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By Jen Agg

“Whatever Jen Agg says is worth listening to…I Hear She’s a Real Bitch is the book a lot of us have been waiting for. A terrific, beautifully written, frank and funny memoir and a compelling argument for pulling down the long outdated system of ‘bro’ culture that has dominated the industry since what feels like the beginning of time.”
– Anthony Bourdain

“Jen Agg insists on being heard. Her plainspoken yet breathlessly disclosing memoir is compulsively readable, highlighting her natural gift for not just telling it like it is, but remembering with heart and with humor. Much like dining at one of her perfectly-lit restaurants, reading Agg is a full-blown experience of the senses. I am grateful for her voice and for how generously she storytells. I read I Hear She’s A Real Bitch, all the way through, in one sitting, only putting it down once near the end, so as to delay reaching its final pages.”
– Durga Chew-Bose, author of Too Much and Not the Mood

“Jen Agg has produced a memoir every bit as distinctive as her extraordinary restaurants. It is equal parts steel, grit, sass, tmi and analytic brilliance. Nobody is better at creating the modern bistro, a joint that’s someplace, yet also relaxed; meticulous, but utterly without pretension. Agg, it turns out, has an ear to match her eye; she is a dismayingly good writer, and her book is a double How-To: How to be a garishly successful restauranteur; and How to be a semi-completed human being. She has brought every bit of her unique verve to I Hear She’s a Real Bitch. (PS: She can be, but she really isn’t.)”
Stephen Metcalf


Agg_9780385686877_jkt_all_r5.inddA sharp and candid memoir from a star in the restaurant world, and an up-and-coming literary voice. Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg, the woman behind the popular The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner, and Agrikol restaurants, is known for her frank, crystal-sharp, and often hilarious observations and ideas on the restaurant industry and the world around her.

I Hear She’s a Real Bitch, her first book, is caustic yet intimate, and wryly observant; an unforgettable glimpse into the life of one of the most interesting, smart, trail-blazing voices of this moment.


“Some of the most valuable takeaways are Agg’s observations of the less obvious, but equally pervasive ways that sexism weaves its way into this minutia of restaurant life . . . If a generation of cooks followed Kitchen Confidential into the industry on the promised glory of good times and hard living, for largely different reasons – because restaurant ownership is so desperately lacking in diversity, and because kitchen culture could sure use a change – with hope, I Hear She’s a Real Bitch will do the same.”
– The Globe and Mail

“No one has big enough balls to go up against Jen Agg.”
– Elle profile (May 2016)

“Agg’s new memoir, I Hear She’s A Real Bitch . . . [is] part coming-of-age tale, part tell-all, part love letter to her keeper husband, part guide to building an empire and part feminist mission statement — all told in the voice familiar to her 13,600 Twitter followers: chatty, funny and sometimes all-caps shouty.”
– The Toronto Star interview (May 2017)

“Each time [Agg] declares a trend, diners—and other restaurateurs—trail her with slack-jawed reverence…celebs like Anthony Bourdain and Gordan Ramsay and Justin Timberlake stop by when they’re in town… She has the canny ability to make young people feel sophisticated and older customers feel cool. Her empire is where they meet in the middle.”
Toronto Life profile (March 2016)

“Writing frankly about her life and career in her new memoir I Hear She’s a Real Bitch, Agg catalogues not only what it’s like to literally start from the bottom and rise to the top, but more importantly—what it’s like to do so as a woman in a male-dominated industry.”
– VICE interview (May 2017)

“As a feminist and head of her own super-popular restaurant empire, Agg tells us what it’s like to dominate an uber male, often misogynistic industry. But as much as this is a story about stumbling and triumphing as a woman in the biz, it’s also a story about simply being a woman with opinions. (So, like, basically, just a woman.) In I Hear She’s A Real Bitch, Agg cuts through the crap and lets us see who she really is—and how she got there.”
– Hazlitt interview (May 2017)

“I can’t ever take the ‘fuck’ out of the kitchen. It’s the Wild West, it’s always going to be like that, but do we have to humiliate and embarrass people who are just trying to prep their mise?”
Jen Agg, interview with Helen Rosner, Eater

“[Agg’s] voice is much needed in the restaurant world, where
sexism and harassment run rampant.”
Booklist review (August 2017)

I Hear She’s a Real Bitch, is an eye-opener. Written with a sense of urgency, it’s an important work because it spells out exactly how the restaurant industry is gendered… This memoir is so much more than a book about starting and running a restaurant. It’s about hard work and dedication, never backing down, and taking a stand for what you believe in.”
Eater review (August 2017)

“[Agg] begins to charm you with intimate, specific details… By the time I arrived at the chapter where she drags herself out of a pit of PMS self-loathing because her husband tells her that [Winn] Butler and [Régine] Chassagne have shown up at Rhum Corner and she should get it together to meet two of her favorite musicians, I was 100 percent an Aggolyte, cheering when Chassagne e-mails several days later to say she’s serious about going into business on Agrikol.”
ELLE review (September 2017)

Refinery29 Best of 2017


Media:

Toronto Life Interview
New York Times Op-Ed
ELLE Interview
Globe & Mail Profile
National Post Profile
Maclean’s Q&A
Chatelaine Interview
Toronto Star Interview
Global News: The Morning Show Interview
Hazlitt Interview
VICE Interview
The Social Interview
Cult MTL Q&A
Marketplace Q&A


Publisher:

Doubleday Canada, Spring 2017
Penguin US, 2017

Chapters Bestseller (May 2017)

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