Eat Me by Kenny Shopsin and Carolynn Carreño

     eat-meMy first impression of Eat Me was that somehow somebody like Anthony Bourdain and Amy Sedaris had collaborated and gone nuts.  The design of the book and its subject matter looked like something these two would create.  Then you meet Kenny Shopsin, who’s the real author and owner of Shopsin’s, the café he and his wife started over twenty years ago in the space of their former grocery store. 

     “Atypical” is an understatement to describe Kenny and his establishment.  He and it are  insane and wonderful and zany and crotchety.  Kenny spares no barbs in how he interacts with his clientele.  If he doesn’t like you, you’re out.  If you consider yourself a typical restaurant patron, Shopsin’s is not for you.  The shear size of the menu (in the hundreds of items and changing constantly – an example is included) is enough, probably, to scare anyone to tears.  But as you read on, Shopsin’s becomes wonderfully alive, a place where cooking and eating (and interacting) are experiences in themselves.  It’s not a hoity-toity place, but an everyman eatery where ethnic and middle-of-the-road dishes are given their own wild twist by Kenny.  And the recipes!  Dishes like Taco-Fried Chicken and Bread Pudding French Toast are sure to get you saying “What?!” and checking out the ingredients.  Along the way, you’ll have many laughs and enjoy Kenny’s approach to cooking – and learn some things as well.

     Call it a cookbook or the rantings of a curmudgeon.  Regardless of what, Eat Me is a fascinating, entertaining pastiche of a book and Kenny Shopsin is a hoot.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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One Response

  1. I love this book so much! After reading your review, I got my dad to check it out and purchased a copy for a friend. If nothing else, it’s worth a look just for the sheer inspiration it brings while describing how he uses so many ingredients. I like how he developed a “Banana Guacamole” after hearing a George Carlin bit of the same name. A very cool cookbook for quirky foodies.

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