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Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip - Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by The Waiter
What started (and continues) as a blog at waiterrant.net is now also a book. The Waiter has many tales to tell about his customers and coworkers. My favorite chapters involved Valentine’s Day and NYEve—two dates, in fact entire weekends, that people should consider eating at home. Why, you ask? Read Waiter Rant. Check the catalog for availability.

Service Included: Four-star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter by Phoebe Damrosch
While Phoebe was deciding what to do with her life, she worked as a waiter. Before long she was a captain at the New York City four-star restaurant Per Se, the creation of master chef Thomas Keller. This is the story of her experiences there: her obsession with food, her love affair with a sommelier, and her observations of the highly competitive world of fine dining. Check the catalog for availability.

Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford
Buford is a writer for The New Yorker currently and this is his account of working for free in the kitchen of Babbo, a New York restaurant owned by Chef Mario Batali. Buford's premise is that he considered himself to be a capable home cook and wondered if he had the skill to work in a busy restaurant kitchen. Check the catalog for availability.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
This book is pretty much about Bourdain and not so much about cooking. As such, cursing, vulgarity and sexual references abound. Anthony Bourdain is the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York, and he is the host of the series No Reservations on the Travel Channel. Check the catalog for availability.

Girl Cook: A Novel by Hannah McCouch
Layla Mitchner is a twenty-eight-year-old Cordon Bleu graduate trying to find a space in the fast-paced, high-pressure world of Manhattan’s top restaurant kitchens. She knows she’s got the talent to be a great chef, but there she is slaving for a misogynistic boss who’d sooner promote the dishwasher than give a woman the chance to prove her sous-chef mettle. Check the catalog for availability.

My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals by Melanie Dunea
The coffee table book for foodies! 50 famous chefs describe what they would have as their final meal, who they would be with and where. Recipes are included at the end, but the absolutely gorgeous portraits of each chef steal the show. Even if you aren’t familiar with these people or their restaurants, you’ll enjoy perusing this immensely. Check the catalog for availability.

Comments (1)


Thanks for the suggestions. Here are some additional excellent and well-reviewed “foodie books” from 2008:

Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the world of Chinese food by Jennifer 8 Lee. (New York Times journalist, Lee, researches the fascinating social and cultural history of ubiquitous Chinese food.)

The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner by Jay Raynor. (An English restaurant critic and food journalist’s humorous adventure looking for a “perfection” in Moscow, Dubai, Las Vegas, London, Paris, etc.)

Saucier’s Apprentice: one long strange trip through the great cooking schools of Europe by Bob Spitz. (Amusing chronicles of a novice cook in the world of professionals.)

We’ve Always Had Paris: and Provence: a scrapbook of our life in France / Patricia and Walter Wells. (A well-respected cookbook author’s memoir of a life lived abroad.)


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