Waiter to the Rich and Shameless: Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server

Waiter to the Rich and Shameless: Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server

by Paul Hartford


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Waiter to the Rich and Shameless: Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server by Paul Hartford

A down-and-out musician chops off his hair to become a server at the top of the Hollywood food chain, discovering a cloistered world of money, fame, bad behavior and intrigue.

Waiter to the Rich and Shameless is not just a peek into the secretive inner workings of a legendary five-star restaurant; it is not just a celebrity tell-all or a scathing corporate analysis. It is a top-tier waiter's personal coming-of-age story, an intimate look into the complicated challenges of serving in the country's most elite, Hollywood-centric dining room while fighting to maintain a sense of self and purpose.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692543580
Publisher: Hillhurst Literary
Publication date: 11/14/2015
Pages: 270
Sales rank: 645,689
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

Paul Hartford's work experience includes nearly twenty-three years in the high-profile service industry, catering to topline clients in various exclusive establishments.

Before his decade of service in the iconic Cricket Room, he worked in the executive dining room of a major Hollywood movie studio and spent several years as a bartender in an elite downtown nightclub.

His service career started when, as a seventeen year-old he managed to con his way into a waiter position at the Holiday Inn near Wellesley, MA by posing as an eighteen year-old. Later, as a waiter at the infamous Division Sixteen in Boston, he had to help carry Steven Tyler out of the bathroom where he had shot up and was too high to open the door or walk out on his own. This was during the time when Tyler and Joe Perry were supposedly sober and hosting alcohol-related public service announcements on local TV stations. Later in Boston, Hartford was the head waiter at the ever-trendy 29 Newbury.

He is also a noted musician and vocalist who has performed in Europe, Asia and America. He has written over 100 songs and has licensing deals with several TV shows. When he was first signed to a music production company in Miami, he had to supplement his income by working at the Village Inn where he remembers serving customers such as Andy Garcia and Kelly MacGillis.

Paul is currently writing his second screenplay as well as a pilot based on his book, Waiter to the Rich and Shameless.

