Hungry by Darlene Barnes


"The book is as much about nourishment as it is food. Barnes' affection for the fraternity brothers carries the narrative. . . . A heartening memoir of good food and tough love."--Kirkus ReviewsNewly arrived in Seattle, Darlene Barnes stumbles on a job ad for a cook at the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity on the University of Washington campus, a prospect most serious food professionals would automatically reject. But Barnes envisions something other t...

Details Hungry

Release DateAug 6th, 2013
GenreNonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Autobiography, Memoir, Foodie

Reviews Hungry

  • Melody
    I liked this progressively better as I went along. The irascible authorial tone put me off at first. Well, at first and at second. I ended up firmly on her side, but she does come off like a special snowflake sometimes. I liked the glimpse inside the frat house, and I liked the descriptions of the denizens therein. I was less enamored with her memoirish bits, where she was bitter about the billionaire she cooked for in Texas and the like. I reall...
  • Diane
    What drew me to Darlene Barnes' memoir Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me About Life, Love and The Power of Good Food was that we had some things in common: she had two sons and was getting ready for 'empty nest syndrome' as she sent her last son off to college, and she liked to cook.Barnes married a man in the Canadian military, so they moved from base to base. He eventually ended up as an engineer and they lived in Texas. She found a j...
  • Emma
    I initially chose this book because of the title…I just had to know the story behind it all. But as I flew through the pages, I was given more than just a backstory: I was treated to a rare glimpse of fraternity life, peppered with tips and tricks on how to be the odd-girl-out, and encompassed by a love of food and the community it creates such as I had never been a part of before. Darlene Barnes is bossy but loving, tough but fair, and above a...
  • Kelli
    Barnes writes a memoir that reads more like an extended outline than a memoir. Barnes covers her childhood, her experience working for a Texas Billionaire, and her time as a chef in the Fraternity house in Seattle. While all of these events are mentioned in a scrambled pattern, there is very little detail. The only thing the author makes clear (through repetition) is that she is a self-proclaimed difficult person to work with. I wanted more detai...
  • Jc
    Needed a feel good memoir and this one certainly was entertaining. Darlene Barnes has a strong sense of voice and opinion about food, respect and fraternities. This is not Animal House with a mix of Bourdain. As with most chefs, Darlene Barnes is a strong personality not to be messed with. She is hired to cook for a frat house and you can tell that there is some misgiving if not downright resentment about doing this in a house full of young men w...
  • Nancy Palmer
    Interesting book about a woman who cooked meals for a frat house at the University of Washington. Recipes are included. She made it her mission to cook fresh healthy meals and demand these fresh ingredients from food suppliers before it was popular. Her stories about the young men in the house were amusing and touching.
  • Barbara Swartz
    This book was probably more of a 3.5 on the star scale, but I'm a sucker for memoirs. You can feel Barnes' passion through her reflections; she really loved these boys and it reminded me of how I feel about my students. It was a very quick read, if not a little disjointed.
  • Lindsey
    An interesting look inside a Frat House, but the story was definitely mostly about Darlene, rather than the rest of the people around her.
  • Darlene
    Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me about Life, Love, and the Power of Good Food is a memoir written by Darlene Barnes. Darlene has always loved food and loved to cook. Some of her earliest memories are of the good fresh food eaten at her grandparent’s home and to this day she feels strongly about buying locally and fresh. I’m not sure she ever imagined herself as the chef at the fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi feeding fifty to eighty youn...
  • Christine
    I bought this book for three reasons: I love memoirs; I was fascinated by the premise of stay-at-home-mom-turned-frat-cook; the author graduated from my university and my program, so I wanted to support a fellow alum. Unfortunately, I am stuck on chapter 10 and I cannot muster up enough enthusiasm to continue.What I did like about "Hungry" was Darlene herself. She sounds a lot like me - a third culture kid, college educated, married young and end...
  • Monika
    Originally posted on my blog, A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall:Since Hungry is a book about Darlene Barnes's experiences as a fraternity cook, there are some hilarious examples of the type of stories you'd expect from a job like this. The book is deeper than that, though. I was struck by what an important part of their family she became, and found many of her stories incredibly touching. And beyond the personal stories, Hungry delves into the ins a...
  • Liralen
    When alumnus Alex...heard that I was planning to leave one year, he laughed it off with the question I kept asking myself: "Where is she going to go? Where else can she do whatever the hell she wants and talk shit about her customers?" There wasn't anywhere else like that and I knew it well (76).Funny, lighthearted look at cooking for a fraternity. Barnes describes her initial terror at the scale of her job—two meals a day, five days a week, fo...
  • Carol
    Darlene Barnes’ Hungry feel like a 3.5 star rating to me, but there are no stars available. She writes of her experience as a chef for a fraternity. She writes with humor and includes some tasty recipes at the end of each chapter. She loves natural food, not food made from frozen or dry ingredients. That made her a maverick among other fraternity chefs. Also, she paid attention to food safety which was unusual in the other houses and in the re...
  • Hyrum
