Plot/Idea: Marisa Mangani takes readers along with her on the journey of finding her purpose and standing up for her dreams in an eye-opening and refreshingly honest memoir.
Prose: Mangani's candid, fluid, and direct prose captivates readers from the very first line.
Originality: Mise en Place offers a unique, insider's perspective on working in a male-dominated restaurant business as a female chef. Mangani's career takes her to a variety of vividly conveyed cities and restaurants while offering an emotional chronicle of her personal growth.
Character/Execution: Mangani has a clear handle on storytelling and fills her memoir with detailed and authentic descriptions of the many individuals who influence her personal and professional life.
Blurb: An excellent read for aspiring entrepreneurs trying to pave their own path.
Date Submitted: October 05, 2022
Frankly recounting her efforts to climb the ranks of the restaurant world she knew might see her as “some stuttering and awkwardly curvaceous girl,” Mangani reveals how even as her career soared in New Orleans her culinary dreams are shadowed at times by toxic relationships that carry her from restaurant to restaurant. Her storytelling exemplifies the grit and determination it takes to succeed—and to prioritize what matters. She went on to manage multiple kitchens at World Expositions across the globe before settling in Florida to start a family. There she took on a new career in kitchen design, entered therapy, started writing, and set her sights on happier, healthier times, including touchingly recounted family rituals with her daughter, like their shared love of sitting together eating an artichoke leaf by leaf until they reach the “center jewel.”
Mangani’s stories will elicit a range of emotions from sympathy to laughter, and her love for food is infectious, as her descriptions bring it to life, from the frozen lima beans of her youth to wonders like chilled melon soup with pink peppercorn crème fraiche.
Takeaway: An inspiring memoir of food love, success as a chef, and finding balance in life.
Great for fans of: Kwame Onwuachi’s Notes From a Young Black Chef, Marcus Samuelsson’s Yes, Chef.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A