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Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs
 
 


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Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs [Hardcover]

Kimberly Witherspoon , Andrew Friedman
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 15, 2005

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs

A hilarious and heartening collection of kitchen disasters.

In this raucous new collection, over forty of the world's greatest chefs relate outrageous true tales from their kitchens. From hiring a blind line cook to flooding the room with meringue to being terrorized by a French owl, these behind-the-scenes accounts are as wildly entertaining as they are revealing. A delicious reminder that even the chefs we most admire aren't always perfect, Don't Try This at Home is a must-have for anyone who loves food or is fascinated by those who masterfully prepare it.

Ferrán Adrià on when lobsters go bad
José Andrés on asking for help
Dan Barber on talking to your fish
Mario Batali on the perfect risotto
Michelle Bernstein on the many uses of chocolate
Heston Blumenthal on the angriest maître d' in England
Daniel Boulud on one thousand bowls of soup
Anthony Bourdain on beating up the customers
Jimmy Bradley on drinking games
Scott Bryan on too many salamanders
David Burke on hiding the laundry
Samuel Clark on cooking for royalty
Tom Colicchio on sneaking through customs
Scott Conant on the persistence of eels
Tamasin Day-Lewis on how not to store a pheasant
Tom Douglas on the strange destiny of snowstorms
Wylie Dufresne on birds of prey
Jonathan Eismann on the healing powers of electricity
Claudia Fleming on runaway meringue
Gabrielle Hamilton on second sight
Fergus Henderson on the far from ordinary
Paul Kahan on caller ID
Hubert Keller on tempting fate
Giorgio Locatelli on the art of the French ambush
Michael Lomonaco on feeding Pavarotti
Pino Luongo on summer school in the Hamptons
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger on getting away with it
Sara Moulton on how to destroy a food processor
Tamara Murphy on the misuses of foie gras
Cindy Pawlcyn on eating at home
Neil Perry on unexpected showers
Michel Richard on how to rescue a wayward cake
Eric Ripert on getting to the kitchen
Alain Sailhac on salty coffee and solitary confinement
Marcus Samuelsson on the languages of gelatin
Bill Telepan on the Fish Guys versus the Meat Guys
Laurent Tourondel on rib-eye rush hour
Tom Valenti on the grounds for revenge
Norman Van Aken on Key West hi-jinks
Geoffrey Zakarian on a license to eat dangerously


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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.

Review

“As uplifting as it is amusing; it’s a reminder that—in real life as in the kitchen—guts are as important as genius.”—People (four stars/Critic’s Pick)
“If you liked Kitchen Confidential for its frank behind-the-scenes glimpses of kitchen life, you'll love this book.”—Los Angeles Times  
“Once you’ve watched these masters of their universe drop a foie gras terrine into a bowl of warm chocolate sauce, restore a wedding cake accidentally covered with shards of glass, disguise a bag of dirty laundry with crème anglaise to stand in for a mound of fallen meringue—you'll realize you've probably gotten off easy.”—Washington Post Book World 
“The chefs, now stars themselves, deserve credit for having managed to endure so much misery early in their careers, from tyrannical bosses, spoiled patrons, eye-rolling waiters and thuggish busboys. The best of the essays here convey that spirit of determination, alongside the absurd theater of it all.”—Wall Street Journal
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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