Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, by Michael Gibney

Sous Chef  is a detailed account of 24 hours in the life of the second-in-command at a fine dining restaurant in Manhattan. Written in the second person to give the reader a sense of immediacy, the book provides insight into not only the pressures on the kitchen staff but also the thinking process of the chef. The mountain of work do be done to serve 300 people a memorable dinner, the frenetic pace, the utter exhaustion at the end of service, the satisfaction of a job well done, and the frustration of making a mistake (not to mention the executive chef's resulting rage) are all described in an effective "you are there" mode. Unless you have worked in a restaurant kitchen, you will definitely learn a lot about how the work is organized and completed. Given how many of the kitchen staff are hungover (according to Gibney), I am amazed that the food comes out at all, much less in a timely fashion, beautifully presented and tasty.

Although I don't have a lot to say about the book or a favorite quote from it, I definitely recommend it, especially for aspiring foodies.

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