NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME The back must slave to feed the belly. . . . In this urgent and unique book, chef Michael Gibney uses twenty-four hours to animate the intricate camaraderie and culinary choreography in an upscale New York restaurant kitchen. Here readers will find all the details, in rapid-fire succession, of what it takes to deliver an exceptional plate of food—the journey to excellence by way of exhaustion. Told in second-person narrative, Sous Chef is an immersive, adrenaline-fueled run that offers a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the food service industry, allowing readers to briefly inhabit the hidden world behind the kitchen doors, in real time. This exhilarating account provides regular diners and food enthusiasts alike a detailed insider’s perspective, while offering fledgling professional cooks an honest picture of what the future holds, ultimately giving voice to the hard work and dedication around which chefs have built their careers. In a kitchen where the highest standards are upheld and one misstep can result in disaster, Sous Chef conjures a greater appreciation for the thought, care, and focus that go into creating memorable and delicious fare. With grit, wit, and remarkable prose, Michael Gibney renders a beautiful and raw account of this demanding and sometimes overlooked profession, offering a nuanced perspective on the craft and art of food and service. Praise for Sous Chef “This is excellent writing—excellent!—and it is thrilling to see a debut author who has language and story and craft so well in hand. Though I would never ask my staff to read my own book, I would happily require them to read Michael Gibney’s.”—Gabrielle Hamilton “[Michael] Gibney has the soul of a poet and the stamina of a stevedore. . . . Tender and profane, his book will leave you with a permanent appreciation for all those people who ‘desire to feed, to nourish, to dish out the tasty bits of life.’”—The New York Times Book Review “A terrific nuts-and-bolts account of the real business of cooking as told from the trenches. No nonsense. This is what it takes.”—Anthony Bourdain “A wild ride, not unlike a roller coaster, and the reader experiences all the drama, tension, exhilaration, exhaustion and relief that accompany cooking in an upscale Manhattan restaurant.”—USA Today “Vibrantly written.”—Entertainment Weekly “Sizzling . . . Such culinary experience paired with linguistic panache is a rarity.”—The Daily Beast “Reveals the high-adrenaline dance behind your dinner.”—NPR From the Trade Paperback edition.
'A terrific nuts and bolts account of the real business of cooking as told from the trenches. No nonsense. This is what it takes' ANTHONY BOURDAIN 'One of the most informative, funny and transparent books about the restaurant biz ever written' BRET EASTON ELLIS Sous Chef takes you behind the swinging doors of a busy restaurant kitchen, putting you in chef's shoes for an intense, high-octane twenty-four hours. Follow him from the moment he opens the kitchen in the morning, as he guides you through the meticulous preparation, the camaraderie in the hours leading up to service and the adrenalin-rush as the orders start coming in. Thrilling, addictive and bursting with mouth-watering detail, Sous Chef will leave you breathless and awestruck - walking into a restaurant will never be the same again.
The back must slave to feed the belly. . . . In this urgent and unique book, chef Michael Gibney uses twenty-four hours to animate the intricate camaraderie and culinary choreography in an upscale New York restaurant kitchen. Here readers will find all the details, in rapid-fire succession, of what it takes to deliver an exceptional plate of food—the journey to excellence by way of exhaustion. Told in second-person narrative, Sous Chef is an immersive, adrenaline-fueled run that offers a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the food service industry, allowing readers to briefly inhabit the hidden world behind the kitchen doors, in real time. This exhilarating account provides regular diners and food enthusiasts alike a detailed insider's perspective, while offering fledgling professional cooks an honest picture of what the future holds, ultimately giving voice to the hard work and dedication around which chefs have built their careers. In a kitchen where the highest standards are upheld and one misstep can result in disaster, Sous Chef conjures a greater appreciation for the thought, care, and focus that go into creating memorable and delicious fare. With grit, wit, and remarkable prose, Michael Gibney renders a beautiful and raw account of this demanding and sometimes overlooked profession, offering a nuanced perspective on the craft and art of food and service. Praise for Sous Chef “A wild ride, not unlike a roller coaster, and the reader experiences all the drama, tension, exhilaration, exhaustion and relief that accompany cooking in an upscale Manhattan restaurant.”—USA Today “Fascinating and fun . . . Gibney is both a gifted observer and supremely knowledgeable about his craft and the inner workings of a professional kitchen.”—The Boston Globe “Gibney has a fine ear for language and delivers an extraordinary amount of information about ingredients and techniques.”—The Wall Street Journal “Sous Chef reveals the high-adrenaline dance behind your dinner.”—NPR “Experience one exhilarating day in the shoes of a New York chef in this enthralling book.”—Parade “A vibrantly written guide to terminology and process, with plenty of real-time detail and a dash of kitchen gossip.”—Entertainment Weekly “[A] sizzling and informative debut . . . The choice of perspective pushes us through the text at breakneck speed, a subtle yet skillfully employed narrative move that also sets the stakes high for the reader. . . . Portion it out over numerous sittings for no other reason than prolonging its enjoyment.”—The Daily Beast “A terrific nuts-and-bolts account of the real business of cooking as told from the trenches. No nonsense. This is what it takes.”—Anthony Bourdain “Michael Gibney's you-are-there Sous Chef is one of the most informative, funny, and transparent books about the restaurant biz ever written.”—Bret Easton Ellis “This is excellent writing—excellent!—and it is thrilling to see a debut author who has language and story and craft so well in hand. Though I would never ask my staff to read my own book, I would happily require them to read Michael Gibney's.”—Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter From the Hardcover edition.
