Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me about Life, Love, and the Power of Good Food is a memoir written by Darlene Barnes. Darlene has always loved food and loved to cook. Some of her earliest memories are of the good fresh food eaten at her grandparent’s home and to this day she feels strongly about buying locally and fresh. I’m not sure she ever imagined herself as the chef at the fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi feeding fifty to eighty young guys at any one time but that’s exactly the path her life took and ultimately it changed her — in good ways.
In the long run working as a chef at the fraternity was a good move for Darlene for a few reasons. First she got to do what she loved and also introduced these young men to food a whole lot better for them than Mac and Cheese. Secondly nobody else would likely have her – at one point she makes a comment that a self-attached muzzle could be helpful at times. That made me laugh out loud! Darlene doesn’t hesitate to let us know in her memoir that she’s very outspoken and spunky and this is all packed into a woman not much over five feet tall. She tells it how it is and fights for the things she believes in such as sourcing food locally and using only fresh ingredients. She made life a nightmare for her suppliers and I admired her for sticking to her guns. So while life with these guys was more often than not driving her crazy it was still a place she could ultimately be herself and that’s never a bad thing. Funny enough she would be planning on leaving every year and then one of the guys would say ‘I love you Darlene’ and she’d be back for another round.
I enjoyed reading this and I admire Darlene’s support of sourcing local and fresh food. She would likely have a heart attack if she saw some of the ‘fake’ food I sometimes eat. I will say that reading this invigorated my wanting to eat more fresh and for the most part I already do. I also enjoyed reading about the relationships that Darlene formed with some of these guys. There were many she didn’t connect with but there were also a lot she did and those are friendships formed for life. Many think that life in a fraternity is just one big party and while there are a lot of parties Darlene opens our eyes to the fact that it is also just a bunch of young guys living a normal everyday life.
Even better are the recipes that Darlene includes at the end of each chapter and what I liked best about them is that they are good old home cooking – my favorite! She reiterates something I firmly believe in and that’s that so many of our memories are tied into food and many of mine come from the plain but yummy food my mom has always cooked. Some of the recipes from the book that I’d like to eventually try are: Black Bottom Pie, Parker House Rolls, Blueberry Cornbread and so many others and because I love soups so much – Chicken Tortellini Soup and Chicken Tortilla Soup. I think this is a memoir that would appeal to foodies and to people interested in a behind the scenes look at a frat house but also a look at a woman who learned a lot about herself from a bunch of frat guys!
Darlene Barnes is on tour with her novel Hungry over at TLC Book Tours so be sure to check out the other tour stops! You can find Darlene on her website, Facebook, and Twitter. You can pick up your own copy of Hungry at Amazon and Amazon Canada.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US/Canada)
I have one copy of Hungry by Darlene Barnes to share with my readers. To enter…
- Leave a comment for 1 entry.
- Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on August 29/13. Good luck!
Source: Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours and the Publisher. Giveaway copy via the Publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.