Sous Chef: 24 Hours On The Line

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Sous Chef: 24 Hours On The Line

by Michael Gibney

Random House Publishing Group | March 25, 2014 | Hardcover

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The back must slave to feed the belly. . . . In this urgent and unique book, chef Michael Gibney uses twenty-four hours to animate the intricate camaraderie and culinary choreography in an upscale New York restaurant kitchen. Here readers will find all the details, in rapid-fire succession, of what it takes to deliver an exceptional plate of food-the journey to excellence by way of exhaustion.
 
Told in second-person narrative, Sous Chef is an immersive, adrenaline-fueled run that offers a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the food service industry, allowing readers to briefly inhabit the hidden world behind the kitchen doors, in real time. This exhilarating account provides regular diners and food enthusiasts alike a detailed insider's perspective, while offering fledgling professional cooks an honest picture of what the future holds, ultimately giving voice to the hard work and dedication around which chefs have built their careers.
 
In a kitchen where the highest standards are upheld and one misstep can result in disaster, Sous Chef conjures a greater appreciation for the thought, care, and focus that go into creating memorable and delicious fare. With grit, wit, and remarkable prose, Michael Gibney renders a beautiful and raw account of this demanding and sometimes overlooked profession, offering a nuanced perspective on the craft and art of food and service.
 
Advance praise for Sous Chef
 
"A terrific nuts-and-bolts account of the real business of cooking as told from the trenches. No nonsense. This is what it takes."-Anthony Bourdain
 
"Michael Gibney's you-are-there Sous Chef is one of the most informative, funny, and transparent books about the restaurant biz ever written."-Bret Easton Ellis

"This is excellent writing-excellent!-and it is thrilling to see a debut author who has language and story and craft so well in hand. Though I would never ask my staff to read my own book, I would happily require them to read Michael Gibney's."-Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter

"Sous Chef is a marvelous, superbly written, intelligent, and accomplished book. I know no other book that so vividly renders the experience and complexity of life in a big restaurant kitchen. The sheer amount of knowledge demonstrated here of the particulars of cooking is immense, and the dynamic, seesaw relationship between chef and sous chef is especially well achieved. I was gripped by the author's culinary passion and literary sophistication. Bravo!"-Phillip Lopate
 
"A good cook chooses ingredients carefully, just as a writer must select the right words. Michael Gibney is a word cook of the highest order, and this book will leave you licking your fingers."-Gary Shteyngart

"Gibney is as skilled with words as he is with his 11-inch Sujihiki knife."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Sumptuously entertaining fare . . . [Gibney] breathes life into the mix of outsized personalities inhabiting the confined, hot, noisy space of the kitchen."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 240 Pages, 5.51 × 8.27 × 0.79 in

Published: March 25, 2014

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0804177872

ISBN - 13: 9780804177870

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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– More About This Product –

Sous Chef: 24 Hours On The Line

Sous Chef: 24 Hours On The Line

by Michael Gibney

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 240 Pages, 5.51 × 8.27 × 0.79 in

Published: March 25, 2014

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0804177872

ISBN - 13: 9780804177870

Read from the Book

Morning The kitchen is best in the morning. All the stainless glimmers. Steel pots and pans sit neatly in their places, split evenly between stations. Smallwares are filed away in bains-marie and bus tubs, stacked on Metro racks in families—pepper mills with pepper mills, ring molds with ring molds, and so forth. Columns of buffed white china run the length of the pass on shelves beneath the shiny tabletop. The floors are mopped and dry, the black carpet runners are swept and washed and realigned at right angles. Most of the equipment is turned off, most significantly the intake hoods. Without the clamor of the hoods, quietude swathes the place. The only sounds are the hum of refrigeration, the purr of proofing boxes, the occasional burble of a thermal immersion circulator. The lowboys and fridge-tops are spotless, sterile, rid of the remnants of their tenants. The garbage cans are empty. There is not a crumb anywhere. It smells of nothing. The place might even seem abandoned if it weren’t for today’s prep lists dangling from the ticket racks above each station—scrawled agendas on POS strips and dupe-pad chits, which the cooks put together at the end of every dinner service. They are the relics of mayhem, wraiths of the heat. In showing us how much everyone needs to get done today, they give us a sense of what happened in here last night. The lists are long; it was busy. The handwriting is urgent, angry, exhausted. But now everything is still. On Frida
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From the Publisher

The back must slave to feed the belly. . . . In this urgent and unique book, chef Michael Gibney uses twenty-four hours to animate the intricate camaraderie and culinary choreography in an upscale New York restaurant kitchen. Here readers will find all the details, in rapid-fire succession, of what it takes to deliver an exceptional plate of food-the journey to excellence by way of exhaustion.
 
