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Courtney Febbroriello   Wife of the Chef  
Courtney Febbroriello  
Read an Interview with Courtney Febbroriello

Read an Excerpt from Wife of the Chef

 

Beware, groupies: this ain't no how-to guide to getting inside those chef-ly whites.

The overwhelmingly female demographic of the popular Food Network has brought superstardom to the channel's fellowship of talented young chefs with telegenic looks and lashings of charm. Women hang on Naked Chef Jamie Oliver's every Mockney word, clamor for Tyler Florence's Food 911 housecalls, and fantasize over Rocco DiSpirito's six-pack as People Magazine's recently anointed "Sexiest Chef." Parallel to the rise of these culinary studs is the proliferation of those aiming to catch themselves a wild young chef: the phenomena of the chef groupie.

Courtney Febbroriello has their number. The co-owner of the Connecticut bistro, Metro Bis, and wife of its chef, Chris Prosperi, she laughingly scrapes away at the high gloss of the restaurant life and of culinary marriage in her memoir Wife of the Chef. Critics have described it as the woman's response to Anthony Bourdain's bestselling Kitchen Confidential, but that's too easy a description for a witty and deeply felt revelation on marriage, food, and the business that binds them together into a hectic yet rewarding life.

Wife of the Chef interweaves the events of a typical Metro Bis day with Febbroriello's recollections of her childhood, adolescence, and her comic yet loving relationship with Prosperi. Their marriage, which happened concurrently with the purchase of the restaurant, provides the culinary romance of the book title and lays the foundation for Febbroriello's growth from twenty-five-year old restaurateur to experienced businesswoman. Throughout the bouts of unforgiving customers, flaky staff, constant bills, and long days and nights, she finds the rewards in her frantic life while maintaining, as the Hartford Advocate said, "an appreciation of the truly different coupled with a sly, intelligent sense of fun."

In this issue of Bold Type, Metro Bis owner Courtney Febbroriello explains the agony and ecstacy of running a restaurant while being married to a chef and provides an excerpt from her book, Wife of the Chef.

Kelley Kawano

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  Photo credit: Bill Bettencourt

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