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Life on the Line - Grant Achatz - Page 3

post #31 of 56
they do seem to follow the same arc: growing up with a good cook of a mom, apprenticeship, tough master, finally earn respect, first big break, etc. the model for the genre is by an old guy named Henri Charpentier ... it's still very charming, if very dated (he named ever dish after a famous customer). oh, and FU kwilkie.
post #32 of 56
My life on the line began today.
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
My life on the line began today.

is that congratulations? or condolences?
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
is that congratulations? or condolences?

volunteering at the fci student restaurant. i did ok.
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
volunteering at the fci student restaurant. i did ok.

that's cool. there's nothing quite like a good service: getting everything organized and prepped, hitting the first couple dishes, then the mad rush, then the taper. then lots of beer. everybody ought to do it a few times. any more than that could be the sign of a problem.
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
oh, and FU kwilkie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
My life on the line began today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
that's cool. there's nothing quite like a good service: getting everything organized and prepped, hitting the first couple dishes, then the mad rush, then the taper. then lots of beer. everybody ought to do it a few times. any more than that could be the sign of a problem.

Damn right. It's a serious addiction.
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
My life on the line began today.

Weedy?
post #38 of 56
Dinner is infinitely harder than bruch, holy cow.
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Dinner is infinitely harder than bruch, holy cow.
It depends. It's harder than brunch in terms of volume and amount of work..... but if you cook for a living, brunch is the bane of your existence b/c you're bound to work the entire shift with a crazy hangover and at most 2-3 hours sleep.
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
It depends. It's harder than brunch in terms of volume and amount of work..... but if you cook for a living, brunch is the bane of your existence b/c you're bound to work the entire shift with a crazy hangover and at most 2-3 hours sleep.

suburban drone that I am, this will never be a problem for me
post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
suburban drone that I am, this will never be a problem for me

It's a weekly concern for me.
post #42 of 56
I have now read this book. Not sure yet what to make of it.
post #43 of 56
Thread Starter 
If nothing else, he shared his source for hand-harvested lake Michigan steelhead trout roe. As I said - I liked it. YMMV, but I thought the three main themes (Evolution of his cooking style, birth of his partnership, and overcoming his cancer) were each developed pretty well. I'm not sure one should expect to take anything out of such a book beyond entertainment, and I was entertained.
post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post
If nothing else, he shared his source for hand-harvested lake Michigan steelhead trout roe.

As I said - I liked it. YMMV, but I thought the three main themes (Evolution of his cooking style, birth of his partnership, and overcoming his cancer) were each developed pretty well. I'm not sure one should expect to take anything out of such a book beyond entertainment, and I was entertained.

I definitely liked it but that's because I am so interested in the subject matter.

My off the cuff criticisms would be:

-The back and forth between him and Kokonas, where the font changes depending on who is writing, is kind of wierd. Not sure it really works.

-They definitely could have skipped reprinting those long emails and investor updates. I don't need to know the precise details about how the moldings were installed at Alinea.

-I guess they are both really accomplished and have lived great lives but reading about how great they are gets kind of tiresome. I don't have any great advice about how high achievers/rich people can write interestingly about how awesome/rich they are so maybe I should be more understanding but I felt that if there is a line they crossed it too much.

-I get the impression often that Achatz is holding way back, not telling the full story because to do so would make him look bad. That comes through especially in the case of his marriage to Angela and the way he left Trio. The stories just don't really add up or cohere. It reminds me of Eat, Pray, Love (which, no, I did not read all the way through) where Gilbert is totally vague about why she got divorced, the reason almost certainly being because the truth makes her look bad. Also, the way his CdC left, just quit during service one night, is not explained at all. The facts as given don't make the CdC look bad except for that one act so I am left to assume that Achatz really drove him to it, but won't say so or why.

-The cancer stuff was ... well, it was what it was. I am aware that there is a whole genre of cancer memoirs and I never read any of them until now and I don't expect I will again. The extent to which he lived because he is famous and could get same day appointments with the world's most famous doctors does come through rather clearly.

The book definitely made me want to go to the restaurant, which I was lukewarm on before reading it. But it also made me appreciate the Keller style more, which is closer what I love and what I try to do. Achatz actually makes the difference between his style and Keller's style crystal clear, which is also IMO the difference between more traditional (we can say that now) Nouvelle Cuisine and cutting edge stuff whether you call it molecular gastronomy (a term that Achatz rejects) or something else. That lesson alone makes the book worth it.
post #45 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I definitely liked it but that's because I am so interested in the subject matter. My off the cuff criticisms would be: -The back and forth between him and Kokonas, where the font changes depending on who is reading, is kind of wierd. Not sure it really works.
This was not apparent in the Kindle edition. It actually made it a little harder to follow.
Quote:
-I guess they are both really accomplished and have lived great lives but reading about how great they are gets kind of tiresome. I don't have any great advice about how high achievers/rich people can write interestingly about how awesome/rich they are so maybe I should be more understanding but I felt that if there is a line they crossed it too much.
When I become high-achieving and rich, I'll let you know if I figure something out.
Quote:
-I get the impression often that Achatz is holding way back, not telling the full story because to do so would make him look bad. That comes through especially in the case of his marriage to Angela and the way he left Trio. The stories just don't really add up or cohere. It reminds me of Eat, Pray, Love (which, no, I did not read all the way through) where Gilbert is totally vague about why she got divorced, the reason almost certainly being because the truth makes her look bad. Also, the way his CdC left, just quit during service one night, is not explained at all. The facts as given don't make the CdC look bad except for that one act so I am left to assume that Achatz really drove him to it, but won't say so or why.
I agree with this... and I think parts of those stories already make him look bad. Although I think Adinaya is where he wants to be right now. Dale Levitzki is a pretty decent chef. They could have made Trio work if Henry's heart was in it (my opinion), or he could have had his pick of a large number of other great chefs if he wanted to do that. When Grant quit, he said he wanted "to put ketchup and mustard back on the table". Maybe he just knew it would be a let-down no matter what he did. But making plate lunches in Hawaii (for love, as I doubt he needs the money) doesn't seem like the end of the world to me.
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