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Doug Psaltis


robert40
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Perhaps sir you should reveal who you are as you seemed to have shown up suddenly as the defender of this book. I am merely a poster here and have a slight history. I really have little interest in this thread as I know none of the participtants. But to me you seem a little out of line.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Rocketman,

There's was nothing evasive aboout honoring Fat Guy's decision not to mention the author. Fat Guy knew who wrote the article and chose not to use her name. It was his decision and I follwed suit by clearly acknowledging I knew exactly which article he meant. At any rate, her byline was on the web page to which Fat Guy linked for all to see. To quote Fat Guy once more, "The story is available online here: http://www.timeoutny.com/eatout/240/240.eat.ramps.html -" It's a pretty good article and no, my daughter doesn't need a literary agent. By the way, what's the relevance of the fact that the author of the article was my daughter? As I do, she signs her writing. We're both proud of what we say and do.

And what part of your amazing post did you think offered a rebuttal. What I did in my last post was rebut your statement that I never said brother Doug was sous chef. I said that early in October I posted that Doug had been referred to as a sous chef at the restaurant and I quoted the message in which I said that. My posts are long because no matter how many times I repeat myself, you ignore what I say. Doug wrote that "Peter" owned the restaurant he worked in with Alex Urena and he said that Peter wasn't a chef. I said Dan Barber owned that restaurant and the article that said Doug was a sous chef describes Doug's role in the kitchen as less than that of a sous chef. Dan is clearly described as the man in charge and handling all of the chef's duties. Can you rebut the error of the chef's name? Can you rebut the fact that Dan was in charge of the kitchen when my daughter was doing her research? It's clear you have an emotional attachment to this book, but are evasive about letting others know why.

Why does this seem like deja vu to me?

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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We've tolerated lots of borderline off-topic discussion of motive, anonymity and disclosure in this topic, because in most cases it's been germane. It's less so now, especially since it revolves around factual issues that have been pretty thoroughly wrung out. New discussion points and/or new facts are welcome. Anything else is subject to deletion.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I joined recently b/c this thread touched a nerve.  I have been reading egullet and fat guy (which i prefer) for years but never felt a reason to post.

If you look around though, you will notice that Ive posted in many other areas than this thread on many other things that strike my interest.

this is the problem with the whole blind posting thing. i post under my own name because my momma taught me not to say anything behind someone's back that i wouldn't say to their face. this isn't true of all of our "nom-ed" posters: there are plenty of them, like fat guy, bux, pan, etc., who are very clear about their identities and, therefore, there special interests and potential conflicts thereof.

rocketman, you joined e-gullet 3 weeks ago. since then you've had 49 posts, 18 of which have been on this topic. and, if i may say (since i'm posting under my own name), most of those have been defenses of psaltis that have been at the same time vociferous and borderline incoherent.

without information to the contrary, this leads one to believe that you have some vested interested in the argument. the rest of us have been upfront, isn't it about time that you were?

Edited by russ parsons (log)
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Rocketman has provided his real name, address and phone number to eGullet Society management, as all members are required to do. We don't require anyone to post under their own name and there may be many reasons why people do so.

It is not only inappropriate to badger them into revealing their personal information, but it's irrelevant to the topic of this thread.

Let's stick to the arguments, not the personalities. There have now been several posts from moderators asking for civility on this topic.

From now on, we will simply delete posts that cross the line and, if we don't get to them immediately, we'll also remove all posts that respond to them.

There won't be any more announcements like this, and if the administrative burden continues to grow we'll close the discussion.

As Dave said above if you have new information regarding the book which is the subject of this thread, then by all means post it.

Thanks.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I said Dan Barber owned that restaurant and the article that said Doug was a sous chef describes Doug's role in the kitchen as less than that of a sous chef. Dan is clearly described as the man in charge and handling all of the chef's duties.

In that article it says: "Urena, Psaltis and Barber do all of the preliminary prepping or "breaking down" of the vegetables, fish and meats."

