The Sharper your Knife, the Less You Cry

The Sharper your Knife, the Less You Cry

Love, Laughter and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A delightful true story of food, Paris, and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream

In 2003, Kathleen Flinn, a thirty-six-year-old American living and working in London, returned from vacation to find that her corporate job had been eliminated. Ignoring her mother’s advice that she get another job immediately or “never get hired anywhere ever again,” Flinn instead cleared out her savings and moved to Paris to pursue a dream—a diploma from the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the touching and remarkably funny account of Flinn’s transformation as she moves through the school’s intense program and falls deeply in love along the way. Flinn interweaves more than two dozen recipes with a unique look inside Le Cordon Bleu amid battles with demanding chefs, competitive classmates, and her “wretchedly inadequate” French. Flinn offers a vibrant portrait of Paris, one in which the sights and sounds of the city’s street markets and purveyors come alive in rich detail. The ultimate wish fulfillment book, her story is a true testament to pursuing a dream. Fans of Julie & Julia, Almost French , and Eat, Pray, Love will be amused, inspired, and richly rewarded by this seductive tale of romance, Paris, and French food.
Publisher: New York : Viking, [2007]
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9780670018222
Branch Call Number: 641.07 FLI
Characteristics: xii, 285 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Cordon bleu (School : Paris, France)

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

MadReads May 07, 2012

I didn't like this one as much as I liked Kitchen Counter Cooking School but I did enjoy getting the back story on Kathleen's days at Le Cordon Bleu.

LaimaA Feb 16, 2012

Kathleen Flinn's memoirs about her time at Le Cordon Bleu is an engrossing read. Her writing is engaging and her descriptions of the food she learned to cook and of the people who shared her Parisian adventures were equally tantalizing.

ksoles Jan 31, 2012

In this charming and pleasant book, Kathleen Flinn does a marvelous job of evoking Paris in all its glory and uniqueness. Furthermore, she captures the excitement, fear and wonderment of attending Le Cordon Bleu while comically describing the quirks and antics of her chef professors. When not attending classes, Flinn takes the reader through her search for living quarters, her outings with visiting friends and her quest to improve her modest French.

The 28 small chapters do become repetitive, however, mostly because each contains at least one forced metaphor: "timing is important in cooking just like it is in relationships. If you try to take the cake out of the oven -- or commit to your sweetheart forever -- too soon, you end up with a sorry mess." If she lost the prosaism, Flinn would become a truly excellent and intriguing writer.

Jan 06, 2012

I love Kathleen Flinn's style of writing, it is simple, straight forward and engaging. This is the story of her time at the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, after losing a high powered executive position. I also recommend her second book, Kitchen Counter Cooking, which is funny and well written, reading like a novel, even though it is non-fiction.

Nov 21, 2011

The introduction made me think that I was going to hate this book because of the author. I didn't. It took me a bit to read. Didn't hold my attention. Not a stand out read.

Jul 02, 2010

A reasonably enjoyable tale of woman's journey of self discovery and the gruelling world of the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris... with recipes.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at HPL

To Top