FAW Chicago, IL Est. 1922
FAW Book Reviews

Memoir of the Sunday Brunch
By Julia Pandl

Paperback, 256pp., Algonquin Books (November 13, 2012)

Reviewed by Roberta Gates
November 27, 2012

The author, the youngest of nine children, writes with humor and pathos about her father, a well-known Wisconsin chef. All nine of the Pandl kids got their first taste of (unpaid!) work helping out with their father's Sunday brunches. Julia, only twelve when she began, was eager to get into her apron and join the family business. But just because the Pandls were the boss's kids, none of them got special treatment. When one of Julia's sisters cut her finger to the bone operating a meat-slicing machine, Chef Pandl told her that he didn't have anyone else for her station so she'd just have to wrap up the finger, put on a double pair of plastic gloves and wait until after the brunch for stitches! Nonetheless, Julia's love for her father shows through; and, whether she's writing about feuds with her brother Jeremy or chauffeuring her dad around while she's still too young to drive, this memoir is both amusing and tender.