I work in a very small fine dining restaurant (50 seats max), and it's quite common for the chef/sous-chefs to be doing this kind of work. None of the article "describes Doug's role in the kitchen as less than that of a sous chef". Maybe in a hotel a sous-chef wouldn't do this kind of labour, but in a 50 seater the chef and sous-chefs definitely would.

Edited by Mikeb19 (log)
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I said Dan Barber owned that restaurant and the article that said Doug was a sous chef describes Doug's role in the kitchen as less than that of a sous chef. Dan is clearly described as the man in charge and handling all of the chef's duties.

In that article it says: "Urena, Psaltis and Barber do all of the preliminary prepping or "breaking down" of the vegetables, fish and meats."

I work in a very small fine dining restaurant (50 seats max), and it's quite common for the chef/sous-chefs to be doing this kind of work. None of the article "describes Doug's role in the kitchen as less than that of a sous chef". Maybe in a hotel a sous-chef wouldn't do this kind of labour, but in a 50 seater the chef and sous-chefs definitely would.

The full quote to which you refer says: "Because Blue Hill is a relatively small restaurant—it has about 54 seats, bar not included—Urena, Psaltis and Barber do all of the preliminary prepping or "breaking down" of the vegetables, fish and meats." The co-chefs and sous chef are doing this work. The point I was making was that "anyone who reads the article will notice immediately that Doug handles some of the prepwork with Alex and Dan and that he's cooking. It's Dan who works the pass and performs the job of chef." Fair use practice and copyright law would prevent me from reposting the complete article here, but it will be clear to those who read the article that Dan is handling the chef's responsibilities while Doug is as far in the background as any sous chef might find himself. This is meant to refute Doug's contention in the book that Dan had little or no experience as a chef. That just simply flies in the face of what I saw when I was in the kitchen, what my daughter, who's worked in a couple of top NY restaurants prior to writing about food, saw when she was there and what others who have worked in Blue Hill have told me. Doug has been described as an honest fellow by those who may know him and most peculiarly by a few who have never met him, but felt the need to come to his defense here. What we haven't heard is support for his version of how things were at Blue Hill from anyone who was there with him for an hour, a day or the entire period of time he worked there. Alex was pretty clear when he was interviewed that he didn't support Doug's account. You may not know that Doug is lying, but you know you haven't heard support for his account.

I'm not saying Doug wasn't the sous chef. I belileve his title was that of sous chef, but on this day, his duties seemed limited and Dan is clearly described as being in charge of restaurant and working the pass during service. Doug's role was so limited that when I followed up asking my daughter who wrote the article in Time Out NY about what she remembered about being there--basically, she trailed Alex for a day--and it was that Dan was running the show. She didn't really remember anything about anyone other than Dan and Alex Urena. Was she competent to understand what was going on? She had been in charge of the pastry kichen for Terrance Brennan at Picholine and had worked under Daniel Boulud, Alex Lee and François Payard at the original Restaurant Daniel. She was then also currently free lancing for Daniel Boulud on a number of projects and trying her hand at writing. As I noted earlier, it was one of the few restaurants with ramps on the menu--ramps being the subject of the article--where she hadn't worked with, or knew the chef.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Having just finished reading the book I feel that even its highlights are somewhat tainted for me by the credibility gap which has been brought to light here. And before anyone jumps all over me, I'm referring specifically to the credibility gap presented by the author of the book himself, in this post. At the very least, it was a missed bet to not include such a seemingly important moment in the book. And I suppose, that at 31 years of age, the author may not possess the wisdom to understand the significance of the moment. Still, for me, the fact that the moment doesn't appear in the book leads to unavoidable questions about what appears (and what doesn't) throughout the rest of the book.

For example, there is another moment in the book where Psaltis describes a conversation he had with Thomas Keller in which he (Psaltis) tells Keller that he doesn't see eye to eye with Keller or his cuisine and that FL's food is more focused on visual elements than on flavor. Psaltis writes:

"I just don't think about food in the same way," I told him.

