Chef memoirs creating a stir
Wednesday 23 February 2011
Two highly anticipated chef memoirs are expected to heat up the literary food scene in March.
One has already been hailed as the best chef memoir ever written, and the other tells the nightmarish tale of a chef's cruel twist of fate.
New York chef Gabrielle Hamilton's debut book Blood, Bones and Butter has received effusive praise from the celebrity chef sphere including Anthony Bourdain and Mario Batali, both of whom wrote ringing endorsements of the work.
"Magnificent. Simply the best memoir written by a chef ever. Ever," reads Bourdain's front cover review.
Described as an unconventional journey through her kitchens in France, Greece and Turkey, the book has drawn praise for Hamilton's "lusty," "rollicking" tales told in a gritty, funny and lyrical voice.
Hamilton is the chef owner of Prune restaurant in New York City. The book is to be released March 1.
Chef Grant Achatz's story, meanwhile, is well-known among even moderate foodies for the Greek-style tragedy that it is.
The award-winning celebrity chef was at the peak of his craft when he was diagnosed with tongue cancer and doctors told him they would have to cut it out.
Details of his ordeal and the gastronomic inspiration behind his inventive, critically acclaimed Chicago restaurant Alinea, are all chronicled in his new memoir, Life, On the Line , to be released March 3.
The book, co-written with his business partner Nick Kokonas, gives readers an inside look into the chef's nightmarish battle with stage 4 tongue cancer, which destroyed his sense of taste, turning food into cardboard and sand. He's now recovered from the cancer but is missing half his tongue.
The book also takes readers through his rise to fame, starting with his work experience with Charlie Trotter to his time at French Laundry with renowned chef Thomas Keller.
In 2008, Achatz was named Best Chef by the prestigious James Beard Foundation and has also topped numerous best restaurant lists around the world for Alinea.
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