Fried: Surviving Two Centuries in Restaurants

Overview

For two hundred years, a rogues' gallery of chefs, line cooks, and dishwashers have slaved away, largely unseen, to serve the dining public. Their pedigrees reach back to the first restaurants during the reign of France's Louis XVI and extend to the Delmonico brothers in New York, Escoffier in Paris, and, in Fried: Surviving Two Centuries in Restaurants, a renegade cook in Minneapolis walking like a duck with a whole, raw salmon on his head.

Author and professional chef Steve ...

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Fried: Surviving Two Centuries in Restaurants

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Overview

For two hundred years, a rogues' gallery of chefs, line cooks, and dishwashers have slaved away, largely unseen, to serve the dining public. Their pedigrees reach back to the first restaurants during the reign of France's Louis XVI and extend to the Delmonico brothers in New York, Escoffier in Paris, and, in Fried: Surviving Two Centuries in Restaurants, a renegade cook in Minneapolis walking like a duck with a whole, raw salmon on his head.

Author and professional chef Steve Lerach first stepped through the swinging kitchen doors when he was in high school, starting as a dishwasher, and he never left. He introduces us to an old potwasher who did time for bootlegging, a stuttering Irish chef who collected funds for the bomb throwers of the IRA, and a gay Vietnam vet who found a measure of acceptance only in restaurants.

Lerach humorously and poignantly interweaves restaurant legend and lore with his own experiences, exposing similarities not only of profession but of the diverse characters who work the back of the house. Though funny and simply fun to read, these tales often end in tragedy, as various actors succumb to their excesses. Lerach serves up glimpses of the hard work, camaraderie, and satisfaction that distinguish careers in what may arguably be called the world's second-oldest profession.

Steve Lerach worked for over thirty years in the food industry, eventually running twelve kitchens at the University of Minnesota. He now teaches aspiring chefs at the Art Institutes International Minnesota.

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Editorial Reviews

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Notwithstanding the subtitle, author Steve Lerach has not spent two centuries in restaurants. However, his resume does include more than 30 years in the culinary trade, including stints as an executive chef in restaurants, clubs, hotels, and health care. He also served as the University of Minnesota Campus executive chef, overseeing all 12 of the college's kitchens. In Fried, he interweaves stories from restaurant history with anecdotes about his own varied experiences in the cooking trade. An engaging snapshot history of a profession we often take for granted.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873516327
  • Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,523,089
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Amuse-bouche: Whetting the appetite without jading the palate 3

1 Hors d'Oeuvre: A course that sets the course 7

2 Entree: New flavors in old forms 31

3 Poisson: Things begin to get fishy 53

4 Plat Principal: Right in the middle of things 77

5 Salade: We toss a few more things in 101

6 Fromage: Some cheesy pleasures 131

7 Dessert: The sweet, but also the bitter 157

Digestif: Settling the stomach, splitting the check 183

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