    I accidentally stumbled upon this book as I was on my way to find a plumbing book at the library (I found the cooking/food books on the same isle as plumbing quite funny...). I read the blurb on the inside cover and thought the book could be interesting.Comprising multiple years as a Frat cook, Darlene Barnes weaves her memoire in and out of past experiences with food and her life as head, and only, cook at a UW Frat house. The book is not about ...
  • pianogal
    I didn't even know that a job as a "frat cook" existed until I read this book. Not that I would have taken it, I'm just saying. I was not into the Greek life when I was in college, but these guys made it seem not so bad. Chef Darlene kind of annoyed me with all her preaching on locally sourced, fresh good. Kraft Mac N Cheese is not the devil. Sorry. In fact, I might go eat some right now...after all, it's the cheesiest. I get it, though. All food...
  • Peggy
    I was drawn to this book because I live near Seattle, know ex UW fraternity guys and my son-in-law is a sales rep for a food company that has many of the UW Fraternity and Sorority accounts. (But not Alpha Sigma Phi) After Darlene Barnes' husband accepts a job with Microsoft, Darlene finds herself in Seattle, with 2 grown sons gone and the "empty nest" syndrome. Having been an English major, she found herself with limited job opportunities. Base...
  • Deb
    Being a "frat cook" was not in Darlene Barnes life plan. A mostly stay-at-home mom while her two sons were growing up, taking on various jobs some food-related and some not while they were high school, before becoming a private chef for a rich Dallas family, Barnes moved to Seattle when her husband took a job with Microsoft wanting to do something and have a career of her own. Seeing an advertisement for sorority chef at the University of Washing...
  • Catherine
    Barnes moves to the Seattle area when her husband accepts a job there. She takes a job as a chef for a college fraternity at the University of Washington, hoping to bring delicious, nutritious meals to the members. That’s the foundation of her memoir.Had I not read a couple of favorable reviews, I probably wouldn’t have read this book because my first impression was that there would be just a lot of stories of bad college boy pranks. There ar...
  • Jeremy
    I haven't been in a frat house in a looooooong time, and I've never had a meal in one either, unless jello mixed, let's just skip that anecdote. But Darlene Barnes' memoir about cooking for Alpha Sigma Phi at the University of Washington was unexpectedly interesting. She's great at weaving the details of her life into the larger narrative about her search for meaningful work and passion for quality cooking.The book chugs along at a nic...
  • Maryellen
    This was an impulse buy, recommended by Amazon due to other browsing, proving that often the best stuff you find is just totally random.I enjoyed just about everything about this memoir - it did get a little repetitious at times, but honestly, I loved reading about the relationship the author formed with the frat guys and the occasional sorority girl. It's nice to see a portrayal that shows the good and the bad and how together they are reality -...
  • Ranell
    I LOVED this book!! Ms. Barnes humanizes the Greek system of frat boys. They are what we all think they are but she also shows their loyalty to each other and their deep friendships. I fell in love with these guys through her wonderful writing! I felt like I was sitting in her kitchen listening to her stories. She is not the typical warm "house mom" but a passionate chef with a sharp tongue. Her goal with "her guys" is to give them fresh local fo...
  • Kimberly Simpson
    I was curious about this memoir because my husband is an Alpha Sigma Phi alumni. The author seemed to honor greek life in the way she described the brothers. Her passion for food came through and her feelings about home made/ homegrown organic produce and meat. I found this a little tiring to read about, especially in a fraternity setting. The recipes throughout the book are fun. I enjoyed the overall message ... How some of lifes deepest meaning...
  • Joel Higgins
    "Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me About Life, Love, and the Power of Good Food" by Darlene Barnes was an absolute joy to read. It reframe Chefs in the Greek system as well as their clients in a more honest and enjoyable way. Check out my full review here:
  • Valerie
    Really enjoyed the subject matter of the book, but felt it could have benefited from more detail and a stronger time structure. I realize she was probably trying to protect the privacy of the boys, but the book suffered from the vagueness. It's not a coincidence the best parts of the book were about her life before the frat job.
  • Penny (Literary Hoarders)
    3.5 stars actually. A loving, yet sometimes harsh and scathing look at how Darlene Barnes came to cook for the Alpha Sig frat at the University of Washington and where she remains 8 years later. Darlene is consumed with providing real food, made from scratch for her frat boys and along the way learning to love what she is doing.
  • Kelly Lamb
    Funny, inspiring, and sure to make you HUNGRY. A very unique look at both fraternity house life and locally-sourced foods (an odd combo I know, but it works). Read this one quickly and it is sure to push you into the kitchen to try some new recipes afterwards!
  • Teresa Wagner
    Maybe it is because I have a son who just joined a Fraternity, but I found this book very interesting. I loved the relationship that Darlene had with the boys, the recipes she included at the end of chapters, and the fact that she was at the University of Washington in my home town of Seattle. A quick wonderful read!
  • Deanna
    I enjoyed this book so very much. The author is straightforward, in a charming way, and I found her highly entertaining. I can see why her "guys" became so attached to just know she'd be a blast to share a meal with. The fraternity itself sounds a lot like my husband's in college, bringing back some fun memories of old friends.
  • guiltlessreader
    Really enjoyed this one! This is real and honest, just like Darlene Barnes's cooking :) Check out my review on my blog, Guiltless Reading:
  • Sofi
    Even if I hadn't fallen in love with these boys and this house while also attending the University of Washington, it would be impossible not to now. Darlene captures the heart and the crazy of the place with really genuine and sincere reflection on a career far off the beaten path.