So fast paced, I could not put it down.. wanted to know what happened to the fish, to the expensive pot, to the bossy chef.. Sounded so real, I can see and smell the fish and the taste the freshly made pasta and urugula! I learned a few kitchen tricks as well! This is a good read for wanna be foodies like me!
An intense and in-depth look about 24 hours in a restaurant. A talented writer, too--I didn't even realize he had switched into second person until about halfway through, and that choice really made me feel like I was in the restaurant.
Such a cool read though I'm more of a comfort food guy (the thought of gourmet pistachios ) fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes I pretty much get the effort that goes into pleasing the foodie and yet at the same time gaining an appreciation for the craft ( and believe it is one) of food prep and presentation the deference to CHEF upon which the world of the restaurant revolved around was quite intriguing he wasn't the ass one would have thought a man of his caliber would be just a consummate perfectionist who wanted the best for all involved and the camaraderie amongst the staff had its highs and lows not to mention hierarchy yet despite it all they pulled it together to put it together a engrossing read.
Interesting if you want to know the inside workings of a medium-high end restaurant. It's pretty well a day in the life of a young chef..you can kinda see why they drink so much!
What a fun read! This is second person done right. I get to experience all the emotions and situations in the kitchen as a sous chef throughout the whole book as my own. Lots of information presented as well without it feeling too burdensome or boring.
From Anthony Bourdain to Marcus Samuelsson to Gabrielle Hamilton, many chef-come-authors have described the arduous process of climbing the kitchen ladder. But "Sous Chef" stands out; Michael Gibney so rawly exposes the weight of the obligations, routine and pressure to perform inherent in the profession that the reader might conclude that becoming a successful chef simply can't be done.
With experience in such restaurants as Tavern on the Green and Momofuku, Gibney has his fair share of intricate and painstaking anecdotes to impart. And he does so with an exacting tone and brilliant recall. Furthermore, he writes in the second person, forcing the reader to inhabit the life of a sous chef working the line on a 300 cover night.
"Sous Chef" opens with a map displaying the layout of the typical restaurant kitchen. We learn about “the pass,” i.e. the area through which all food passes between cooking and plating, the various stations and prep areas, as well as walk-ins, loading docks, offices and locker rooms. But an annotated map doesn't satisfy Gibney; the text begins with "you" arriving at an empty restaurant and walking through the entire kitchen, preparing for the day. This involves checking inventory and cleanliness and pondering the physical and mental strain to come. Such an exposition might seem boring but, with Gibney’s lively prose, a deserted restaurant comes alive.
This setup works prepares us for later events, like when the fish cook becomes ill. Gibney makes us understand the impact of losing a man; tension becomes palpable as "you" jump in to a new position. Time and again, Gibney answers an essential, often glossed over question: how does a restaurant actually WORK? And despite the book's revelations, it does not read like a cautionary tale meant to weed out the delusional. It neither glamorizes the life of a chef nor inflates daily obstacles; it simply lays the facts bare without the trappings, fluff and distractions of celebrity.
This book will not appeal to everyone. The author takes you through a detailed day in the life of a professional kitchen. He denotes all the duties of the chef and the duties of all the chefs and cooks under the main chef. It is very interesting, especially if you are into cooking and knowing more about a chef's life.
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