Bookshop's Reviews > Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes From The World's Greatest Chefs

Don't Try This At Home by Kimberly Witherspoon
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Jul 22, 08

bookshelves: delicious-reads
Read in July, 2008

The book contains essays from famous chefs about their culinary disasters. Due to the sheer amount of writers, the result is unavoidably a mixed bag. Some, such as David Thompson and Anthony Bourdain, are great writers. Others miss the theme. The rest should not be allowed to write.

The tales range from the tame (mostly about brawls in the kitchen ala Kitchen Confidential) to the outrageous (hiring a blind cook? Perhaps Chef Hamilton was forced by political correctness not to ask for any illness during a job interview?). Some (eg. Mario Batali) appear to write this just to get back to their boss as they are still bitter about the experience.

However, chefs are a funny bunch. It’s entertaining to read the snippets of their habit through the answers of the following questions. Answers are all mine:

a. what do you eat for breakfast? [Muesli with yoghurt or milk on weekdays, something luxurious like pancake, omelet, fruits, the works, for weekends:]

b. what dish would you cook in order to seduce someone? [Hmm…. My husband was seduced by my mother’s Hakka’s stewed bacon in preserved veggie (Khiew Nyuk). Does that count?:]

c. what do you never cook? [Never say never but for now… rabbit?:]

d. What’s the one dish you find hard to get right? [Chinese-style Fried Noodle. It’s impossible to get the right smokiness and to get the ingredients properly scattered among the noodle strands. Mine sits at the bottom of the pan.:]

It’s a nice, easy read. But borrow, don’t buy.
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