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Life on the Line - Grant Achatz - Page 4

post #46 of 56
I have the book, but not the time to read it, yet. I may move it up on my to-read-list so that I get to it soon. The reviews here have piqued my interest.
post #47 of 56
I just finished Manton's copy. A few observations:

- I did not stain or crease any of the pages.
- This was a quick read. It looks fairly robust, but the material on the pages is not. Take from that what you will.
- During the cancer talk, you could have taken the word 'Grant' and replaced it with 'Marsha' or 'Juan' or any other name and I think the story would have changed only marginally. How tragic that he couldn't eat or taste. It's no more pleasant if you're not a chef.
- And though he couldn't taste for so long, it's clear that he has constantly had a bitter aftertaste from Trotter that has been with him for years.
- Like Manton said, I agree that it seems like a lot of details were left out because he knew they'd make him look bad.
- I actually preferred reading the stuff by the money partner, Nick. Yes, he's a prick at times, but I am around people like this every day so it really doesn't bother me.
- I really would have appreciated more insight or thought into why he does what he does. But at the same time I am glad he didn't feel the need to get all philosophical. I heard Ferran Adria speak recently, and unprompted he got all philosophical about our perceptions, experiences, and interactions with water - but he could never connected the dots on any of the long winded sentences he produced. Kant would be dissapoint.
- It's clear that I'd never be fit to work there: every few weeks, some dish or glass or something inevitably breaks. This would, apparently, be the length of my employment.
- I thought one part was a little funny - he described the sheer enjoyment he had dining at TFL for the very first time with his dad, and then it was clear how humbling it was when Keller picked up the check. I found it to be an interesting contrast to Alinea's "favors to our biggest VIP's? ... that's something we just don't do."
- At no point did I not think of Heather as a little bit of a gold digger. And that opinion is based on my interactions with a number of the 'StarChefs' people.
post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post

- And though he couldn't taste for so long, it's clear that he has constantly had a bitter aftertaste from Trotter that has been with him for years.

With good reason...
post #49 of 56
what's the reason? He worked there for a few weeks when he was like 20. After that, maybe some small media jabs I suppose. And for someone who apparently has no problem switching one thing for another (TFL - wine - back to TFL - Trio - eff Trio, hello Alinea ... also, wife), it seems rather odd to carry this baggage around.
post #50 of 56
Well I think he worked there a total of 3 months or something... but it's been a few weeks since I finished the book.
I'm just saying, that as someone who spent a similar amount of time with Trotter, that he has a very special way of getting under your skin and making you hold a grudge when at any other time you wouldn't. The baggage I carry around from ol CT is probably just as silly to other people as Grant's is, but to me it is very real and so I kind of relate.
post #51 of 56
Can you go into more detail about CT? Or is he just a douche that you'll forever despise?
post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by randallr View Post

Can you go into more detail about CT? Or is he just a douche that you'll forever despise?

I don't want to get too far into a conversation like this, as I'd rather not talk shit on an old employer. I will just say this: Charlie himself is an enigma. He is somehow simultaneously the the most charitable, giving person I've ever met and also the biggest asshole to his employees I've ever met. He asked me if I was "fucking retarded" one day because I walked into the bar area when he was out there reading the paper. But he also gives away around $6,000 a week in free meals to local high school kids in his Excellence Program. so like I said, he's a tough guy to figure out and an even tougher guy to like.
post #53 of 56
What's wrong with walking into the bar area? Is that off limits?
post #54 of 56
Considering that it was where I did 80% of my daily work, I wouldn't have thought so.
post #55 of 56
Thread Starter 
For anyone who would like to know more about the A$$hole that is CT, read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Excellence-Charlie-Trotter-Clarke/dp/0898159083/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1311217141&sr=8-2
post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post

For anyone who would like to know more about the A$$hole that is CT, read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Excellence-Charlie-Trotter-Clarke/dp/0898159083/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1311217141&sr=8-2

That book is true though, CT has built an empire of excellence, and anything less than perfect is considered a failure there. The atmosphere is truly unlike anything else of which I've ever been a part.

What's funny is that I read this book right after the wine director called me in for an interview.....

And the book more or less played out in my experience.... "OMG OMG It's just like in the book! I have no experience but they see that I will work my ass off and do what it takes. The book is about me!"
"OMG OMG nobody's ever gone from runner to lead server as fast as I did, the book is about me!!"

And then, unfortunately, the less flattering aspects of the book proved themselves to be true.
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