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Bread and Butter by Michelle Wildgen

Bread and Butter

by Michelle Wildgen

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I listened to this as an audio book. It was a slow, gentle story, which gradually explored the personalities of the three brothers. On the one hand, it felt like not a lot happened, but the story unfurled slowly and the characters gradually emerged, interspersed with interesting asides on seasonal food. There were some issues with the narration - pronunciation a bit off in places, and the way the narrator used speech tags was weird, but otherwise, I'd highly recommend this. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
Food and family but in someway undefinable way, lacking for me. ( )
  ccayne | Mar 8, 2015 |
I liked this book. I am a sucker for books about food. The family stuff was interesting as well. ( )
  shazjhb | Nov 3, 2014 |
I was excited to read this book when I found out I had won a copy. I like reading food related stories. Which is what the book cover and the summary indicate to. It does discuss food but that is about all. There are brief moments of food but not what I craved. I wanted to be immersed in the whole food experience with the three brothers. I thought with them being in the restaurant business that I would get to read about all of the yummy food that they served and my mouth would be watering. As I said none of this happened. This book is more about the relationship between the brothers, family, love, and growth. Which I had no problems with but the brothers were not that interesting. So if you are looking for a foodie related book to read this is not that book. ( )
  Cherylk | Aug 11, 2014 |
Three brothers, two restaurants and falling in love are the ingredients in Michelle Wildgen's winning Bread and Butter, a quiet novel about familiar satisfactions.

Britt and Leo never really left their hometown. Leo started, and Britt soon came in to run the front, of Winesap, a refined yet comfortable restaurant named for the trees in their parents' yard. The restaurant is a well-oiled machine and the brothers are growing middle-aged settling in as essential cogs of that machinery.

Younger brother Harry has kicked around here and there, dividing his time between university courses and cooking. His exploits have included travel, a stint in an Alaskan salmon cannery and cookng at a self-sustaining restaurant on a Michigan island. He's back home now, too, and plans to open his own restaurant. The older two are skeptical but not unencouraging. Until Harry's vision clicks for one of the brothers and he becomes Harry's partner, dividing his time between the new place and Winesap.

At the same time, Britt, who appears as confident, is slightly rattled by the appearance of a confident woman who begins dining at Winesap regularly and who knows Harry. Then Leo's eyes are finally opened about someone who has been there the whole time.

That the ensuing complications and conflicts arise not from the men falling in love with these women -- although their falling in love opens them both up -- is one of the calm delights of this novel. It's a pleasure to read a book that is not about brothers fighting over women or fighting over who is smarter and the better entrepreneur and the more accomplished foodie.

Rather, it is a pleasure to read a novel about brothers who love each other, get to know each other and themselves a bit better, and who enjoy what they are doing.

Also, the parts about food are delicious. Wildgen knows what she is writing about, whether it is family or food. ( )
  Perednia | Jul 7, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385537433, Hardcover)

Kitchen Confidential meets Three Junes in this mouthwatering novel about three brothers who run competing restaurants, and the culinary snobbery, staff stealing, and secret affairs that unfold in the back of the house.

Britt and Leo have spent ten years running Winesap, the best restaurant in their small Pennsylvania town. They cater to their loyal customers; they don't sleep with the staff; and business is good, even if their temperamental pastry chef is bored with making the same chocolate cake night after night. But when their younger brother, Harry, opens his own restaurant—a hip little joint serving an aggressive lamb neck dish—Britt and Leo find their own restaurant thrown off-kilter. Britt becomes fascinated by a customer who arrives night after night, each time with a different dinner companion. Their pastry chef, Hector, quits, only to reappear at Harry's restaurant. And Leo finds himself falling for his executive chef-tempted to break the cardinal rule of restaurant ownership. Filled with hilarious insider detail—the one-upmanship of staff meals before the shift begins, the rivalry between bartender and hostess, the seedy bar where waitstaff and chefs go to drink off their workday—Bread and Butter is both an incisive novel of family and a gleeful romp through the inner workings of restaurant kitchens.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:58 -0400)

Fraternal feuding ensues when the youngest of three brothers opens a restaurant in competition with his older siblings' establishment in a small Pennsylvania suburb.

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