Chef Interrupted, by Trevis Gleason
** Winner of an International Jury Prestige Award, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2016 **
Chef Interrupted: Discovering Life’s Second Course in Ireland with Multiple Sclerosis (288 pages), a memoir, is the first published book by former Seattle Chef and popular MS Blogger, Trevis L. Gleason. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Gleason follows his dreams to Ireland, where he rents an ancient cottage for a winter, gets a puppy, and discovers that there is life after the fall.
In 2012 Dr. Oz of The Dr. Oz Show named Trevis #1 Social HealthMaker on the topic of multiple sclerosis for his Life with MS Blog, Twitter Feed, and other online presence. He was also named the Jimmie Heuga “MS Can Do Person of the Year.”
“This memoir of [Gleason’s] months in the small town of Kelly is a spry and subtly told tale of the remarkable events he experienced and the ‘wonderful, genuine, quirky people’ who welcomed him into their town and helped him achieve a sense of purpose about living with MS: ‘It was my duty then… to live fully the life they had helped me realize.’ His month-by-month narrative is interspersed with a number of his favorite recipes for Irish delights such as steak and Guinness stew and colcannon, and he leavens his joyful account of his sojourn with various displays of his ‘noir sense of humor,’ such as when he lovingly describes visiting a butcher’s shop that has ‘what every chef wants to smell… the fresh, sweet smell of fat mingled with the mineral tones of blood and meat.’ ” Read more….
“Chef Interrupted is a wonderful book, written superbly, depicts rural Ireland brilliantly, it will give you inspiration, it will make you fall in love with Ireland all over again and we would highly recommend it.”
—My Ireland Box
“While many a reader will pick up Chef Interrupted expecting some kind of culinary history or memoir, in fact it’s much more: it’s about survival and living with MS, and about envisioning and forming a new life. Through Gleason’s eyes, more than Ireland comes to life—and more than cooking becomes the focus, making for a recommendation to travel and self-help readers as well as audiences with an interest in culinary memoirs.”
—D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR (Midwest Book Review)
When Trevis Gleason, a former chef at the top of his professional culinary career, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he lost everything—his job, his marriage, even his perceived persona. Surveying the ruins of his former life, he saw an opportunity to fulfill a long-postponed dream. He would travel from Seattle, Washington, to the wilds of west Kerry, Ireland for the winter.
Renting a rustic cottage in “The Town,” Trevis braved narrow, sheep-obstructed roads and antiquated heating systems to learn that his life, his loves (including cooking), and even his dreams weren’t lost, just waiting to be rediscovered in this magical place.
He acquired a charming puppy named Sadie, who grounded his days and served as a devoted companion as he surmounted inevitable physical setbacks and cultural challenges. All the while, he entertained a steady stream of visiting friends and relatives, including his former wife. The Town’s colorful characters welcomed the American stranger as one of their own, and he soon found himself reveling in the beauty of the rugged countryside, the authentic joy of the holidays, the conviviality of the pubs, and the hearty flavor of the simple food.
“Multiple sclerosis doesn’t steal away our futures; it steals what we thought and expected to await us in our futures,” says Gleason in his introduction. “My bright flash of the obvious was that my ‘retirement years’ weren’t going to find me seventy years old, in a canoe, fishing in some pond in Vermont. MS had already stolen much of my control of my left side, attacked my vision, and even—showing the true bastard of itself—taken away elements of my sense of taste on a number of occasions. If I was to enjoy any of the things I’d hoped to be doing in my far advanced years after a career, I would have to start identifying what those dreams were and create a plan to make them happen.”
Chef Trevis L. Gleason has been an award-winning culinarian, consultant, and instructor as well as a decorated member of the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Goodwill Ambassador to Ukraine. Retired from a distinguished culinary career, Gleason has taken on the challenges of living with secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis since his diagnosis in 2001. He is an ambassador for the National MS Society, an active volunteer for Multiple Sclerosis Ireland and the MS Society of the UK, and speaks to groups, both large and small, about living life fully with or without a chronic illness. Gleason divides his time between Seattle, Washington and County Kerry, Ireland with his wife, Caryn, and their two Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Sadie and Maggie. For more information, click here.
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