From Publishers Weekly
Chef and cookbook author Tramonto (Steak with Friends) has won acclaim for his restaurants and cookbooks, and in this memoir he takes readers into the kitchen to show them a chef's life. It ain't pretty, but it is edifying. As he was growing up in a volatile working-class family in Rochester, N.Y., Tramonto's dad was jailed for embezzlement, and young Rick, struggling with a learning disability, left high school in 1977 for his first culinary job, at Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers. He paid dues all along the way, working with terrifically talented and not a few temperamental chefs, succeeding (earning four-star reviews) and failing (losing a restaurant to fire, divorcing his culinary partner and wife, Gale Gand). As he narrates it, only when he hears a Christian radio broadcast one dark day in his car does he begin to find a way out. Tramonto and his co-writer favor speed over detail and successfully convey how driven and intensely focused the author's career has been. Anyone with a romantic view of the restaurant business should read this mea culpa and redemption tale. (Mar.)
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Knowing where Rick came from, I’m even more impressed with what he has been able to accomplish. If you enjoy reading about food, restaurants, and the people who create them, you’ll find Scars of a Chef
an interesting read. And if you are committed to personal growth and understanding, I think you’ll be touched by Rick’s journey. As he begins a new chapter in his life, I can’t wait to see what surprises Rick has in store for us. (Richard Melman, Founder and chairman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc.)