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Waiter to the Rich and Shameless: Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
icarleigh More than 1 year ago
For starters, I love that this novel is based on the experiences of the Author's life. How many people can say that they read a truly great and engaging memoir? Probably not many, that's for sure. I almost cannot put into words how much I enjoyed this book. It has heart, tells a great story, and is sure to keep you on your toes and leave you always wanting more, and the more you get the more you want! The experiences described in this book are so unique and well-told that I feel like I lived them myself. I am intrigued to see more books from Paul Hartford, and I hope this book gets as successful as it deserves to be
cindyc2015 More than 1 year ago
Such an interesting and entertaining book. In this memoir, the author takes us into a coveted and rarely described job of one who actually serves top-line celebrities and wealthy moguls. I absolutely loved the anecdotes in this book, as well as Paul’s honest yet humorous voice. It’s definitely entertaining, and gives you that rare glimpse of what goes on in the lives of celebrities once they are out of the public eye with their guard down. Underneath the celebrity anecdotes lies the meat of the story. And as we shadow Paul during his evolution from broke musician to a six-figure-earning waiter we find Hartford is first very impressed, not only by his clientele but by a wage he’d never dreamed of earning in a restaurant. He and his new best friend and colleague party it up so hard you’d think they would be dead or VD ridden by morning.  But even the money, partying or expensive vacations can’t fill the void when Paul starts to look for that special someone in his life.   And as we follow along Paul’s ten year employment, his impressions of the fancy clientele, and even his resentment for the establishment's corrupt executive committee slowly fuel a gathering storm of fury. By the end of this story our protagonist Paul Hartford finally comes full circle to find his peace within himself and leaves his colleagues with a few potent lingering sentences to dwell within those restaurant walls forever, while forging a new and more self-actualized path for himself. Bravo bravo!
AllanGuld More than 1 year ago
There is a lot more going on in this story than one would expect from a book like this. Yes, it is full of celebrity anecdotes, but as fun as they are to read, they co-exist within the context of Pauli’s own coming-of-age story that is full of angst, growth and humor. His memoir also exposes his anger and disappointment with the corporate jocks who own the restaurant and dictate the ridiculous rules he must live by. Pauli takes us on an adventure that encompasses Hollywood, the music industry, the culture of five-star service and his own self-actualization. The only restaurant memoir I’ve read that comes close to keeping my attention like this was Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, and this is a match if there ever was one.
welchdesign More than 1 year ago
Exposure! Surely, the author has recorded a witty book worth reading. The secrets disclosed in this book are first hand. They were meant to teach us life lessons in a very clear manner. I am stunned by the distinctive choice of words and honesty of Paul Hartford. His writing style is well engraved to grab and maintain attention. I was powerless to this page-turner……it’s just magnificent!
AuthorBookBuzz More than 1 year ago
Welcome inside the legendary Cricket Room.  Prompted by his years as a top-tier restaurant employee, “Pauli” dishes on the challenges of serving iconic celebrities, moguls and politicians. What started as a much-needed do-over after the disbanding of a rock band, led to this coming-of-age story.  Replete with name-dropping of some of Hollywood’s elite actors who drink too much, walk out on checks, and in many ways express their disdain for the hired servants, Waiter to the Rich and Shameless is worthy of its own web series.  Even so, this isn’t  a victim’s account of the worst of the worst in Hollywood. Through all of the stress and drama, Pauli manages to entertain and, eventually, find his inner peace.  -Author and Book Buzz 
Ri_Coker More than 1 year ago
''Waiter to the Rich and Shameless'' is one of those memoirs that manage to not only entertain you, but impart a few life lessons and wisdom along the way. The book centers around author Paul Hartford's life catering to the whims of the lite of society... and all of the drama, stress, frustration and entertainment to be found from it. The well-written book keeps the reader engaged from start to finish as Mr. Hartford explores his time at The Cricket Room and all of the truly shocking events that he bore witness to. Once I started this book I really couldn't put it down, it's the kind of addictive memoir that you just have to read all in one setting because it's just too good to walk away from. Paul Hartford has a sassy, engaging, fast-paced and entertaining writing style that makes this a book true treat to read. 
Melissa Rolli More than 1 year ago
Booktasters Nonfiction (@TasteNonfiction on Twitter) connected me with author Paul Hartford who provided me a copy of "Waiter to the Rich and Shameless: Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server," and I'm thankful that they did. This was a raw, unfiltered, interesting read! Paul writes about how he, a down and out musician, cuts his hair and becomes a waiter in a very posh restaurant in Beverly Hills, the "Cricket Room," which many suspect is the Polo Lounge. He writes in detail his encounters with celebrities such as Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, Johnny Depp and even Donald Trump, including details about their clothing choices and even menu items and ingredients. Beyond just the stories of his encounters is how the author grew up through his experiences. In the beginning he is a know-it-all and a bit of a pretentious, judgmental, cocaine loving, sexist jerk. Later, he is a married man that doesn't entirely sexualize women (I only say not entirely, because he still makes some word choices that most women would rather he didn't). He becomes frustrated by the overly corporate feeling the restaurant he works at and how decisions being made from afar about the operations. I think his criticisms of the corporate decisions demonstrate how serious he takes his job and what the "Cricket Room" has come to mean to him and mirror his growing maturity.
Natasha_Hensley More than 1 year ago
Who hasn't worked food service (or retail in my case) and not felt so drained by the people you serve? "Waiter to the Rich and Shameless" by Paul Hartford is definitely interesting and so much fun to read. The Cricket Room seems both exciting and horrifying at the same time, and Pauli's celebrity stories highlight both the good and bad parts of Hollywood. It was so cool to read the quips about various celebrities, suc as Trump, Warren Beatty, Phil Spector, Charlie Sheen, and all manners of actors and rock stars. It was just as interesting to read how it effected Pauli's life and his attitude as he experienced this events. I enjoyed reading it!
Stewart777 More than 1 year ago
Great Book ...I really loved it !!!
Therin More than 1 year ago
