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Chef Biography??? Need a new one to read!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone, I just finished Grant Achatz' Life on the Line autobiography and it was extremely good but unfortunately I finished too quickly so now I would like to read another Chef's. Any ideas?

 

I've already read:

Ruhlman's books,

Heat,

Kellers cookbooks,

Blumenthal's

and a couple other chef's cookbooks.

 

I'm really not interested in another cookbook though, just an interesting read.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 23

OK. Here is the blog of one of the finest Chefs I've worked for. It's not his direct biography, but you will learn a whole lot about the guy in this blog. Believe it or not, I got along with him very well. I'll give you just one paragraph for one of his stories.

This other thread is what gives me the idea to put it up: 

You know those little piss ant prep cooks?

Anyway ... I like this guy. 

 

from: Pride cometh before the green van…

" ... You may or may not have noticed that there are precious few advertisements for schools actively recruiting students to learn the treasured art of dish washing. Or, for that matter, line cooking or table busing. There is no shortage however, of ads in the media that inspire one to become a CHEF. So what does this mean you ask. It means that we are a top-heavy industry filled with too many generals and not enough soldiers! Have you ever tried to lead a group of know- it-alls in one direction? It’s like a bunch of monkeys trying to gently hump a football. This is what it’s like trying to govern a group of people in a restaurant that all have years of experience in various operations that have as many differences as they do similarities. That is to say, there are as many bullshit culinary and hospitality management schools out there as there are assholes to run them and they are filled with as many liabilities to my staff as they are assets. If I had to rely on these balloon-headed goofballs to run my business I would put a gun in my mouth. This leaves me with precious few options in regards to staffing. What about seniors and part-time students you ask. Well, my grandmother is 85 my father is 66 and my cousin is 17. I love and respect them all but I promise you, they are not going to be the savior of this industry. This is not a part-time, kinda, sorta type of gig. If you work with me you do just that, you WORK! I don’t have the time nor the inclination to deal with bullshit requests for nights or weekends off for prom, cigar tastings or surgical procedures so that leaves Gram, Pops and Cuz out of the running for future employment. ..."

 

 

michaeldeuxgros    

MICHAEL LACHOWICZ

I'm A Big Chef Cooking Classic French Cuisine…Come Along and We Will Talk All About Great Food


Edited by IceMan - 6/21/12 at 9:33am

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #3 of 23

The Devil In The Kitchen- Marco Pierre White

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

The Devil In The Kitchen- Marco Pierre White

seconded, its a pretty entertaining read.   You can actually even read Gordon Ramsays book soon after to get a different perspective on their falling out.   Both are entertaining books regardless of how you feel about the chefs.

post #5 of 23

i second marco pierre white's book, "the devil in the kitchen".....what is amazing is that he came out alive and as well as he did. those guys flew pretty close to the sun i think..

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #6 of 23

Look for a book called "Sirrio' good reading He started and still owns La Cirque

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 23

So true ChefEd, Maccioni sure did put his mark in the culinary world.

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(162 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(162 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #8 of 23

Petals. Between Him and Andre Soltner  (Lutece) they were THEE places in NY in the 60s.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone! I just finished reading Ramsay's book and it was fantastic, it gives a completely different view of the man behind hell's kitchen. I'm off to read the devil in the kitchen now. if there are any more suggestions i welcome them!

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamBurgerDavis View Post

Thank you everyone! I just finished reading Ramsay's book and it was fantastic, it gives a completely different view of the man behind hell's kitchen. I'm off to read the devil in the kitchen now. if there are any more suggestions i welcome them!

Which Ramsay book did you read?  I am going on a vacation with the wife and I am looking for a couple to take with while sitting on the beach/next to the pool.  I have the Devil in the Kitchen already and am about to start it.

 

If you want an interesting view on American cuisine and whether or not it exists check out American Appetite.

Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

I read Roasting in Hell's Kitchen, like i said before, it was fantastic. I'm also in the middle of Devil in the Kitchen, very good so far.

post #12 of 23

"yes chef', by marcus samuelsson.... i haven't read the book, but i listened to an npr interview with him...i found him to be an engaging and a passionate young chef, born in ethiopia of an ethiopian mother and swedish father...spent his youth in both places, trained in switzerland and france, now with his own restaurant 'red rooster' in harlem. i found him quite interesting. what i also find interesting is that he is calling this book a 'memoir'.....he's only forty...can you do that?

joey


Edited by durangojo - 6/29/12 at 8:47am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply
post #13 of 23

Kitchen Confidential? ;)

 

Cooking Dirty by Jason Sheehan is a great one - it details his whole career from pizzeria bitch to the moment he transitioned into food writing. Very entertaining and very well written.

Life, On the Line by Grant Achatz and Nick Kolkonas - kind of a dry read but interesting book with an interesting idea, switching from Chef Achatz's perspective to Nick's throughout the book,

Food Heroes by Georgia Pelligrini - more about producers in the US and their stories than chefs. Very well written and recipes at the end of the chapters

Out of the Frying Pan by Gillian Clark - very well written about a career changer, who has some troubles befall her after she has comitted to her decision to become a chef and how she overcomes them and the trials of the kitchen. Also has recipes at the end of every chapter.

post #14 of 23

Jacques Pepin's "The Apprentice" is a fascinating biography of his life in France, then his move to the United States, and the progression of cooking.

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks BoyarG, I just bought Cooking Dirty and it is great so far. I would also like to mention that White's autobiography kind of stunk towards the end. It stills gets a solid 7/10 but those three points were definitely lost in the last 100 pages. I would most certainly recommend it though. Apprentichef i'll check that out when i'm finished with Cooking Dirty, it looks and sounds great!

post #16 of 23

Blood Bones And Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton of the legendary restaurant Prune in New York City came out recently, great read, nice lady, Gabby could hold her own with Bourdain and White in the kitchen and out of it

post #17 of 23

Blood Bones and Butter was alright, kinda lame halfway through. A movie version of it is coming out though. 

post #18 of 23

I have to agree with the Blood Bones and Butter review, I keep having to force myself to slog through it. Not bad as a first attempt, but there is some definite wandering in there that her editor should have pointed out to fix and/or cut out completely.

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

Reply

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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post #19 of 23

There's a book I have in my collection called Becoming a Chef. It's not a cookbook, it's more of how life is behind the line. I know I read it when I first graduated cooking school but I cannot remember anything about it for the life of me, so I might read it again, now that I'm older, wiser, and have a better attention span.

 

Here's the link on goodreads.

 

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/306347.Becoming_a_Chef

 

 

I found this thread through a search because I myself am looking for the same kind of books you mentioned. I'm an avid reader (non-food related books) and I've hit a hump and been reading a lot of dud lately. So I'd like to switch genre's completely, and what better books to read than books that have to do with the food industry.

 

 

I cannot wait to check out all the books recommended on this thread.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #20 of 23

Also...here's a list of other food industry non-fiction books.

 

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/139.Food_Related_Non_Fiction#8667490

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #21 of 23

any of anthony bourdain's books

post #22 of 23

Just came upon this book/bio/journal.

 

Notes from a Kitchen

http://www.notesfromakitchen.com/

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #23 of 23

I second Jacques Pepin's 'The Apprentice', easily one of my favorite reads.

 

I recently finished 'Sorcerer's Apprentices' (crazy coincidence but no relation :p) which is a book about Ferran Adria's now closed elBulli in Spain. Not really a chef bio, but does touch base on him and his chefs, and focuses more on the stagiaires during the year or two before the restaurant closed. Since it takes place in a world renowned chef's restaurant, and the fact that I relate most to anyone in the trenches, I found this read very entertaining.

'A fool can't act the wise, but the wise can act a fool...' - Kweli

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'A fool can't act the wise, but the wise can act a fool...' - Kweli

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