"What does that mean?" Thomas asked me.  And I explained to him that I thought a lot of the dishes were created with aesthetics as the primary goal and how enticingly they could be explained to a guest as the second consideration, that the sauces were meant to look bright and beautiful and that sometimes they ended up flavorless in this pursuit.  While I understood that other elements are important, I always think of food in terms of flavor and taste first.

It's a great moment and arguably the most dramatic one in the entire book but I find myself wondering whether it really happened the way it was described. Because of the omission referenced above, I can't help but get the feeling that Mr. Psaltis may not have a clear perception of himself. And even if one is willing to accept that his omissions and embellishments are entirely a function of the subconscious (and occur naturally or without any particular agenda), they diminish the value of this account for me quite a bit. And again, I don't know Doug Psalits. I'm speaking specifically about the book itself.

For all his accomplishments and clearly rapid ascent through the ranks, Psaltis is a relatively obscure figure. For me, that makes many of the personal details which appear in the book uninteresting. Perhaps if he were more of a star, I'd care more about his "on again, off again" relationship with Nora. Instead, the relationship as described, primarily lends credence to the possibility that Mr. Psaltis' interpersonal skills may not be well-honed. The relative self-isolation he describes throughout the book leads me to the same conclusion. Viewing the slap through that context, it's easier to see, perhaps, why it may have not been included in the book. It is entirely possible that the socially-underdeveloped Psaltis may simply have not understood how significant a moment it was. Still, if an author lacks that kind of wisdom, it doesn't bode well for the value of his memoirs -- even if the omission is a genuine one.

I did learn a bunch, however, from reading this book. I got a great feel for the ultra-competitive NYC restaurant scene -- from an angle I hadn't really enjoyed before. The details about Ducasse's operations are absolutely riveting. The sequence when Psaltis learns that he'll be going to stage at Louis XV in Monaco is a great one. And the time he spends in Monaco is well-described and quite interesting.

The bottom line for me is that the book raises a lot more questions than it answers. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I also don't believe it was the author's intention. As a relative neophyte to the world of fine dining and top kitchens, I was happy to have learned a quite a bit from reading it. I do wonder what we'll see in the future from Psaltis. Will he write another book? Will he, at some point, look back on this one with a more mature eye? As a chef, Psaltis surely may have been "seasoned" but as a person, he seems to have missed that same process. But then again, at 31 I could have easily said the same thing about myself . . . well maybe not, but others surely would have.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I have been very hesistant to post on this forum because I have worked with Doug at many of the same restaurants. I know most of the chefs described in the book and are on good terms with them.

From what I know, while working at Bouley, Blue Hill and Mix, those events described in the book are true. About Blue Hill, these are the facts as I know it. Doug was the sous chef. Alex was co-chef. Dan was and is the owner and co-chef. Dan worked the pass. The food was cooked by those who created the dishes.

I was at Blue Hill before the first customers were served. The staff consisted of first-time owners, first-time chefs, first-time sous chef, first-time cooks, first-time general manager, first-time wine director, first-time waiters, and first-time busboys. Everybody was learning together. Blue Hill was about a dream and vision to be one of the best restaurants in the city. Those who didn't believe in it were gone within the first week. The rest of the staff worked hard to make it what it is today.

Dan has come a long way since the restaurant opened. He is a very smart man and has earned the respect of many people in the business. He has also gained the support of many rich and powerful people, some connected to the media.

I don't think Doug was out to personally discredit Dan, hence the name change, but just trying to decribe an event that influenced his career. There are other more negative things that could have been written, but the public doesn't need to know these things. Some things happen within the restaurant industry and don't need to be discussed or writtten about publicly, eventhough that's what the public wants. Maybe one day, when I'm not afraid of reprisals, I'll write a book about some of the things these chefs have done.

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Make sure that when you do, it's not under a nom de plume, there's a good chap. :biggrin:

So would you categorise Psaltis' remarks and observations in the book as fair and reasonable comment, in as much as they tally with your own experiences?

