ELEGY FOR AN APPETITE is the story of a young cook’s tumultuous relationship with their body and eating. This short, poetic memoir, which mostly takes place in a series of professional kitchens, follows the author’s journey from voracious childhood to starving teen years and then to challenging early adulthood. The book explores the author’s search for identity, validity, and healing through a series of both dark and ridiculous kitchen tales. Through these experiences, the author is forced to question the intentions of existing systems and cultures in the restaurant world and beyond. Elegy for an Appetite turns an unblinking eye toward survival in a world where certain forms of physical embodiment can imply hardship, but it also forces us to consider what can happen when we abandon the ideologies we’ve held as true for far too long.
Literary Nonfiction. Memoir.
Shaina Loew-Banayan is the chef and owner of Café Mutton in Hudson, NY. When they're not making sausages, they're living the dream at home with their wife, Bettina, their cat, Birdie, and a rotating cast of mysteriously plaintive chickens.