Lauren Shockey

Lauren Shockey is a New York City-based food writer. Her articles have appeared in many print and online publications including The New York Times, The New York Times Style Magazine/The Moment Blog, The Wall Street Journal, Gastronomica, Departures, Slate, The Atlantic Food Channel, Chile Pepper, Saveur,and The Village Voice, where Lauren was the restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012. Visit her website 


FOUR KITCHENS: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris (2011)

At the French Culinary Institute, Lauren Shockey learned to salt food properly, cook fearlessly over high heat, and knock back beers like a pro. But she also discovered that her real culinary education wouldn't begin until she actually worked in a restaurant. After a somewhat disappointing apprenticeship in the French provinces, Shockey hatched a plan for her dream year: to apprentice in four high-end restaurants around the world. She started in her hometown of New York City under the famed chef Wylie Dufresne at the molecular gastronomy hotspot wd-50, then traveled to Vietnam, Israel, and back to France. From the ribald kitchen humor to fiery-tempered workers to tasks ranging from the mundane (mincing cases of shallots) to the extraordinary (cooking seafood on the line), Shockey shows us what really happens behind the scenes in haute cuisine, and includes original recipes integrating the techniques and flavors she learned along the way. With the dramatic backdrop of restaurant life, readers will be delighted by the adventures of a bright and restless young woman looking for her place in the world. 

"Something hot to read this summer."―The Providence Journal

"This interesting blend of history, culture, cooking, and travel is highly recommended for any lover of literary travel writing. Those who enjoy cooking will learn through her experiences and be inspired to try Shockey's kitchen-friendly recipes featuring the spices and flavors she discovers along the way."―Jane Hebert, Orange Cty. Lib. Syst., Orlando, FLLibrary Journal

"A charmer, an honest and good-humoured behind-the-scenes look at life in the kitchen, very much in the vein of Bill Buford's Heat or Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential." The Globe and Mail

"Rich descriptions of coworkers and locales accompany her main theme of struggle and growth, and recipes inspired by items on the menus of the restaurants she worked further enhance it. . . . Just as her talent and skill earned Shockey respect in the kitchens in which she worked, her unique memoir will garner her favor from the world of food writing."―Booklist

Cooking for clientele and friends alike, Shockey highlights the importance of hands-on, communal involvement-food as nourishment with 'soul' rather than high artistry."―Kirkus Reviews

Rights: Grand Central, World; Mouria, Holland; Tänapäev, Estonia