highly recommended for any lover of literary travel writing. Those who enjoy cooking will learn through her experiences and be inspired to try Shockey’s kitchen-friendly recipes featuring the spices and flavors she discovers along the way.”―Jane Hebert, Orange Cty. Lib. Syst., Orlando, FL, Library Journal

“A charmer, an honest and good-humoured behind-the-scenes look at life in the kitchen, very much in the vein of Bill Buford’s Heat or Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.” The Globe and Mail

“Rich descriptions of coworkers and locales accompany her main theme of struggle and growth, and recipes inspired by items on the menus of the restaurants she worked further enhance it. . . . Just as her talent and skill earned Shockey respect in the kitchens in which she worked, her unique memoir will garner her favor from the world of food writing.”―Booklist

“An American woman’s transcultural education and discovery that an unpaid culinary apprenticeship is ‘not just a culinary experience’ but ‘a human experience’ . . . reveals the pride and frustration of learning and mastering innovative as well as classical approaches. In her travels-which included enduring hierarchical, occasionally sexist commentary in New York and Paris, sampling challenging (to her Western palate) fare in Hanoi, or rediscovering casual dining in Tel Aviv-veteran foodies and Top Chef fans will recognize the tedious prepwork and the burden of performing over long hours . . . She provides convincing evidence that immersion can be the fastest, most effective route to learning. As she remarks at several points, culinary school did not prepare her for what she encountered. Realizing that few chefs actually spend time behind the burner and that the role is often managerial created disappointment, but led to the rewarding affirmation that home-cooking is a passionate, inspiring, valid outlet. Each section includes recipes, many of which translate to the average kitchen.

Cooking for clientele and friends alike, Shockey highlights the importance of hands-on, communal involvement-food as nourishment with ‘soul’ rather than high artistry.”―Kirkus Reviews

“With Four Kitchens, Lauren Shockey immediately establishes herself as an adventurer and raconteur-and as one of the most appealing food writers of her generation.”―Amanda Hesser, co-founder of food52.com and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook

“Four kitchens, four countries and four delicious adventures from a young cook with moxie. So many food lovers have dreamed of cooking their way around the world, Lauren actually did it! Luckily for readers, along with her knives, she traveled with a sense of humor and an ear for a good story.”―Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table

“Aspiring cooks will love following Lauren’s trials and tribulations as she immerses herself in each kitchen’s microcosm, and shares the lessons she learns.”―Clotilde Dusoulier, author of Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris and founder of Chocolate and Zucchini

Kitchen Confidential meets Eat, Pray, Love; Shockey’s book is full of heart and humor and is essential reading for anyone who plans to work in a restaurant kitchen.”―Adam Roberts, creator of The Amateur Gourmet

“An insider’s ode to all the sweat, blood and tears that goes into the finest meals of the world, told with reverence, affection and honesty. Lauren Shockey is a fearless chef without borders, and her appetite is infectious.”―Cathy Erway, author of The Art of Eating In




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g secrets

hosting a cookie swap

easy cookies and bars

Fudge Crinkles

Peanutty Granola Cookies

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookies

Butterscotch-Oatmeal Cookies

Spicy Pumpkin Cookies

Super-Easy Macaroon Chewies

Carrot-Spice Cookies

Peppermint Shortbread Bites

Fudgy Pecan Bars

Triple-Chocolate Cherry Bars

German Chocolate Bars

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

White Chocolate–Cranberry Bars

Chewy Orange-Date Bars

cookies to share

Inside-Out Chocolate Chip Cookies

Marvelously Minty Cookies

Hidden Treasure Cookies


Season’s Best Sugar Cookies

Lemon Stampers

Milk Chocolate–Malt Brownies

Caramel Candy Bars

Pumpkin-Spice Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pecan Pie Squares

Linzer Torte Bars

Cardamom-Cashew Bars

family favorites

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double-Frosted Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Candy-Topped Blossom Cookies

Chocolate Spritz Reindeer


Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

Ginger-Ski Men

“Lollipop” Cookies

Chocolate Brownies

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

No-Bake Peanut Butter Squares

No-Bake Honey-Oat Bars

Confetti Caramel Bars

extra-special cookies and bars

Chocolate-Cherry Tea Cookies

Espresso Thumbprint Cookies

Rum-Cashew Biscotti

Holiday Melting Moments

Pecan-Shortbread Trees

Sparkling Lemon Snowflakes

Toffee Bars

Irish Cream Bars

Brandy Crème Brûlée Bars

Strawberry–Almond Paste Shortbread Bars

Holiday Eggnog Bars

Chocolate-Raspberry Triangles

Metric Conversion Guide

Christmas Cookies

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6. Why Am I Always Tired? Fatigue, Obesity, Depression, Insomnia ……..59

7. Mistaken Identities: Autoimmune Diseases, Allergies, Asthma …………71

8. Inflamm-Aging: Aging, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease ……………….85




p a r t I I I

The Anti-Infl ammation Game Pl an

9. What We Eat: Dietary Solutions …………………………………101

10. Where We Live: Home and Workplace Solutions…………………….125

11. What We Do: Lifestyle Solutions ………………………………..149

12. How We Think: Mind-Body Solutions……………………………159

13. What Medicine Can Do: Tests and Medications ……………………175

14. The Anti-Inflammation Prescription …………………………….195

Appendix: The Path to Medical Knowledge …………..201

Selected References ……………………………………..205

Index ………………………………………………………..227



So many people are involved in taking a book from concept to reality. We are indebted to them all. We wholeheartedly thank our editor, Judith McCarthy. This book would never have existed without her vision and guidance. Special thanks also to Jane Dystel, of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. She’s the type of responsive, enthusiastic, and supportive agent most writers think exists only in their dreams. And thanks to Kathy Dennis for smoothly making the manuscript a book.

W.J.M. wishes to thank the many patients I have had the privilege to treat and help over the past two decades, for all you have shared and taught. Thanks to my many physician colleagues and mentors, most notably Drs. Donald Mitchell, Dean Metcalfe, Robert Hoffman, Lewis Goldfrank, and Theron Randolph. Thanks to my Chief of Service, Dr. Nicholas Benson, for your unending support and tolerance of my multifaceted interests and pursuits. Special thanks to my family, Thomas, Josephine, Jerome, Benjamin, Jason, and most especially my wife, Susan Martin Meggs, for your love and support and for tolerating the insanity of writing a book while also working a demanding and more than full-time job.

C.S. thanks Alan Lee Jones and Joanna Jones for their guidance during the early stages of writing, and Sid Kirchheimer for teaching me everything I know about health writing. Thank you also to everyone who made my life a little easier during the writing of this book through their support and encouragement, including Teresa and Jay Lawrence, Ann Agrawal, Marina and Ted Rudisill, Virginia Svec, Rhonda and Chris Sutton, Doris and George Margosian, Wendy and Gene Potkay, Amy and Joe Pellerito, Peter Guzzardi, and Diana Dell. And heartfelt thanks to Bill Svec, the most patient man in the world.


Copyright © 2004 by William Meggs, M.D., Ph. D. and Carol Svec, M.A.Click here for terms of use.

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The most powerful concept in disease prevention and treatment today is inflammation. If this is the first you’re hearing of it, prepare for more. Soon, we’ll all be talking about inflammation as easily as we talk about cholesterol, doctors will recommend blood tests to measure the amount of inflammation in your body, and targeted medications will be developed to control its effects. Inflammation may well turn out to be the elusive Holy Grail of medicine—the single phenomenon that holds the key to sickness and health.

Inflammation touches every aspect of our health. In a series of medical break-throughs, scientists have discovered that inflammation is a common thread linking heart disease, some forms of cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, asthma, migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, periodontal disease, sinusitis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Inflammation is related to aging, obesity, stroke, fatigue, depression, and allergic reactions. Inflammation is also part of the process that damages body tissue in multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and other autoimmune diseases.

As part of immunity, inflammation is one of the most basic human processes.

The cardinal signs of inflammation—redness, heat, pain, and swelling—are easily perceptible. Every fever, bump, rash, or bruise is the result of inflammation. On a microscopic level, the inflammatory response involves dozens of different chemicals, each performing a specific action. The purpose of inflammation is to limit damage to the body after injury or invasion by foreign organisms, such as bacteria or viruses. Limiting damage sounds good, but problems arise when the body experiences severe or long-term inflammation. It is this type of uncontrolled inflammation that has become the focus of so much research.

For more than two thousand years
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Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and tip in the macaroni, stirring well to ensure it doesn’t clump up. Boil until just tender but with plenty of bite, then drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, grill the bacon until crisp, if using. Chop it into snippets and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over a medium heat, then pour in the flour and stir thoroughly over the heat for a minute until you form a smooth roux. Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until you have dispersed the roux through the milk. Turn the heat back up to medium and bring to a steady simmer, stirring all the time, until thickened, about 3–4 minutes. Taste a little on the end of a teaspoon – it shouldn’t taste floury at all; if it does, cook for another minute or so. Turn off the heat and stir through the Worcestershire sauce and mustard, and a generous grind of black pepper. Sprinkle in about three-quarters of the cheese, stirring until it has melted, then add the cooked macaroni and bacon snippets and stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Spoon the macaroni into a baking dish and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake in the hot oven for 15–20 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.


Feel free to put your own twist on your mac ’n’ cheese using the following ideas for inspiration. Purists may complain, but this is your dinner so add whatever takes your fancy.

• Cubed mozzarella sprinkled on top adds a lovely stringy stretch once baked; grated Parmesan adds extra punch, or try smoked Cheddar or Stilton – whatever’s your favourite.

• A handful of fresh breadcrumbs sprinkled over the cheese topping adds extra crunch.

• A few tomato slices under the cheese topping add extra colour (and a few vitamins!).

• Replace the bacon with crisp-fried chorizo or chopped cooked sausage, or a little leftover pulled pork or baked ham.

• Add a handful of cooked veggies, such as peas, broccoli or cauliflower.

• Give it an Italian twist with a dollop of pesto, or a handful of torn basil and a few chopped sundried tomatoes.

Mac ’n’ cheese


In years past, shrimp were a really inexpensive ingredient in Louisiana, and so became traditional in the legendary ‘poor boy’ sandwiches. Much more of a treat today, these crisp and spicy fried prawns make for a pretty luxurious snack.


4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 large gherkins, finely chopped

100g plain flour

1 egg

100ml milk

300g large raw peeled prawns (about 20)

a large baguette, cut into 4 lengths

a couple of handfuls of shredded crisp lettuce

2 large tomatoes, sliced

for the Cajun seasoning

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1–2 teaspoons chilli powder, to taste

1 teaspoon sea salt

For the Cajun seasoning, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, parsley and gherkins. Stir through 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, or to taste, and set aside.

Stir the flour through the remaining Cajun seasoning.

In another bowl, beat together the egg and milk. Line up the prawns, the flour/spice mix, egg and milk mix, and a large clean plate on the worktop. Take a prawn and dip it into the flour to coat all over, then dip into the egg and milk, then back into the flour for a second coating, before setting aside on the plate. Repeat until all the prawns have a double coating of spicy flour.

Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180°C/350°F and fry the prawns in batches for about 3 minutes until golden and crisp. Drain briefly on kitchen paper.

To serve, slice the baguettes through, but leave top and bottom hinged together. If you like you can warm them briefly in a hot oven. Spread a little mayonnaise dressing inside each piece of bread and add some lettuce and tomato slices. Top with the crisp prawns and a further dollop of dressing and tuck in while hot.

Cajun shrimp po’ boy


Beef braised with garlic and red wine to the point of tender collapse, then stuffed into a fresh hunk of bread … yes please! This, to my mind, is the king of the po’ boys, the traditional Louisiana sub sandwiches. The debris gravy is made from all the lovely juices and caramelised bits left over from braising, thickened into a tasty sauce that soaks the bread with deliciousness. Be warned – you’ll need plenty of napkins as po’ boys are gorgeously messy!

Note: you will need to begin this recipe at least 8 hours before you want to eat, as the beef requires a long, slow cooking time.

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ll, my dad gets to come home today. Apparently he is already dressed and sitting on the edge of his bed, ready for us to pick him up.

Every time I went to visit him, he was lying in his bed with his brown leather shoes on. He told me that he was keeping them on his feet because things go missing around there. It made me laugh.

Life is funny. The subject of death can be, too. One day my mom told me that if Dad were to die in the yard, she and I would have to somehow get him into the wheelbarrow and push him up to the house so that the ambulance guys wouldn’t have to do it. I am not kidding. Either that, she said, or we’d throw a tarp over him so the dogs wouldn’t “get at him.” Every time I look at the wheelbarrow now, I smile, thinking of my mom’s way of solving problems.

She’s never been sentimental. She looks at life with such economy and practicality. She lives in the day and doesn’t get too far ahead of herself. When I was nine or ten, she told us at the supper table one night that we would all die one day and that we needed to try and have a happy life. That always stuck with me. To never talk about death is just plain silly. It’s like not talking about one of the most important things in our existence.

I hope my dad has a happy summer. I hope he can sit in his lawn chair and yell at me about how I am using the weed eater wrong, or pruning the trees wrong, or hoeing the garden wrong. For some reason, I am looking forward to the old grouch hollering orders at me like I’m some waitress.

June 25, 2014

My dad has been home just over a week. He is so changed. His facial expressions, even his gestures, are somehow unfamiliar to me—the way his mouth turns down at one corner, the way he looks past you over your shoulder, the way he holds his fork and knife like he is not sure what they’re for. The grouchy, strict man who raised three kids, and poured concrete pads his whole life, has left the building. This man is quiet and still, perhaps wondering what his future holds. I catch him standing at the kitchen window looking down the road. His thumbs are shoved through his belt loops, and his jaw moves side to side.

You would think that my mother would be torn apart over losing (more or less) her partner of fifty-six years, but she’s steady and calm and goes about her chores around the house without any visible sadness. She’ll tell me, “Jann, that’s just the way it goes. That’s life. What can you do?” She never spends any time feeling sorry for herself—she has bird feeders to fill and squirrels to entertain, after all. She’s tied strips of cloth—bits of cut-up tube socks and T-shirts and old aprons—to a dozen tree branches out in the yard. “The squirrels make their beds with them,” she answered when I asked what in the hell they were for.

“That’s weird, Mom.”

“They love them. I put new ones out every few days because they all disappear.”

She gets up in the morning and feeds the dogs and putters around. Makes herself and Dad a protein shake with anything that happens to be sitting on the kitchen counter, throwing bananas or nuts or apples into the blender with a scoop of “powder” as she calls it.

She vacuums every single day without fail and does at least one load of laundry. She never says, “I don’t know what I’ll do without your dad.” She always tells me that she’ll be fine, though she says she does worry sometimes. But that’s what people do. They worry and let their brains run around like chickens in a slaughterhouse. That’s what I do, too much of the time.

We are going to try and keep Dad at home. We’ll make a few modifications in the bathrooms and we’ll bubble-wrap everything. (Kidding.) That has always been the plan.

Mom and I think that Dad will outlive us. He always lands on his feet somehow, the guy who drank and smoked his whole life like some kind of movie star. He still has good days when he makes sense and bad days when we feel like we’re playing charades as we try to figure out what he’s trying to tell us.

Yesterday he called me and said, “I just wanted to touch base about your financial situation and whatnot.” After many failed guesses, I finally figured out he was calling to find out what time I was making him dinner.

mom and dad

together for fifty-eight years

July 1, 2014

I have been in Nashville the past few days, getting some writing done and having a little bit of a break from my folks. Though I worry constantly, and I have been calling them three times a day to make sure they are all right.

I keep thinking that I shouldn’t have come down here, but Dad seemed to be pretty good. I’ll be home on Saturday around suppertime and am hoping that they can keep themselves fed and alive until then.

Of course, as soon as I landed in Nashville, I was getting messages from friends that a tornado had touched down about an hour outside of Calgary. I phoned home to check in, and Mom told me the weather had been so


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