Told in second-person narrative, Sous Chef is an immersive, adrenaline-fueled run that offers a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the food service industry, allowing readers to briefly inhabit the hidden world behind the kitchen doors, in real time. This exhilarating account provides regular diners and food enthusiasts alike a detailed insider's perspective, while offering fledgling professional cooks an honest picture of what the future holds, ultimately giving voice to the hard work and dedication around which chefs have built their careers.
 
In a kitchen where the highest standards are upheld and one misstep can result in disaster, Sous Chef conjures a greater appreciation for the thought, care, and focus that go into creating memorable and delicious fare. With grit, wit, and remarkable prose, Michael Gibney renders a beautiful and raw account of this demanding and sometimes overlooked profession, offering a nuanced perspective on the craft and art of food and service.
 
Advance praise for Sous Chef
 
"A terrific nuts-and-bolts account of the real business of cooking as told from the trenches. No nonsense. This is what it takes."-Anthony Bourdain
 
"Michael Gibney's you-are-there Sous Chef is one of the most informative, funny, and transparent books about the restaurant biz ever written."-Bret Easton Ellis

"This is excellent writing-excellent!-and it is thrilling to see a debut author who has language and story and craft so well in hand. Though I would never ask my staff to read my own book, I would happily require them to read Michael Gibney's."-Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter

"Sous Chef is a marvelous, superbly written, intelligent, and accomplished book. I know no other book that so vividly renders the experience and complexity of life in a big restaurant kitchen. The sheer amount of knowledge demonstrated here of the particulars of cooking is immense, and the dynamic, seesaw relationship between chef and sous chef is especially well achieved. I was gripped by the author's culinary passion and literary sophistication. Bravo!"-Phillip Lopate
 
"A good cook chooses ingredients carefully, just as a writer must select the right words. Michael Gibney is a word cook of the highest order, and this book will leave you licking your fingers."-Gary Shteyngart

"Gibney is as skilled with words as he is with his 11-inch Sujihiki knife."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Sumptuously entertaining fare . . . [Gibney] breathes life into the mix of outsized personalities inhabiting the confined, hot, noisy space of the kitchen."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

About the Author

Michael Gibney began working in restaurants at the age of sixteen and assumed his first sous chef position at twenty-two. He ascended to executive sous chef at Tavern on the Green, where he managed an eighty-person staff. He has worked in the kitchens of Morgans Hotel Group, 10 Downing in Manhattan, and Governor in Brooklyn's DUMBO, among many others. Over the course of his career, he has had the opportunity to work alongside cooks and chefs from many of the nation's best restaurants, including Alinea, Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Bouley, Ducasse, Corton, wd~50, and Momofuku. In addition to his experience in the food service industry, Gibney also holds a BFA in painting from Pratt Institute and an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Editorial Reviews

Advance praise for Sous Chef   “A terrific nuts-and-bolts account of the real business of cooking as told from the trenches. No nonsense. This is what it takes.” —Anthony Bourdain   “Michael Gibney’s you-are-there Sous Chef is one of the most informative, funny, and transparent books about the restaurant biz ever written.” —Bret Easton Ellis “This is excellent writing— excellent! —and it is thrilling to see a debut author who has language and story and craft so well in hand. Though I would never ask my staff to read my own book, I would happily require them to read Michael Gibney’s.” —Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter “ Sous Chef is a marvelous, superbly written, intelligent, and accomplished book. I know no other book that so vividly renders the experience and complexity of life in a big restaurant kitchen. The sheer amount of knowledge demonstrated here of the particulars of cooking is immense, and the dynamic, seesaw relationship between chef and sous chef is especially well achieved. I was gripped by the author’s culinary passion and literary sophistication. Bravo!” —Phillip Lopate   “A good cook chooses ingredients carefully, just as a writer must select the right words. Michael Gibney is a word cook of the highest order, and this book will leave you licking your fingers.” —Gary Shteyngart “Gibney is as skilled
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