What's the restaurant business really like? Expert chefs share their stories, secrets, and recipes for success.
Chefs and restaurateurs are today's most glamorized professions. But for every person who starts their own eatery, thousands more merely dream about it. Whether you are seriously considering making a career out of your passion for the kitchen or you're an armchair foodie, If You Can Stand the Heat is essential reading. This informative and dishy insider's collection of interviews with some of the country's leading chefs and food professionals shows what it takes to make it in the world of food, and helps answer such questions as: What are the first steps in opening up a restaurant? What can I expect if I make a mid-life career change?
Among the many stories here, Edna Lewis, the grand dame of Southern cuisine, talks about the importance of mentoring; Bobby Flay of Mesa Grill and Bolo discusses the chef as entrepreneur; and Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill shows how to pick the perfect spot for a restaurant. Each chef or restaurateur offers a recipe from his or her own personal collection, and numerous sidebars provide essential facts about every aspect of the business. From bad burns to bad luck, from five-star restaurants to corner cafes, these professionals reveal how incredibly difficult, but immensely rewarding, it is to work your way to the top of the food chain.
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Dawn Davis is the editor of Recipe of Memory: Five Generations of Mexican Cuisine, a finalist for the prestigious Julia Child First Cookbook Award, the Julia Child Food Writing Award, and the James Beard Award for Writing. She lives in New York City.
Krista Olson is a photographer living in New York City. She worked at the James Beard Foundation as Event Coordinator between 1995 and 1997.
This collection of career profiles of well-known chefs posits itself as a guide for those who fantasize about starting restaurants themselves. Chefs ask repeatedly: Have you got the stuff?. The family who founded Boston's French-Cambodian restaurant, the Elephant Walk, recounts a story of immigration and struggle. Harvard graduate Andrew Pforzheimer, who now owns three restaurants in Connecticut, trained, among other places, at a "jewel-box" restaurant (kitchen staffed by immigrants) in Beverly Hills, and Marc Jolis of Atlanta's Cafe Sunflower studied at a culinary school. None of the chefs makes the work sound easy, although Anthony Bourdain's tales of "snorting rails of coke that we'd run from one end of the bar to the other" may appeal to some. Davis includes informational sections such as a list of the 10 culinary schools with the highest enrollment and the top four reasons that restaurants fail, according to Gary Goldberg, director of the New School's Culinary Arts program. Each chef interviewed contributes one or more recipes (Marc Jolis's Sweet and Sour Lemongrass Saffronated Pasta with Apricots and Strawberries; Alan Wong's Grilled Lamb Chops with Macadamia-Coconut Crust, Cabernet Sauvignon Jus and Coconut-Ginger Cream), which are interesting but seem discordant with the body of this fairly encyclopedic vocational tool. BOMC selection. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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