Life as a waitress, told by a waitress. Debra Ginsberg relates her story of 20 years working in various restaurants. Like many in the business, she wa...moreLife as a waitress, told by a waitress. Debra Ginsberg relates her story of 20 years working in various restaurants. Like many in the business, she was just "waiting" until a better career came along. Anyone who has worked in the service industry will be able to relate to this memoir. (less)
Started out as a blog... should have stayed a blog.
"The waiter" is your stereotypical waiter... an artist who's just serving to bide the time til the...moreStarted out as a blog... should have stayed a blog.
"The waiter" is your stereotypical waiter... an artist who's just serving to bide the time til their big break. This is a decent book, but well below the calibre of Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. I'd also recommend Debra Ginsberg's Waiting above this.
There's a Catch-22 regarding books about waiting... the ideal audience would be the arrogant, rude customers that treat waiters like crap. The thinking being that this can be a warning to all customers to treat their servers better. However, those people don't want to read about waiters; to them, waiters are beneath them. Why would they want to read about them?
The true demographic that would be interested in the topic is, of course, people who are or have been waiters. There's nothing better than exchanging war stories with other people in the know. (If a book was ever written by an actuary depicting the hardships that they face on a regular basis, I'm sure it would be a best-seller among fellow actuaries.) But I don't think outsiders can appreciate the tales fully without previous similar experiences to compare to.
Unfortunately, "the waiter" has now been given a chance to pursue his life's goal... being a writer. He's taken this opportunity to try to pepper his restaurant woes with colorful metaphors, similes, personification, and whatever other random writing bits he knows. It comes off as a waiter pretending to be a writer.
I may be very late coming to this book, but I found it, well, awesome. Anthony Bourdain is pretty much the anti-Emeril. He pretty much scoffs at the...moreI may be very late coming to this book, but I found it, well, awesome. Anthony Bourdain is pretty much the anti-Emeril. He pretty much scoffs at the concept of the super-star chef. He does mention a few chefs that he does consider to be incredible cooks, but they are not the Food Network crowd.
I loved getting my hands on a food book that is not a cook book. It's basically a travel log / war memoir / how-to manual based on the life of a line-cook en route to chefdom.
This book is brutally, harshly honest in the true-life conditions of most american restaurant kitchens. It is also very accurate in the off-the-wall idiosyncratic personalities that populate those kitchens. It amazes me that a livelihood that is so shady and, at times, despicable, is often glorified as an idyllic life.
Bourdain has proved that he is no only a good cook and a competent chef. He is a talented wordsmith as well.(less)