John McNeilly's Reviews > The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine

The Perfectionist by Rudolph Chelminski
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May 02, 2008

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Read in March, 2007

If you’ve perused my “books to read” section, you’ll immediately notice I'm a foodie. Lately I've been gobbling up any and all books about chefs and cooking (with Anthony Bourdain emerging as my favorite – believe it or not, the guy writes really well and he's funny as hell). This book chronicles the life of one of France’s most famous and decorated chefs who dreamed since childhood of creating and owning a 3-star Michelin guide restaurant – the very pinnacle of success in France, who, as well all know (or should know), is obsessed with haute cuisine in the way we are obsessed about professional football. The book follows his fanatical quest to achieve this life-long dream and sadly shows how the pressures and stresses associated with gaining and holding onto such achievements, ultimately leads to tragedy. Chelminski is a fine writer, and often very witty, but I have a serious complaint about its length and windiness. This book easily could have been reduced by a third, and should have been. However, if you like professional cooking, and want to get into the head and obsessions of one of the world's finest chefs, I recommend this book. If you're not into any of those things, I don’t think you’d make it past the first few pages.
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message 1: by Petra X (new)

Petra X I like foodie books too - but thanks for the warning about windiness.

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