Edge-of-your-seat food writing of the highest caliber.



A vibrant portrait of the world’s most significant cooking competition, the Bocuse d’Or, in Lyon, France.

Food and tennis writer Friedman (co-author, with Pino Luongo: Dirty Dishes: A Restaurateur’s Story of Passion, Pain, and Pasta, 2008, etc.) dynamically illustrates the colorful personalities, ego-battering conflicts, career-defining aspirations, politicking, precision planning, naked missteps and the final judges’ decisions regarding the 2009 U.S. team’s shot for the culinary gold medal. “Competition doesn’t form character…Competition reveals character,” says Roland Henin, the U.S. coach, and the characters exposed beneath the stress of the 2009 competition are, in Friedman’s hands, considerable. Henin chose a triumvirate of legendary chefs as his leadership—Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and Jerome Bocuse, son of Paul Bocuse, founder of the Bocuse d’Or—and trained his team in a stage kitchen mock-up in California. The author follows Keller, Boulud and Bocuse as they assemble and obsessively train the strongest team of American chefs the 22-year-old competition has seen. Timothy Hollingsworth and Adina Guest, both veterans of Keller’s restaurant The French Laundry, prepared painstakingly for what Hollingsworth would later describe as “the hardest thing he’s ever done.” Friedman expertly builds the dramatic tension to the surprising conclusion. Like the raucous Bocuse d’Or itself, the writing is simultaneously athletic and infused with a gastronome’s passion. Snappy, well-timed dialogue keeps the narrative simmering briskly. Precisely rendered portrayals of ingredients, dishes, kitchen jargon, exotic foreign locales and the politics of international cuisine are aptly balanced with plenty of insider detail and mainstream accessibility. The book is infused with the muscular, meticulous gusto of a sportswriter covering the Olympics.

Edge-of-your-seat food writing of the highest caliber.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4391-5307-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2009

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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