A bold account of how a professionally trained chef found his calling in the return to simpler, homestyle cooking that...

L.A. SON

MY LIFE, MY CITY, MY FOOD

Street-wise, honest in its admission of trials and punctuated with vernacular swagger, Choi’s debut pays tribute to family and his enduring fascination with the melting pot of Los Angeles.

Named Best New Chef by Food & Wine in 2010, the author is the co-founder and co-owner of Kogi BBQ, Chego! and other restaurants. With co-writers Nguyen and Phan, Choi recounts key moments during his childhood and teenage years as the son of Korean immigrants who ran the Silver Garden restaurant and whose path from apartments in Koreatown to a mansion in Mission Viejo was marked by turmoil and adventuresome forays in the jewelry trade. Choi’s experiences of love, success, failure, duty and the culture shock of upward mobility during the 1980s set the stage for drug experimentation and gambling addiction. Later chapters detail the sudden realization that led him to the Culinary Institute of America in New York, his apprenticeship and his rise in the restaurant industry. Choi presents the impressive turnaround with gratitude and panache, which balance an otherwise casual tone rife with expletives. Dozens of recipes range from indulgent cheap eats, such as instant ramen with sliced cheese, to more complex fare, including duck breast and beef medallions. From deli-style pecan pie to eggplant curry, kimchi jjigae to carne asada, Choi’s eclectic selections are not intended to showcase his finest repertoire; they represent tried-and-true comfort foods that have sustained him at varying stages during his life. Using memory as a guide, this highly personal tour of LA and New York reveals pockets of ingenuity in vibrant, sometimes-rough neighborhoods.

A bold account of how a professionally trained chef found his calling in the return to simpler, homestyle cooking that bridges cultures and appeals to everyday customers.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-220263-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Anthony Bourdain/Ecco

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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