Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs Hardcover – September 15, 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.24 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


'Calling all foodies: Be sure to put Don't Try This at Home on your next shopping list ... The reader is treated to a collection of spectacular mishaps from award-winning, world-class chefs' Grand Rapids Press (USA) '[Confessions] range from the endearingly humiliating ... to the hilariously disastrous' Financial Times '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, you'll love this book' 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' Library Journal

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (October 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596910704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596910706
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rebecca Huston on August 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cooking at home has become it seems, a very big business indeed. Turn on the television and you find networks that show chefs demonstrating cuisines and styles, vendors hawking the multitude of cookware and gadgets, and in bookstores shelves abound with volumes that cater to every whim, fad, fashion and idea. Sometimes, what you get is junk. And rarely, you come across a jewel of a book that digs down into the heart and mystery of food, and you find something that's utterly new and bewitching.

Such was the case with reading this collection of tales and ancedotes from the heavy hitters in cooking, Don't Try This at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs is a mad, wild ride of everything that can go wrong. Whether they are disasters in a professional restaurant kitchen or on a catering job, the stories range from those that make you cringe in embarassment or sympathy, or those that make you laugh at a just reward served up to a snooty, rude customer.

There were several stories that I enjoyed immensely: Ferran Adria's tale of a shipment of lobsters that went bad for a banquet of three thousand; Mario Batali speaks of revenge on a martinet of a chef; Anthony Bourdain of a kitchen gone to hell on New Year's Eve when the chef had such a brilliant vision that it was doomed to failure; Claudia Fleming's tale of The Blob , and very nearly every tale in the book. There are stories of fights, ingredients gone haywire or AWOL, personality clashes that would make you cringe in horror.

But each one reveals something to the art of being a chef, and a good one at that.
Read more ›
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`Don't Try This At Home' is a collection of short pieces written by forty (40) of the world's most notable chefs and culinary figures, edited by culinary agent, Kimberly Witherspoon and culinary wordsmith, Andrew Friedman, known to me primarily as a co-author of Tom Valenti's two better than average cookbooks from an accomplished New York restaurant chef.

Two things which are misleading from the title are the fact that some of the contributors are not among `The World's Greatest Chefs' (from the subtitle at the top of the page) and many of the incidents recounted in the book are less about cooking per se than about relations between people in the kitchen, between the kitchen and management, and between the kitchen (back of the house) and the wait staff (front of the house).

There is no question that many of the contributors are among `The World's Greatest Chefs'. Chief among these are Ferran Adria, Daniel Boulud, Michel Richard, Eric Ripert, Norman Van Aken, Tom Colicchio, and Mario Batali. Oddly, the authors, Anthony Bourdain and Sara Moulton, of two of the most instructive pieces come from writers whose fame arises more from their writing and communicating experience than from purely culinary efforts. Bourdain's piece looks very much like a chapter from his famous book, `Kitchen Confidential' when it recounts a totally disastrous New Year's Eve dinner where the executive chef under whom Bourdain was serving as a sous chef planned the evening's celebratory meal and ordered all the provisions without giving any hint to the kitchen staff about the menu for the evening. The day and the piece opens with Bourdain and staff waiting for the chef while provisions arrive with absolutely no instructions on how to begin prepping the goods.
Read more ›
Comment 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Several of the chapters are quite entertaining, especially if you're a fan of Kitchen Confidential type stories. Unfortunately, the many grammatical and spelling typos were too distracting for me to truly enjoy the book. When practically every introduction has at least one typo, I is frequently replaced with a 1, and an entire paragraph from a previous chapter is spliced into the middle of a following chapter it became too much for me. Editing like this really shouldn't be allowed commercially and I would certainly like the money back I spent on the Kindle version of this book.
2 Comments 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Some of the pieces in this book are really funny, such as a tale of what happened when a hollandaise delivery met up with LA rush hour traffic. Many remind the reader than even the greatest of chefs is still human. Some of the pieces will amaze you with chefs' creativity in the face of diaster (one chef, for example, stuck with a ruined wedding cake, calls in the dogs). Unfortunately, some of the pieces are just plain boring. In one, for example, the "disaster" is that the narrator gets yelled at for throwing away some onions. I'm sure it was painful to him, but it's just not that much fun to read. In total, I'm not sure the good parts of the book make it worth shelling out money for. I borrowed mine from the library.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I read the excerpts from this collection in the New York Times Magazine and went and bought the book, I was so delighted with them. Dan Barber's piece about working for David Bouley and learning to "talk to the fish" was hilarious; It had never occurred to me that you have to listen to the food cooking as much as taste, see and smell it, to know if it's cooked properly. I was surprised to read all these readers comments slamming Gabrielle Hamilton's piece; I actually thought she showed uncustomary sensitivity for a chef, even letting this candidate through the door when he hadn't been straight up with her about being blind. Marcus Samuelson's piece about being a black man in a white kitchen was powerful and refreshingly thoughtful in contrast to the raucousness of many of the other pieces. I plan to give this to all my friends who devoured KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL, it has the same exuberance and behind the scenes details that bring down to earth what always looks so safe and easy on those cooking shows.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?