Food writer and clinical psychologist Scott Haas wanted to know what went on inside the mind of a top chef—and what kind of emotional dynamics drove the fast-paced, intense interactions inside a great restaurant. To capture all the heat and hunger, he spent eighteen months immersed in the kitchen of James Beard Award-winner Tony Maws’ restaurant, Craigie on Main, in Boston. He became part of the family, experiencing the drama first-hand. Here, Haas exposes the inner life of a chef, what it takes to make food people crave, and how to achieve greatness in a world that demands more than passion and a sharp set of knives. A lens into what motivates and inspires all chefs—including Thomas Keller, Andrew Carmellini, whose stories are also shared here—Back of the House will change the way you think about food—and about the complicated people who cook it and serve it.
"Well reported and heartfelt, Ruhlman communicates the passion that draws the acolyte to this precise and frantic profession."—The New York Times Book Review Just over a decade ago, journalist Michael Ruhlman donned a chef's jacket and houndstooth-check pants to join the students at the Culinary Institute of America, the country's oldest and most influential cooking school. But The Making of a Chef is not just about holding a knife or slicing an onion; it's also about the nature and spirit of being a professional cook and the people who enter the profession. As Ruhlman—now an expert on the fundamentals of cooking—recounts his growing mastery of the skills of his adopted profession, he propels himself and his readers through a score of kitchens and classrooms in search of the elusive, unnameable elements of great food. Incisively reported, with an insider's passion and attention to detail, The Making of a Chef remains the most vivid and compelling memoir of a professional culinary education on record.
"One of America's great chefs" (Vogue) shares how his drive to cook immaculate food won him international renown-and fueled his miraculous triumph over tongue cancer. In 2007, chef Grant Achatz seemingly had it made. He had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine in 2002, received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award in 2003, and in 2005 he and Nick Kokonas opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, positioned firmly in the world's culinary spotlight, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma-tongue cancer. The prognosis was grim, and doctors agreed the only course of action was to remove the cancerous tissue, which included his entire tongue. Desperate to preserve his quality of life, Grant undertook an alternative treatment of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. But the choice came at a cost. Skin peeled from the inside of Grant's mouth and throat, he rapidly lost weight, and most alarmingly, he lost his sense of taste. Tapping into the discipline, passion, and focus of being a chef, Grant rarely missed a day of work. He trained his chefs to mimic his palate and learned how to cook with his other senses. As Kokonas was able to attest: The food was never better. Five months later, Grant was declared cancer-free, and just a few months following, he received the James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef in America Award. Life, on the Line tells the story of a culinary trailblazer's love affair with cooking, but it is also a book about survival, about nurturing creativity, and about profound friendship. Already much- anticipated by followers of progressive cuisine, Grant and Nick's gripping narrative is filled with stories from the world's most renowned kitchens-The French Laundry, Charlie Trotter's, el Bulli- and sure to expand the audience that made Alinea the number-one selling restaurant cookbook in America last year. Watch a Video
Author: Rick Tramonto
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Release Date: 2011-03-01
Rick Tramonto started as a high school dropout working at Wendy’s; he became one of the hottest celebrity chefs in the world. Yet his rise to culinary success was marked with tragedy, loss, and abandonment. As a teenager, Rick worked to support the family when his father (who had Mob ties) went to prison. As a young adult, he struggled with a learning disability and drug addiction. Yet as a chef, he rose rapidly to culinary stardom, earning rave reviews and eventually opening the famous four-star establishment Tru. From the outside, it looked like he had everything he ever wanted; his lifelong hunger for meaning should have been more than met. But on the inside, his life and his marriage were falling apart. And then, one night, a voice on the radio changed everything. Containing recipes and photos, Scars of a Chef is the mesmerizing rags-to-riches memoir of one chef’s journey through the highest heights and the lowest lows of the culinary world . . . and his search for something that would finally heal his wounds and sustain him through even the darkest times.
