Synopsis from Edelweiss:
A sharp and candid memoir from a rising feminist leader in the culinary world, and an up-and-coming literary voice.
From the moment she opened her first bar, Jen Agg knew she could never not be her own boss again. I HEAR SHE’S A REAL BITCH tells the story of how she has made that happen, from getting her first job pouring drinks all the way to running several of Canada’s most famous restaurants. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing, and it certainly wasn’t luck. Years of hard work, and plenty of opportunities to learn from her mistakes taught Agg how to run a great restaurant that also functions as a business.
Jen Agg has positioned herself at the vanguard of the fight against the culinary industry’s stubbornly persistent sexism, having organized the highly successful KITCHEN BITCHES conference to bring widespread attention to the issue. In this vein, her memoir shines a bright light on the condescension and outright misogyny she herself faced working in bars and restaurants, and even as she established her own businesses. I HEAR SHE’S A REAL BITCH is more than just a story about starting a restaurant business: it is a rallying cry for a feminist revolution in the culinary world.
BOOK GIVEAWAY: ENTER VIA TWITTER *us only*
Giveaway Ends 9/30/17. 8PM CST. My Twitter handle @howusefulitis
About: I Hear She’s A Real Bitch is a memoir written by Jen Agg. It was recently published on 9/12/17 by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, paperback, 368 pages. The genres are autobiography, culinary, and non-fiction. Penguin Random House is the world’s largest trade book publisher and its mission is “to foster a universal passion for reading by partnering with authors to help create stories and communicate ideas that inform, entertain, and inspire, and to connect them with readers everywhere.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading I Hear She’s a Real Bitch on 8/21/17 and finished it on 9/15/17. I enjoyed reading this memoir a lot. I take time to read it carefully so that I can understand more. I don’t work in the restaurant or bar business but after reading this book, I may dine differently. I might refuse my drink if the server bring my drink over with octopus hands.. haha.. I haven’t read too many memoirs, but this one might be the best one I read this year and I am inclined to read more in the future. The title is an attention grabber and the illustrations are definitely an added bonus. This book definitely has experiences worth reading!
In this book, readers will follow the point of view of Jen Agg, an owner of The Black Hoof, Grey Gardens, Rhum Corner, Cocktail Bar, and Agrikol in Cananda. The start of this book talks about Charcuterie board, a signature dish serve at The Black Hoof. There is an illustration of what a Charcuterie board looks like. Jen talks about her personal experiences with staffing and training. Then she talks about her childhood, her teenage years was filled with alcohol, cigarettes, and many unreliable men. She worked in different bars & grills from servers to bartenders and then her first steps into being an owner. She discusses about opening up a café and closing it down, challenges of having a partner and the leap taken to be her own boss, and the ups and downs of running a business as a woman with today’s social media affecting it all.
The title of this memoir has a swear word and it’s no surprise the content of the book will hold a few swear words. This book is very well written, informative, and easy to read. I like Jen’s real talk about restaurant profitability and food waste. I like what’s called “octopus hands” when serving drinks. It’s an eye opener for me to learn about the dynamic between servers and cooks in addition to the abuse because this is the first time I have heard of it. There were no dull moments reading this book. The illustrations on “pussy can take a pounding” is funny. I enjoyed Jen Agg’s perspectives on vodka. I like her story about her experiences on having a partnership. It’s definitely hard to find a compatible partner to run a business with. That’s why I choose to run this blog (a hobby) on my own even though I wish to post a review everyday instead of once or twice a week.
I’m surprised at the author’s honesty about herself in this book. She takes accountability in her actions even when it makes her look bad like sleeping with her best friend’s boyfriend and a married man. I’m also surprised why the author would feel discomfort seeing eleven years old girls wearing shorts shorts and crop tops if she herself masturbate with her mom’s plug-in at twelve and losing her virginity with a random guy at a bar. What Jen does in her teenage years, I should think she’s no prude. I’m also surprised she names name of her staff who is a cutter.. isn’t that private? She exposed herself as being born with one breast which is a surprising reminder for me. Sometimes I forget such things do happen. It’s a little tough reading about her opinions on reviews because my blog is all about reviews. I guess it’s a lucky I don’t get paid for my reviews.
I give props to Jen Agg for adding in illustrations and pictures to this memoir because it grabs readers attention. There are illustrations of her restaurant ideas, mix drinks ingredients, a glimpse of a menu, a bar setup, and of herself in the nude with very exposed private part. There are other pretty illustrations as well as dishes that her restaurant offers. On the other hand, aside from humor, I also enjoy her discussions about her marriages and of business failures and success. I like to know the mistakes made and lessons learned. I’m also surprised that she uses Craigslist! Somehow I think only people in USA uses it. I recommend reading the glossary at the end of the book before starting the memoir. There is something to take away from reading about someone’s personal experience and I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
Pro: serving tips, restaurant owner insider info, personal experience, pictures and illustrations, humor, teenage smoking, drinking, and sex, business fail and business success,
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
JEN AGG is the owner of The Black Hoof, Grey Gardens, Rhum Corner, Cocktail Bar in Toronto and Agrikol in Montreal. (Photo obtained from Goodreads and Info obtained from Penguin Website).
More information about Penguin Random House:
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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Penguin Publishing Group for sponsoring the giveaway. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.