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Hardcover The Seasoning of a Chef: My Journey from Diner to Ducasse and Beyond Book

ISBN: 0767919688

ISBN13: 9780767919685

The Seasoning of a Chef: My Journey from Diner to Ducasse and Beyond

The fascinating diner-to-Ducasse true story of a young New Yorker's meteoric rise from his grandfather's Greek diner in Queens to the kitchens of some of the world's greatest restaurants. Meet the man Alain Ducasse called "the best cook in my kitchen"--Doug Psaltis, a culinary Horatio Alger, whose stubborn passion for perfection and dogged idealism propelled him from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of the food world. Doug began working at his grandfather's...

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

From a professional Cook.

This book is really the most entertaining for industry professionals, or people who are interested in the inner workings of the restaurant business. There is no talk about specific dishes really, or recipes, or taste profiles. This is the story of one cooks rise from the bottom of the kitchen, to the top of it. Its a very candid and entertaining ride that many cooks go through, including me. Any professional cook can relate to this book and will be glued to it. Most people don't understand the type of dedication required to cook at this level, and ones who have read about, don't seem to believe it. But Chef Psaltis' story is wonderfully executed, and is a true enjoyment. To see the journey of a Chef, buy this book, if you're looking for food facts, don't.

A fun read.

A fun read, an interesting insight into some famous kitchens, with contrasts from New York to California. Doug never gets too technical, so anyone interested in the goings-on in a restaurant kitchen can enjoy the book. Would be a good book to read for young aspiring chefs, a little taste of reality.

An Insider's View of Some Major Kitchens

This short, light book seems to give real insight into the life of a cook in a fancy restaurant. It's clear that success in this field requires dedication of one's life, not to say fanaticism, to the preparation of top-class food. The co-author is clearly consumed, body and soul, with the best preparation of good food. Along the way he meets others in his occupation who work hard but leave the life to go on to something more reasonable by way of making a living. For foodies like me this is helpful stuff in understanding the milieu I love to frequent.

A chef's perspective - like it or not

Other readers seem to have come to this book with an odd set of expectations. You don't read a book by a working chef for detailed descriptions of gorgeous meals. While the best chefs have a deep appreciation of food, they don't spend hours rhapsodizing over the food they make; in fact, you might be surprised how seldom they even taste it. Unless they're heading the kitchen, they seldom see the food being made at stations other than the one they're working. People who want to read about eating (as opposed to cooking) would do better to seek out the works of Calvin Trillin, Jeffrey Steingarten, M.F.K. Fisher, Ruth Reichl, and others who've spent more time in the dining room than the kitchen. It's also fairly superfluous to criticize a head chef -- or someone who aspires to be a head chef -- for being a snob. Egalitarian cooks usually end up as journeyman cooks working in inferior kitchens, since they've never developed a stringent set of standards for themselves. Sure, Anthony Bourdain tells amusing stories with plenty of sex and drugs, but he has described himself as a journeyman. Here is the story of a cook who aspires to be more than that, and who's more interested in the work itself than the after-work debauchery. KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL was a terrific book, but in the wake of its tiresome imitators looking to top one another with tales of restaurant excess, I found Doug Psaltis' single-minded work ethic refreshing. It is seen too seldom, both in restaurant kitchens and in the body of literature that has begun to emerge from them. THE SEASONING OF A CHEF is a convincing and seemingly honest look at the inner workings of several kitchens, and, more broadly, at the development of one serious cook. I won't deny that Psaltis comes off as a bit insufferable at times, as when he declares that cooks who have families and children aren't really dedicated to the business -- most of the finest chefs I've known have had significant others and/or families -- but he's young yet and one hopes he will find someone able to share an admittedly hard life. The tale of the debacle that was Mix is particularly entertaining, especially if you've had occasion to deal with corporate front-of-the-house pinheads who didn't understand how a kitchen works, or if you are close to someone who has. I look forward to hearing about -- and from -- Doug Psaltis again in the future.

Inspiring

This book was simply awesome. Psaltis' passion comes through so clearly. A must read for any young cook.
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