A behind-the-scenes tour of New York City’s dynamic food culture, as told through the voices of the chefs, line cooks, restaurateurs, waiters, and street vendors who have made this industry their lives. “A must-read — both for those who live and dine in NYC and those who dream of doing so.” —Bustle “[A] compelling volume by a writer whose beat is not food . . . with plenty of opinions to savor.” —Florence Fabricant, The New York Times In Food and the City, Ina Yalof takes us on an insider’s journey into New York’s pulsating food scene alongside the men and women who call it home. Dominique Ansel declares what great good fortune led him to make the first Cronut. Lenny Berk explains why Woody Allen's mother would allow only him to slice her lox at Zabar’s. Ghaya Oliveira, who came to New York as a young Tunisian stockbroker, opens up about her hardscrabble yet swift trajectory from dishwasher to executive pastry chef at Daniel. Restaurateur Eddie Schoenfeld describes his journey from Nice Jewish Boy from Brooklyn to New York’s Indisputable Chinese Food Maven. From old-schoolers such as David Fox, third-generation owner of Fox’s U-bet syrup, and the outspoken Upper West Side butcher “Schatzie” to new kids on the block including Patrick Collins, sous chef at The Dutch, and Brooklyn artisan Lauren Clark of Sucre Mort Pralines, Food and the City is a fascinating oral history with an unforgettable gallery of New Yorkers who embody the heart and soul of a culinary metropolis. From the Hardcover edition.
Inside what life is really like for the new generation of professional cooks—a captivating tale of the make-or-break first year at a young chef’s new restaurant. For many young people, being a chef is as compelling a dream as being a rock star or professional athlete. Skill and creativity in the kitchen are more profitable than ever before, as cooks scramble to reach the top—but talent isn’t enough. Today’s chef needs the business savvy of a high-risk entrepreneur, determination, and big dose of luck. The heart of Generation Chef is the story of Jonah Miller, who at age twenty-four attempts to fulfill a lifelong dream by opening the Basque restaurant Huertas in New York City, still the high-stakes center of the restaurant business for an ambitious young chef. Miller, a rising star who has been named to the 30-Under-30 list of both Forbes and Zagat, quits his job as a sous chef, creates a business plan, lines up investors, leases a space, hires a staff, and gets ready to put his reputation and his future on the line. Journalist and food writer Karen Stabiner takes us inside Huertas’s roller-coaster first year, but also provides insight into the challenging world a young chef faces today—the intense financial pressures, the overcrowded field of aspiring cooks, and the impact of reviews and social media, which can dictate who survives. A fast-paced narrative filled with suspense, Generation Chef is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at drive and passion in one of today’s hottest professions.
Daniel Boulud is a pioneer of our contemporary food culture-from the reinvention of French food to the fine dining revolution in America. A modern man with a classical foundation and a lifetime of experience, Boulud speaks with passion about the vocation of creating food. Part memoir, part advice book, part recipe book, this updated edition celebrating of the art of cooking will continue to delight and enlighten all chefs, from passionate amateurs to serious professionals.
