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Don't Try This at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs

by and

Don't Try This at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs Cover

ISBN13: 9781596910706
ISBN10: 1596910704
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A hilarious and heartening collection of kitchen disasters. In this raucous new anthology, thirty of the world's greatest chefs relate outrageous true tales from their kitchens. From hiring a blind line cook to butting heads with a crazed chef to witnessing security guards attacking hungry customers, these behind-the-scenes accounts are as wildly entertaining as they are revealing. A delicious reminder that even the chefs we most admire aren't always perfect, Don't Try This at Home is a must-have for anyone who loves food — or the men and women who masterfully prepare it.

Featuring: José Andrés, Mario Batali, Rick Bayless, Daniel Bouloud, Anthony Bourdain, Jimmy Bradley, Terrance Brennan, Scott Bryan, Tamasin Day-Lewis, Wylie Dufresne, Gabrielle Hamilton, Fergus Henderson, Michael Lomonaco, Pino Luongo, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, and more!

Review:

"Food is fast becoming entertainment, so it's only natural that it should follow in the footsteps of sports and show business and offer up a collection of bloopers. Literary agent Witherspoon and food writer Friedman corralled 40 gastronomic heavyweights to share their versions of dinners gone wrong. The highlight is, unsurprisingly, the piece by chef and bestselling author Anthony Bourdain. His 'New Year's Meltdown' is a case study in what happens when you don't plan (Bourdain admits, 'Nobody likes a 'learning experience' — translating as it does to 'a total ass-fucking' — but I learned'). Mario Batali's 'The Last Straw,' though not relating a culinary catastrophe per se, is runnerup: Batali was in culinary school when he clashed with a chef; in a spectacular crescendo, the chef hurled a pan of risotto at the young student, but revenge was sweet. But for every fantastic screwup, there's a dud. The translated pieces (such as the one by Spanish titan Ferrán Adrià) fail to captivate, and others, like Jimmy Bradley's tale about how he got drunk on the job to spite his boss, are neither entertaining nor instructive. Still, this collection happily reminds us that even big shots have off days." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A fantastic collection of personal stories that depict these great chefs as real people. Readers are certain to learn valuable culinary lessons from chefs' mistakes and their various and creatively solved dilemmas. This book is sure to be enjoyed by culinary fans across the board." Library Journal

Review:

"Anthony Bourdain, ever dependable, delivers the goods with a satisfyingly apocalyptic story about a disastrous New Year's Eve. Lots of fun for foodies both ardent and casual." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"As in every other profession, chefs love their war stories. Finally someone had the good sense to collect some of the best." Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

Finally in paperback, the hugely popular anthology in which forty of the world's greatest chefs, including Anthony Bourdain, Daniel Boulud, and Ferrán Adri

Synopsis:

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME

Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs

A hilarious and heartening collection of kitchen disasters.

In this raucous new collection, over forty of the world's greatest chefs relate outrageous true tales from their kitchens. From hiring a blind line cook to flooding the room with meringue to being terrorized by a French owl, these behind-the-scenes accounts are as wildly entertaining as they are revealing. A delicious reminder that even the chefs we most admire aren't always perfect, Don't Try This at Home is a must-have for anyone who loves food or is fascinated by those who masterfully prepare it.

Ferrán Adri

About the Author

Kimberly Witherspoon is a partner at Inkwell Management, a literary agency based in Manhattan. She is very proud to represent four of the chefs in this anthology: Anthony Bourdain, Tamasin Day-Lewis, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Fergus Henderson. She and her family live in North Salem, New York.

Andrew Friedman is a writer who specializes in all things culinary, with a focus on chef and restaurant culture. In addition to his own work, he has coauthored more than a dozen cookbooks with some of the most successful chefs and restaurateurs in the country, including Michael Lomonaco, Pino Luongo, Alfred Portale, Bill Telepan, and Tom Valenti. He lives in New York City with his family.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Shoshana, November 18, 2007 (view all comments by Shoshana)
The book's 41 authors vary significantly in their capacity to tell a story and evoke either empathy or laughter. Puzzlingly, the entries are in alphabetical order by author, which means that the stories aren't grouped thematically or interwoven by theme--there is no narrative arc. The only rationale I can ascribe this to this is that this way, none of the authors would feel snubbed. This seems emblamatic of something that's mostly missing from this collection, acknowledgement that the chefs themselves may cause their staff members to experience disasters. You'd hardly know from these naratives how unpleasant and self-absorbed some chefs can be.

