Posted 18 October 2005 - 05:54 PM
I've been trying to stay out of this for a few days now but...
See, the above post about ""who's going or NOT going to Country based""... really is annoying.
It smacks of gang-ish mentality, the whole 'jury by internet' junk that ruins this medium for many of us.
And seconding anybodys cred because of cranky 'how dare they' posts ... I mean, that's cool?
This thread was started with seeming innocence, lay dorment for two or four days and then exploded into tittilation and innuendo and, for anyone who didn't read the book itself, ignorance.
Somebody above thread here said none of us who have enjoyed the book really explained why.
As a cook, a chef myself, somebody who came into this life as a second career, it gave me some perspective, for one thing.
Being in this business can isolate the hell out of you, you constantly ask yourself if it's worth it, etc.
Outside of NYC, is everyone really getting together to talk about cooking?
About what's going on?
Christ, I hardly ever hear anyone in a kitchen talk about much besides pussy, drugs, internet porn, how poor they are and how the NFG sucks.
Which is fine but, why put down some guy who was trying to be as good as he could be?
Because he talked smack about Dan Barber?
Under a different name?
If Barber is as worked up about it as half of the posters here who haven't even READ THE BOOK, I'd be amazed.
And, hey, he knows where the guy works, .
Barber can call him a son of a bitch to his face, smack him, buy him a drink, whatever,he's a big boy.
Guarantee you less people have read the Dan Barber (Peter) chapter then have read this thread.
Talking about the book
I don't consider it very well written.
If fact, after reading the first chapter or perhaps two, I cut right to the stuff where he starts stage-ing anywhere he can in the city on his days off.
What can I say, it spoke to me.
It's about achievements, it's about standing up to the incessent badgering and screaming of intense assed French chefs, who can make tons of people run for the hills.
Were there points, lessons?
I suppose, in roundabout ways.
The chapter in Psaltis' book on The Ducasse/Chowdorow/Mix adventure reminded me much of the "Pino Noir:Tuscan Interlude" chapter in 'Kitchen Confidential'
I mean, there's so much lying and bullshitting and promises made to people, really talented people all of the time in this business, and I would say Psaltis learned a lot about the old adage "Money Talks, Bullshit Walks".
And like a lot of others before him, he probably walked away from some surely good gigs, and obviously made the mistake of walking into some "not meant for him situations" too.
I also have to agree with Lesley C, I've read this thing numerous times now, and still can't see what the fuss is about.
And sorry, Bourdain had everybodys butt up in a snoot when KC came out, that was half of the fun of it, and the truth of it.
Not that it really bothered me but, IMO, calling a chef an EWOK is not exactly endearing, nor is scoffing "at the foam guys", which, given the time and what has transpired since with Bourdains (unreleased?) documentary on "the foam guys" ,'Decoding Ferran Adria', was clearly uninformed and basically,talking smack about someones cuisine he hadn't even yet sampled.
Did he make amends in the show?
Say, "Hey Chef, just have to tell you, when I was writing my Kitchen Confidential book, I sat around with this pretty talented chef I was writing a chapter about, and poked fun at you and your brothers FOAM tricks, hope you understand".
Doubtful, and I don't hate him for it.
Bourdain is a massively more charming person, writer, human being probably but Keith Richards or Gordon Ramsey are too, in my book.
I DO agree with akwa, in that if Psaltis could have found it within himself to talk about being enraged, "kicking peoples asses', smacking waiters, it would have been more compelling, certainly more passionate but, does Ramsey or Marco Pierre White or any of these chefs with a rep, really go into how they're tearing up people in kitchens in their cookbooks, or whatever???
It's what they do, it would be like talking about a bowel movement to them, less interesting, probably.
And akwa, we'll ALL probably be seeing each other at the end of that particular blvd.