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Old 03-13-2008, 12:10 PM   #41
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I can't believe I missed this thread.

No, I don't have the book, nor have I read it. It's on my "To Do" list.

I will say this. I work as the saute cook right now. I have a salamander directly above my stovetop, and an oven (set at 550 degrees F) over by the flat-top. Many items on the menu require searing in a saute pan, flipping, then finishing in the oven or in the salamander. Not to mention the fried foods, grilled foods, and the foods cooked on the flat-top. Needless to say, I am a big believer in tongs! Over the years, I've gotten to the point where tongs are just a part of my hand now. Personally, I prefer a 9" set. There are times where I'm using a set of tongs in each hand.

Yes, I've had towels burst into flame in my hand. I've had grease spill out of a sheet pan, hit the oven mitt, and soak through. Splatters of hot grease and liquids over my hands, arms, even face!

Yes, you will "toughen up" in this industry, but, please, for goodness sake, SAFETY FIRST!
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:27 AM   #42
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I just finished the book and I was thoroughly entertained.

He DOES go out of his way to say that this isn't how ALL professional kitchens work, but I'm sure it applies to a great many of them.

And you know what? Most of it doesn't particularly bother me. I'm not a germophobe by any stretch and I'm sure far scarier things make it into my system than some recycled bread. I seldom get sick and I will generally eat anything in any country.

At any rate, he's a great writer. I liked the "why my food tastes better than yours" chapter.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:00 PM   #43
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One of our state food writers just insisted that Kitchen Confidential was the best book about the inside of a commercial kitchen and I bought it the same day I read the review. Since then my wife and I have probably both read the thing at least once a year...it's about to fall apart.

A.B.'s Les Halles is similar in that I re-read it on a fairly regular basis. I like the way it reads--it sound as if he's actually talking to me as the two of us piece together a coq au vin or french onion soup. He even gives me an authentic cussing when he suspects I've messed up and says he'll buy me a beer afterward if things go well.

What the heck, he's just a fun read and is able to teach home cooks like me that this stuff is really easy if we just lighten up and do what we're supposed to. Can't wait to read his Nasty Bits work.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:36 PM   #44
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I have a few of his books and try and catch his show whenever possible. While I read them, I can actually hear him say those things in my head! lol
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:23 PM   #45
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I've read 3 of his book now, I think, all great! He's not afraid to tell it like it is, which is a trait you find often in kitchens. Cooks can definitely be blunt to a fault, but I think that might be why it's such an enjoyable read.
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