I finally got through Kate Jacob’s Comfort Food. I must say, I was a bit disappointed especially after enjoying The Friday Night Knitting Club. Frankly, I’m not much of a “foodie” although I truly enjoy cooking & eating. But my interest has gone off-tangent since “food-ing” has become a mass sensation. (I so strongly dislike any hobbies or fashion or anything that becomes a trend or a public hype… I just don’t like conforming.) No offense, I enjoy picking up recipes from various food blogs and hosting dinner parties but Comfort Food is all about food competition and crazy food-people. It narrates a life of a chef-host on the Cooking Network channel. Gus Simpson. She’s getting old and the network is about to kick her show out because the ratings have dropped. Apparently Rachel Ray, Emeril, and Barefoot Contessa were shows that deviated the audience from Gus’ 30-min show, The Lunch Bunch. The references of real cooking channel legends in the book invites the readers to “feel the familiarity” of the characters & their lives. There is also a literary cameo done by my favorite journalist crew from the Today Show, which was probably the only “familiarity feeling” I got from the entire book.
Gus, who turns fifty, competes (and eventually hosts) a reality cooking show with a twenty-something-beauty-pageant veteran, Carmen Vegas. It’s interesting how Jacobs chose to depict a story based on a problem that seems to persists in many broadcasting networks today. I’m sure there are many aging hosts out there with shows that are at the verge of getting cancelled or taken away from prime-time television. But then again, there are TV personalities like Paula Deen who’s over sixty and a recipient of Daytime Emmy (“…and add just a pinch of sugar,” Paula usually says and pours an entire cup full of ’em- do you know who I’m talking about?).
Despite the mediocre plot, Jacobs excelled with her descriptive writing. I’m amazed at how even her shortest sentences can be so fruitful and bold. Being detail-oriented especially on the creative platform is a must, must, plus, plus! Pick up her first novel, The Friday Night Knitting Club if you haven’t read any of Jacob’s books.
dee’s recommendation: 3/5