If you don’t know your Cantu from your Kato, or your Goldsmith from your Goldfarb, a good primer is the new book by online chef-worship magazine StarChefs, Chefs to Know. The subtitle is A Guide to Chefs for Chefs, and indeed, as Epi-Log points out, the book “includes some information that a recent culinary-school graduate would find invaluable, such as contact information, which chefs welcome interns and stages, and what the chefs like to ask of potential employees during interviews.”
StarChefs posts a couple of excerpted pages from the book on its site, but annoyingly they’re on chefs I’ve personally never heard of. It’d be a lot juicier if the pages featured some of the better-known cooks in the book, like Alice Waters and Thomas Keller, since Epi-Log claims that the tome digs up some very interesting factoids: “Anthony Bourdain weeds out Grateful Dead and Billy Joel fans and asks applicants to make him an omelet; David Burke simply asks: ‘What’s your biggest f**k-up?’”
Hmm, sounds good. Even the irascible Regina Schrambling seemed to like it, calling the book “fat-with-details” and “handy.” “I would say it’s intended for Trotter wannabes, but for some reason Charlie is not among the 500-some ‘Chefs to Know,’” she writes. “The birth years alone are fascinating. … I rode home flipping pages and taking comfort in how many chefs are actually my age or older in a young guys’ game.”
Wow, a positive review from Regina Schrambling. This book must really be something.