From Publishers Weekly
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 [a**-f******]'—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. (Oct.)
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"As in every other profession, chefs love their war stories. Finally someone had the good sense to collect some of the best in "Don't Try This at Home"...If you liked "Kitchen Confidential" for its frank behind-the-scenes glimpses of kitchen life (rather than the profanity and the heroin), you'll love this book."
(Russ Parsons Los Angeles Times
"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."