My memoir spans the first twelve years of my life as a professional chef. I was living in hell from September 1980 until 1993, facing many unforeseen challenges in every aspect of my life.
I planned on making this a cookbook twenty-two years ago. Then one day in 2011, it came to me that it needed to be a memoir, so I just sat down and wrote.
While writing this book, I found myself craving to feel hungry again, and with that came misery. The old habits of anorexia truly never leave. They linger around waiting for the chance to pounce again.
I think that both my parents being artists of sorts gave me an interesting view of life. We were totally allowed our freedom and they gave us their trust.
As I was being rushed to the hospital staring at three of my severed fingers floating in ice water, I couldn?t believe what just happened.
At age twenty-four, I was pretty, thin, and working as a line cook among Hollywood?s elite. I was about to get married, but it all came to a screeching halt in 1980, when I severed three of my fingers in an industrial Cuisinart in the kitchen where I worked.
I describe my journey through the most difficult time of my life: suffering from anorexia and living with a disability. How could my life continue after losing three of my precious fingers, and on my right hand, no less?
Miraculously, I pulled myself out of anorexia by finally seeing my body as it really was. I began to slowly heal, though it took almost thirty-one more years. I read self-help books, recited affirmations, and began to seriously search for the missing piece of my heart.
This is my account of being a woman in a male-dominated industry, complete with a complicated relationship with food and a man, resulting in a long self-destructive streak. I have been cooking for thirty-eight years professionally, including an apprenticeship in 1980 with Wolfgang Puck, ultimately becoming his head chef at Spago, Sunset.
?I can?t wait to read anything that she writes.? ? Marc Vetri, Philadelphia restaurateur, named one of the Top Ten Chefs in America
About the Author:
Professional chef Lisa Stalvey has cooked for some of the most famous people in the world. Currently, she owns and runs two catering businesses, Malibu Catering and The Malibu Chef in Malibu, California. She grew up on the west side of Los Angeles and now lives in Calabasas, California.
?Lisa was a big part of L?Orangerie?s success, compliments from Johnny Carson to Catherine Deneuve and everyone else in between.? ? Latifa Franco, award-winning chef
?Our careers have taken us in very different directions, but she was my mentor and inspiration from the start, so I guess it seemed fitting to write this and express my love and appreciation. Lisa is a woman who broke many molds in the culinary industry, forging a path for up-and-coming female chefs during an era of male-dominated kitchens. She displayed power and grace, both paired with a unique palate and attention to detail. She was everything I wanted to be.? ? Carol Wallack of Sola, named Best New Restaurant in Chicago, and one of Chicago?s Best Chefs