This was a really fun read for me. In part because I'm right about the same age as the author Paul Hartford. So, his reflections on the LA rock music scene of the late 80's and early 90's resonated with me and was very amusing to read about. I also really enjoyed the style of his storytelling. Very raw and straight up without holding back. I loved his expressions and comments. I seriously laughed out loud reading about his drunken Ozzy experience and the way he mimicked the way he spoke. Hysterical! Overall, I really enjoyed all of the stories of Pauli's experiences as a waiter to the rich and shameless. It was entertaining to live vicariously through him by means of his celebrity encounters and unique work environment.
Beryl McMillan More than 1 year ago
If you've ever wanted to be bang in the middle of the celebrity world that the paparazzi inhabit, this book is going to be as close as most of us will ever get! Pauli is a waiter in a (recognisable) Beverly Hills restaurant and his tales of the often hilarious, sometimes stupid, and occasionally downright weird things that the rich and famous get up to will have you holding your sides laughing. Bringing them to life with a few quick strokes of his pen, the author proves again and again that although money can buy many things, class sure aint one of them! I really hope there's another book in the works!
SamsaraKH More than 1 year ago
If you are a celebrity or a foodie fan then you will love this! Ever wondered what celebrities get up to when we are not watching, wouldn’t you love to get a glimpse behind closed doors to judge their behaviour when the public aren’t looking? Paul Hartford takes us on a bird’s eye tour of the celebrity A and B list and shares with us not only his thoroughly entertaining memoirs but some amazing food and wine menus too. This book satisfies on so many levels, I loved reading about the celebrities and their dinner guests, but what really made this book was Paul’s story.  I worked in the service industry myself for many years and the author describes it exactly how it is, long hours, psychotic chefs and exhausted staff that grin and bear their way through the shift until eventually your knees give way and you can no longer stand for sixteen hours a day. All the heat and passion of the kitchen during service described perfectly. My favourite quote “The guests pretended to be polite, we pretended to give a shit and everyone went home happy.” Fantastic!
CourtneyLundquist More than 1 year ago
Having worked as a server myself, I never could have imagined the success one could have by merely serving food. Paul makes it as a big time server to some of Hollywood's elite. There's a great mixture of celebrity gossip mixed with Paul's own story of growing up and becoming successful and figuring himself out. You watch him grow and find the true meaning to his life, while getting an often humorous look into the lives of celebrities. It's a great insight to something that isn't often talked about; Corporate Mentality in the Restaurant Industry. I really enjoyed it!
RiverB More than 1 year ago
While “Waiter to the Rich and Shameless” isn’t something which would usually grab my attention, I was prompted by a friend to give it a go and I am glad I did, as I ended up really enjoying it. I found it interesting as soon as I started reading. The main character is very relatable; after all we’ve all been in his shoes at some point in our lives in one way or another. How many of us start off working as a food server or in an equal entry-level job while we’re just starting out and need beer money while studying or need a part time job to get by. We all had to start from somewhere and most of us, if not all of us, start in customer service somewhere down the line. The story starts out light hearted and quite funny, depicting scenes we’ve all seen when dining, such as unruly customers demanding service as if they were the only customers in the facility, or at least they wished they were. Only difference is these are all self-important celebrities who think the world does quite naturally revolve around them. The book turns into a peek behind the curtain of the rich and famous. With Paul’s first person perspective I found the story engaging and very entertaining with lots of celebrity gossip which is extremely humorous. It’s an interesting look into the potentially unguarded celebrity lifestyle we all have craved at one time or another and it really makes you think. Maybe you should think twice about the server who brought you that burger you’re eating, or the bartender who just poured you a drink while listening to you go on about your day. Maybe we should think about what we say to them and how we treat them a little more and consider that they really are like shadows, which sweep in and out seeing and hearing everything.   Who knows maybe your not-so-quiet night out with friends could be a scene brewing for a novel somewhere on a waiter’s note pad, some waiter that you never even saw, but who definitely saw you.
EtsyBrowne More than 1 year ago
Excellent read! From the start I was laughing along with the jokes and couldn’t wait to find out who would do what next.  Filled with anticipation, wanting to know who may make an appearance kept the pages turning well into the night. I just couldn’t put it down! It’s an excellent coming of age story with trials and tribulations you’ll never see coming. The name of the establishment has been masked but its ok you’ll work it out fairly quickly and that just adds to the charm, and since the celebrities are named by their real names it makes it that much more fun to read. Want to know how your favorite actor acts when he or she is not in front of the camera? Read and see if they make an appearance.  It’ll be an eye-opening encounter I’m sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually currently work as a waitress in a small restaurant and I knew this world must exist somewhere.  After all celebrities must go out and eat just like we do, but it’s always been a million miles away from me and my world. We all dream of a well-paid waitress job, well it may exist, but for all the things Pauli had to deal with I may decide my little world isn’t so bad after all. I mean really! Some of these celebrities are downright awful, while others are lovely but really they should all be fairly well behaved or is that only when their agents are there to tap the back of their knees and clip them around the ear like unruly children. The writing was excellent, the jokes even better. I was hooked as soon as I had finished the Preface and Prologue. Sneak a peek into the world of $3600 wine and lots of juicy behind the scenes antics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a blast! This was such a fun peek into a world I knew nothing about. I have several close friends who work in restaurants, but they never had stories like these to tell. This is a whole other level of “dining dish” with names like Nicole Kidman, Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe, Paris Hilton, there were so many funny anecdotes. But what surprised me was that Paul, the author managed to keep me so interested in his own growth and even his own life events throughout the book. I read the whole book in a day and a half, just couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend.