Charlotte Druckman: Skirt Steak

Charlotte Druckman

Question to self: why am I bothering to flip the pages of Charlotte Druckman‘s Skirt Steak (Chronicle 2012) that starts off with a dense equation of words from Virginia Woolf which I couldn’t solve? And whose plodding paragraphs are studded with too-often footnotes in too-small font that begs comparison to Cliff Notes?

Skirt Steak by Charlotte DruckmanThe book’s eye-catching cutout, I presume expensive, enticed me to greedy expectation of the literary meal within. After my initial dismay at the introduction, I sought to redress my initial judgment, but I did not find a single excuse to do so.

By sheer luck, I happened upon a explanatory list sanguinely provided by the author as justifying “possibly alienating” the reader. To wit, she writes, “After interviewing seventy-plus chefs and feeling equally vested in and connected to all, the idea of leaving any of them out of the book doesn’t sit well.” Perhaps by leaving some out, she would have let more readers in.

If you need to research female chefs for your Women’s Studies class, this book may serve a purpose. Otherwise, stay away.

About Anne Kim

Born in Seoul soon after the Korean War, raised on kimchi, rice, and USAid Spam, immigrated to US at the age of 8, desperate to fit in with cupcakes and potato chips in the lunchbox, enjoyed plentiful fare in boarding school and college dining halls, married and discovered a passion for cooking, became short-order chef for the kids, and now spending much of my free time experimenting in the kitchen.