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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I just finished the book.

Interesting read for sure.

Personally, the only fault I found in the book was feeling robbed that my previous perception of the French Laundry has changed.

I worked in a restaurant then overextended group that had a meteoric rise and fall in the 90's and after reading the chapter I was left with the same sinking feeling I had back then.

I understand that the book was one person’s account be it factual, faulted, biased or jaded.

My previous perception of the French Laundry was infallible in a world of average restaurants.

There is a part of me now that wishes I could have that back.

Shaun

Edited by chuckyoufarley (log)

"You can take my foie gras when you can pry it from my cold dead hands"

Shaun Sedgwick

baxter@pinpointnow.net

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Chefworld Hardball can be addictive.

To paraphrase Henry Kissenger, perhaps the reason the politics here are so vicious is because the stakes are so low.

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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Chefworld Hardball can be addictive.

To paraphrase Henry Kissenger, perhaps the reason the politics here are so vicious is because the stakes are so low.

:smile: I remember a similar line being used for academic politics. Maybe what this shows is that everyone is getting "smarter", becoming more like the academics? :rolleyes:

......................................

It *is* interesting once the brouhaha dies down to see who is left standing, and what stances they each hold individually. I still say it is impossible to ever know this thing called truth when one is so very far from being able to personally measure the facts.

I can appreciate, though, the concept that some have of "what is right" and "what is wrong" to do in any given situation. Doing the "right" thing does not always bring profit, though - - - and doing the "wrong" thing may bring acclaim, depending on whether the public cares about intent or not.

My interest was in the piece of writing. I've learned a lot in reading this thread how a piece of writing can be looked at by people as something other than "just a story", that's for sure. :wink:

And in a year, it will be even more interesting to see where everyone that was politically or personally involved in this thing is standing and how (or if) this furor of questioning has affected them. Can't wait. The saga continues.

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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Chefworld Hardball can be addictive.

To paraphrase Henry Kissenger, perhaps the reason the politics here are so vicious is because the stakes are so low.

:smile: I remember a similar line being used for academic politics. Maybe what this shows is that everyone is getting "smarter", becoming more like the academics? :rolleyes:

Carrot Top, you're right about Henry Kissinger's reference to academia. I also assume your "smarter" in quotes also is tongue-in-cheek.

I read Psaltis's book last week on a plane ride and greatly enjoyed it as one cook's coming-of-age story. I came here to see what the consensus was among people who may have known the stories first hand. What I didn't anticipate were the ad hominum attacks and innuendo---going on for 18 pages! Not knowing any of the players personnally, it still seems to me to be more than a little overkill.

So far, the only people who have shown any restraint on this forum are Psaltis and Keller.

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Ok, so I'm a few months late. I just finished the book, and I tried reading this thread. I adored all the back-and-forth, but I just couldn't wade through 18 pages of tangential, albeit entertaining, innuendo.

The French Laundry chapter clearly galvanized the community here, but to me (not being in the business) the key thing was that the book kinda sucked. I appreciated the inside view, and didn't mind the problem of perspective (OF COURSE it's just view and the "real" truth is more complicated! Duh!), but I just found the writing...actually, the editing...to be horrendous. The whole book is " I did this, then I did this, then I did this (and worked really hard at it), then I did this (and worked really hard at it), etc., etc." There was just no special magic to the prose, no wittiness or insight that could salvage it for me.

Chip Wilmot

Lack of wit can be a virtue

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If you're not in the business it probably would be an excruciating read...

And for many in the business it was too.

I rather liked it, found everything after the first two chapters readable.

2317/5000

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If you're not in the business it probably would be an excruciating read...

And for many in the business it was too.

I rather liked it, found everything after the first two chapters readable.

