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Kitchen Confidential

March 27, 2011

Throughout both high school and college I worked in restaurants (predominantly in the front of the house). I am attracted to the culture of restaurants…from the venue, to brilliant entrepreneurs that launch them, to the chefs that create the menus and execute the dishes, to the guests who make reservations and attend them. I love to learn (and taste) how ingredients are coupled and in turn how dishes are paired with wine. I got a good taste of what life is like as a cook in the back of the house while completing my culinary school externship. I was incredibly lucky to work at Gramercy Tavern. The chefs work hard and harmoniously: each focusing on their individual station, yet demonstrating an effortless choreography amongst one another. The kitchen is spacious and cleanliness is a constant. What most people don’t envision behind each plated work of art are: chefs booking it up and down flights of stairs with heavy loads, hours of prep work, perpetual heat, the occasional finger slice and more frequent than not; burns. For a typical dinner shift a chef arrives at 2:00pm and leaves at 2:00am…this was not my cup of tea. I wanted to utilize the information I learned from NGI about health, create my own dishes, set my own schedule. Though I’ve chosen not to live the life of a restaurant chef, I sure love reading about them.

Here are some of my favorite books about chefs and restauranteurs:

Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw, by Anthony Bourdain

Setting The Table, by Danny Meyer

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