Food, Sex, Wine and Cigars : A Memoir – by Lisa Stalvey

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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


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Keywords:- Anorexia, Addiction, Spirituality, Self-Help, Restaurants, Cookbooks, Christianity.


Genres:- Biography/Autobiography/Memoir.


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