As for people in the industry, I am not one, but I am close to many who work in the food industry and particularly to many who toil in kitchens, one of the most telling aspects of the media follow up to this book is that just about no one mentioned in the book had much good to say about Psaltis when pursued by the media for follow ups, and that includes those he praised in the book. The book was clearly an attempt to be selfserving, which many who read memoirs don't find susprising. The degree to which the authors attempted to spin the truth and make friends as well as seek revenge on those they feel stood in Doug's divine path to chefdom was surprising and didn't seem to pay dividends.

Equally surprising is how poorly written the book was, since the co-author, the chef's brother, is a literary agent.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Ok, so I'm a few months late. I just finished the book, and I tried reading this thread.  I adored all the back-and-forth, but I just couldn't wade through 18 pages of tangential, albeit entertaining,  innuendo. 

The French Laundry chapter clearly galvanized the community here, but to me (not being in the business) the key thing was that the book kinda sucked.  I appreciated the inside view, and didn't mind the problem of perspective (OF COURSE it's just view and the "real" truth is more complicated! Duh!), but I just found the writing...actually, the editing...to be horrendous.  The whole book is " I did this, then I did this, then I did this (and worked really hard at it), then I did this (and worked really hard at it), etc., etc."  There was just no special magic to the prose, no wittiness or insight that could salvage it for me.

Exactly. That was my main critique of this book. It is normally a type of book I would buy and read, but after reading the 3 excerpts in the Daily Gullet and was very much less than impressed with how boring content was and how amateurish the writing, I decided my money is better invested somewhere else. I guess I should thank tDG for posting the excerpts and saving me a few bucks :smile: which if I am not mistaken went to buy another Harry Potter book. Now that was a an awsome read...

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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As for people in the industry, I am not one, but I am close to many who work in the food industry and particularly to many who toil in kitchens, one of the most telling aspects of the media follow up to this book is that just about no one mentioned in the book had much good to say about Psaltis when pursued by the media for follow ups, and that includes those he praised in the book. The book was clearly an attempt to be selfserving, which many who read memoirs don't find susprising. The degree to which the authors attempted to spin the truth and make friends as well as seek revenge on those they feel stood in Doug's divine path to chefdom was surprising and didn't seem to pay dividends.

Equally surprising is how poorly written the book was, since the co-author, the chef's brother, is a literary agent.

As a cook who cooks at a high level (at least for the area I'm located in), I'll say this: why care if you've insulted a few B-list chefs (or even the almighty Thomas) if you've got someone like Alain Ducasse in your cornor. And regardless of what he said in the book, the guy can cook, you don't become the Chef de Cuisine of a Ducasse restaurant if you can't cook. From what I've heard about the fine dining restaurant Country (not the cafe), the food is excellent, and it will be successful.

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Bux didn't say Psaltis can't cook. In fact, no one has said that. You're right; I think it's pretty obvious that you need to have some kitchen chops in order to reach the heights Psaltis has in his career. The main thrust of the negative feedback towards the book has been essentially that Psaltis is a huge, arrogant, self-serving ass. And if that doesn't give you pause, great. If the fact that it's poorly written doesn't make you pause a little further before opening your wallet, that's great too. Good for you, you've got no conscience and have money to burn. Celebrate.

Edited by angrykoala (log)
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By coincidence, last night I just happened to catch the episode of Opening Soon (Fine Living Channel) which documented the opening of Country. It was interesting to me that Psaltis was never mentioned once, even though he appeared throughout the episode. The focus was entirely on Zakarian, the over-thought manipulation of his public image and the fact that the budget for Country swelled from $7M to $12M during the process.

But even as Psaltis was shown turning out prospective dishes for Zakarian to taste, he received no mention, verbally or graphically. Perhaps this is some indication why the book was written in the first place. I guess that if chefs don't toot their own horns, no one else will either.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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As for people in the industry, I am not one, but I am close to many who work in the food industry and particularly to many who toil in kitchens, one of the most telling aspects of the media follow up to this book is that just about no one mentioned in the book had much good to say about Psaltis when pursued by the media for follow ups, and that includes those he praised in the book. The book was clearly an attempt to be selfserving, which many who read memoirs don't find susprising. The degree to which the authors attempted to spin the truth and make friends as well as seek revenge on those they feel stood in Doug's divine path to chefdom was surprising and didn't seem to pay dividends.