In addition, the 'disasters' range from true disasters (a back-seat slosh that rivals some of the restaurant scenes in Fight Club for the disgust it inspires) to non-disasters (a famous person is supposed to show up for dinner, and does) to "did you understand the question?" stories (it's funny to pull pranks on other cooks).

The collection was interesting enough to read, but not something I'd be likely to remember in the long-term. There are better stories to be had in books by individual cooks and chefs.
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(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
slackerdude, January 10, 2007 (view all comments by slackerdude)
After reading this book, you won't feel so bad when you burn the toast, overcook the pasta, or scorch the new cookware. Famous chefs admit to their most embarrassing moments in the kitchen, making you realize that cooking truly is an art. Magnifico reading as I eat my box of mac and cheese.
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(12 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)
Benjo K, November 16, 2006 (view all comments by Benjo K)
Get ready for a wild romp of a read through some of the world?s most famous and not-so-famous eating establishments. The brightest stars in the culinary universe offer keen insight into the restaurant business while serving up some delicious tales of their less than brightest ideas in and out of the kitchen. Sharing stories from perhaps (we hope) the darkest moments in their cooking careers the chef/authors offer up some excellent culinary cautionary tales whose lessons go way beyond the dining room walls. This book is cooking!

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(8 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596910706
Subtitle:
Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs
Author:
Kimberly Witherspoon and Andrew Friedman
Editor:
Witherspoon, Kimberly; Friedman, Andrew
Editor:
Friedman, Andrew
Editor:
Witherspoon, Kimberly
Author:
Friedman, Andrew
Author:
Witherspoon, Kimberly
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
Cookery
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Cooks
Subject:
General Cooking
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20071002
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Professional and Quantity » General

Don't Try This at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596910706 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Food is fast becoming entertainment, so it's only natural that it should follow in the footsteps of sports and show business and offer up a collection of bloopers. Literary agent Witherspoon and food writer Friedman corralled 40 gastronomic heavyweights to share their versions of dinners gone wrong. The highlight is, unsurprisingly, the piece by chef and bestselling author Anthony Bourdain. His 'New Year's Meltdown' is a case study in what happens when you don't plan (Bourdain admits, 'Nobody likes a 'learning experience' — translating as it does to 'a total ass-fucking' — but I learned'). Mario Batali's 'The Last Straw,' though not relating a culinary catastrophe per se, is runnerup: Batali was in culinary school when he clashed with a chef; in a spectacular crescendo, the chef hurled a pan of risotto at the young student, but revenge was sweet. But for every fantastic screwup, there's a dud. The translated pieces (such as the one by Spanish titan Ferrán Adrià) fail to captivate, and others, like Jimmy Bradley's tale about how he got drunk on the job to spite his boss, are neither entertaining nor instructive. Still, this collection happily reminds us that even big shots have off days." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A fantastic collection of personal stories that depict these great chefs as real people. Readers are certain to learn valuable culinary lessons from chefs' mistakes and their various and creatively solved dilemmas. This book is sure to be enjoyed by culinary fans across the board."
"Review" by , "Anthony Bourdain, ever dependable, delivers the goods with a satisfyingly apocalyptic story about a disastrous New Year's Eve. Lots of fun for foodies both ardent and casual."
"Review" by , "As in every other profession, chefs love their war stories. Finally someone had the good sense to collect some of the best."
"Synopsis" by ,
Finally in paperback, the hugely popular anthology in which forty of the world's greatest chefs, including Anthony Bourdain, Daniel Boulud, and Ferrán Adri
"Synopsis" by ,
DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME

Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs

A hilarious and heartening collection of kitchen disasters.

In this raucous new collection, over forty of the world's greatest chefs relate outrageous true tales from their kitchens. From hiring a blind line cook to flooding the room with meringue to being terrorized by a French owl, these behind-the-scenes accounts are as wildly entertaining as they are revealing. A delicious reminder that even the chefs we most admire aren't always perfect, Don't Try This at Home is a must-have for anyone who loves food or is fascinated by those who masterfully prepare it.

Ferrán Adri

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