"In epigrammatic, nearly poetic diction, Grant . . . reminds us of how transformative the junctures where food and life collide can be." --The New York Times Book Review
“What a beautiful, rich, and poetic memoir this is . . . Like the best chefs, Phyllis Grant knows how to make a masterpiece from a few simple ingredients: truth, taste, poignancy, and love.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls and Eat, Pray, Love
Phyllis Grant’s Everything Is Under Control is a memoir about appetite as it comes, goes, and refocuses its object of desire. Grant’s story follows the sometimes smooth, sometimes jagged, always revealing contours of her life: from her days as a dancer struggling to find her place at Julliard, to her experiences in and out of four-star kitchens in New York City, to falling in love with her future husband and leaving the city after 9/11 for California, where her children are born. All the while, a sense of longing pulses in each stage as she moves through the headspace of a young woman longing to be sustained by a city into that of a mother now sustaining a family herself.
Written with the transparency of a diarist, Everything Is Under Control is an unputdownable series of vignettes followed by tried-and-true recipes from Grant’s table—a heartrending yet unsentimental portrait of the highs and lows of young adulthood, motherhood, and a life in the kitchen.
Praise for Everything Is Under Control
“What a beautiful, rich, and poetic memoir this is. Phyllis Grant writes of longing, suffering, celebration, family, and food with such delicate power. Like the best chefs, she knows how to make a masterpiece from a few simple ingredients: truth, taste, poignancy, and love. This is a wonderful book.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls and Eat, Pray, Love
“Phyllis Grant has the voice of a poet and the sensuality of a cook. This very brave book makes you want to experience the world with equal intensity. As for the recipes ... completely irresistible.” —Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums
“How do we locate ourselves in time? In our families? Within the intricacies of our own appetites? With raw candor and discipline, Phyllis Grant peels back the layers of her innermost experience and gives us a memoir as rich and nuanced, as delicate as life itself.” —Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance
“Everything Is Under Control is a beautiful paradox—the book moves expansively, generously across the decades, in prose as clean and economical as a chef's knife dicing an onion. The result is addictively readable and ultimately wise, true, and real.” —Claire Dederer, author of Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses
"Phyllis Grant writes sentences that send jolts through your body. This book is poetry. This book is truth. In structure and tone it's like nothing I have ever encountered. It's about the reality of how we live our lives. I devoured it in a few hours and when I was done, I was crying on the train home." —Jeff Gordinier, author of Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World
“Everything Is Under Control is a captivating memoir for the ages. Phyllis Grant writes with such grace, economy of language, lack of sentimentality, and a narrative tautness that infuses her kaleidoscopic story of sustenance and survival with utter humanity. I couldn't put it down.” —Elissa Altman, author of Motherland
“I don’t know what’s more delicious: Phyllis’ recipes or her stunningly beautiful prose. These stories will stick with you long after you’re finished reading, but like her fudgey icebox brownies, you will want to devour this book again and again." —Molly Yeh, blogger and Food Network host
"Relating the adrenaline-surging hustle in restaurant kitchens, including nauseating moments of sexual harassment, Grant writes with bursting energy . . . Grant captures life with her husband and growing babies in similarly spare and gripping images, to enjoyably entrancing effect." --Booklist