Equally surprising is how poorly written the book was, since the co-author, the chef's brother, is a literary agent.

As a cook who cooks at a high level (at least for the area I'm located in), I'll say this: why care if you've insulted a few B-list chefs (or even the almighty Thomas) if you've got someone like Alain Ducasse in your cornor. And regardless of what he said in the book, the guy can cook, you don't become the Chef de Cuisine of a Ducasse restaurant if you can't cook. From what I've heard about the fine dining restaurant Country (not the cafe), the food is excellent, and it will be successful.

Just being a good cook is not enough, hell, there are fantastic new cooks produced everyday. But what separates good cooks from great chefs are (aside from management skills) are intangibles like maturity, the ability to keep ego in check, mental stability, physical and mental stamina, consistency, etc..

Edited by Timh (log)
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Just being a good cook is not enough, hell, there are fantastic new cooks produced everyday. But what separates good cooks from great chefs are (aside from management skills) are intangibles like maturity, the ability to keep ego in check, mental stability, physical and mental stamina, consistency, etc..

I wouldn't call the new cooks being produced today 'fantastic'. Hell, I've worked with dozens of culinary school grads (from reputable schools) over the last 3 months who have made me lose sleep. The restaurant I work for is horribly understaffed, it's impossible to find even somewhat qualified cooks, despite the STACK of resumes we've got. I would be hesitant to call some of these culinary school grads a 'cook' of any kind these days...

Anyhow, back to the book. To me, I didn't get a feeling that the book was anything more than 1 cooks story. Didn't sound like he was trying to talk himself up, just sounded like he was telling his story.

And finally, I'd like to dispute one of your characteristics of what makes a great chef. No one who works 80+ (thats EIGHTY in case you think its a typo) hours a week, in a 110+ degree kitchen, non-stop all the time for the wages we do, is what I'd consider 'mentally stable'. No, the longer I work in fine dining restaurants, the more I realize good chefs are crazy (I'm not saying I'm not either). Any sane chef would be more than happy to work in a large institution, anonymously, making his 6 figure check working only 50 hours per week.

It's the mentally unstable who go for broke, put their name out there, risk everything for the glory of being the best. Just look at what happened to Bernard Loiseau, yes that's an extreme case but it's certainly not uncommon among the best chefs.

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By coincidence, last night I just happened to catch the episode of Opening Soon (Fine Living Channel) which documented the opening of Country.  It was interesting to me that Psaltis was never mentioned once, even though he appeared throughout the episode.  The focus was entirely on Zakarian, the over-thought manipulation of his public image and the fact that the budget for Country swelled from $7M to $12M during the process.

But even as Psaltis was shown turning out prospective dishes for Zakarian to taste, he received no mention, verbally or graphically.  Perhaps this is some indication why the book was written in the first place.  I guess that if chefs don't toot their own horns, no one else will either.

=R=

Hey, I'm all for horn tooting (no one else knows the notes), but there could be lots of reasons he received no mention, that had nothing to do with his [comment reserved] book. Maybe he didn't do as much for the restaurant as one might have thought ... maybe Zakarian is the one with the stake in the place and Chef is an employee, maybe the investors and TV people though Zakarian had better hair. :hmmm: I wonder if this episode will be in the next book?
"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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      Anybody here know both editions? Google was so far of no help. Lots of the full edition are to be had used as well, I'd be happy giving this one as a gift and ordering the full edition, if it's worth it.
      Thanks!
      Oliver
    • By devlin
      Say you were rounded up with a group of folks and either had a skill to offer in exchange for a comfy room and some other niceties or were sent off to a slag heap to toil away in the hot sun every day for 16 hours, what 3 books would you want to take with you to enable you to cook and bake such fabulous foodstuffs that your kidnappers would keep you over some poor schlub who could cook only beans and rice and the occasional dry biscuit?
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