Author: Cat Cora
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-09-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
“Affecting….as warm and comforting as a home-cooked meal” (People), a no-holds-barred memoir on Southern life, Greek heritage, same sex marriage—and the meals that have shaped her memories—from the Food Network star and first female winner of Iron Chef, Cat Cora. Before she became a renowned chef and Food Network star, Cat Cora was just a girl from Jackson, Mississippi, where days were slow and every meal was made from scratch. By the age of fifteen, Cora was writing the business plan for her first restaurant. Her love of cooking started in her Greek home, where fresh feta and home-cured olives graced the table. Cat spent her days internalizing the dishes that would form the cornerstone of her cooking philosophy—from crispy fried chicken and honey-drenched biscuits to spanakopita. But outside the kitchen, Cat’s life was volatile. In Cooking as Fast as I Can, Cat Cora reveals the experiences that shaped her life—from early childhood sexual abuse to the realities of life as lesbian in the deep South. She chronicles how she found her passion in the kitchen and went on to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and apprentice under Michelin star chefs in France. After her big break as a co-host with Rocco Di Spirito on the Food Network’s Melting Pot, Cat broke barriers by becoming the first-ever female contestant on Iron Chef. By turns epic and intimate, Cat writes movingly about how she found courage and redemption in the dark truths of her past and about how she found solace in the kitchen and work, how her passion for cooking helped her to overcome hardships and ultimately find happiness at home and became a wife and a mother to four boys. Above all, this is “a disarmingly candid look at the highs, lows, and true grit of a culinary star” (Kirkus Reviews).
Author: Marcus Samuelsson
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-06-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY VOGUE • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “One of the great culinary stories of our time.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Samuelsson’s journey, from his grandmother’s kitchen to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson’s career of chasing flavors had only just begun—in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs, and, most important, the opening of Red Rooster in Harlem. At Red Rooster, Samuelsson has fulfilled his dream of creating a truly diverse, multiracial dining room—a place where presidents rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, and bus drivers. It is a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can feel at home. Praise for Yes, Chef “Such an interesting life, told with touching modesty and remarkable candor.”—Ruth Reichl “Marcus Samuelsson has an incomparable story, a quiet bravery, and a lyrical and discreetly glittering style—in the kitchen and on the page. I liked this book so very, very much.”—Gabrielle Hamilton “Plenty of celebrity chefs have a compelling story to tell, but none of them can top [this] one.”—The Wall Street Journal “Elegantly written . . . Samuelsson has the flavors of many countries in his blood.”—The Boston Globe “Red Rooster’s arrival in Harlem brought with it a chef who has reinvigorated and reimagined what it means to be American. In his famed dishes, and now in this memoir, Marcus Samuelsson tells a story that reaches past racial and national divides to the foundations of family, hope, and downright good food.”—President Bill Clinton
Author: William Alexander
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release Date: 2011-10-25
William Alexander is determined to bake the perfect loaf of bread. He tasted it long ago, in a restaurant, and has been trying to reproduce it ever since. Without success. Now, on the theory that practice makes perfect, he sets out to bake peasant bread every week until he gets it right. He bakes his loaf from scratch. And because Alexander is nothing if not thorough, he really means from scratch: growing, harvesting, winnowing, threshing, and milling his own wheat. An original take on the six-thousand-year-old staple of life, 52 Loaves explores the nature of obsession, the meditative quality of ritual, the futility of trying to re-create something perfect, our deep connection to the earth, and the mysterious instinct that makes all of us respond to the aroma of baking bread.
Author: Roy Choi
Publisher: Anthony Bourdain/Ecco
Release Date: 2013-11-05
Los Angeles: A patchwork megalopolis defined by its unlikely cultural collisions; the city that raised and shaped Roy Choi, the boundary-breaking chef who decided to leave behind fine dining to feed the city he loved—and, with the creation of the Korean taco, reinvented street food along the way. Abounding with both the food and the stories that gave rise to Choi's inspired cooking, L.A. Son takes us through the neighborhoods and streets most tourists never see, from the hidden casinos where gamblers slurp fragrant bowls of pho to Downtown's Jewelry District, where a ten-year-old Choi wolfed down Jewish deli classics between diamond deliveries; from the kitchen of his parents' Korean restaurant and his mother's pungent kimchi to the boulevards of East L.A. and the best taquerias in the country, to, at last, the curbside view from one of his emblematic Kogi taco trucks, where people from all walks of life line up for a revolutionary meal. Filled with over 85 inspired recipes that meld the overlapping traditions and flavors of L.A.—including Korean fried chicken, tempura potato pancakes, homemade chorizo, and Kimchi and Pork Belly Stuffed Pupusas—L.A. Son embodies the sense of invention, resourcefulness, and hybrid attitude of the city from which it takes its name, as it tells the transporting, unlikely story of how a Korean American kid went from lowriding in the streets of L.A. to becoming an acclaimed chef.