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Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll

How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession

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About the Book

Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll transports readers back in time to witness the remarkable evolution of the American restaurant chef in the 1970s and 1980s. Andrew Friedman goes inside Chez Panisse and other Bay Area restaurants to show how the politically charged backdrop of Berkeley helped spark this new profession; into the historically underrated community of Los Angeles chefs, including a young Wolfgang Puck; and into the clash of cultures between established French chefs in New York City and the American game changers behind the Quilted Giraffe, River Café, and other storied establishments. Along the way, the chefs, their struggles, their cliques, and, of course, their restaurants are brought to life in vivid, memorable detail. As the ’80s unspool, we watch the profession evolve as American masters like Thomas Keller rise, and watch the genesis of a “chef nation” as chefs start crisscrossing the country for work and special events and legendary hangouts like Blue Ribbon become social focal points, all as the industry-altering Food Network shimmers on the horizon.

A (mostly) oral history told primarily in the words of the people who lived it—from writers like Ruth Reichl to chefs like Jeremiah Tower and Jonathan Waxman—Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll treats readers to an unparalleled 360-degree re-creation of the industry and the times through the perspectives not only of the pioneering chefs but also of line cooks, front-of-house personnel, investors, and critics who had front-row seats to this extraordinary transformation.

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Critical Praise

“An intriguing perspective on a profession that very quickly captivated our attention—a great gift idea for the foodie in the house.” —Kirkus

“On every page, there’s a snippet of information or a revelation from a juicy interview that pro¬vides color and context for some of the most important, formative moments in American culinary history.” —Dana Cowin, author of Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen

“...Turn away from your favorite chef ’s Instagram feed and turn the pages of this wonderfully written chronicle of the birth of a nation of foodies.” —Rocco DiSpirito, chef and healthy lifestyle crusader

“A wonderfully interesting and absorbing read. Not just another account of the American food revolution, but a whole new assessment that relates developments in food to the culture of the 1970s and 1980s generally.” —Paul Freedman, author of Ten Restaurants That Changed America

“Andrew Friedman has taken on the responsibility of helping to make sure that this generation of chefs and restaurateurs, as well as our guests, understands what came before us. And thank goodness for that, because it’s important that we look back before we move forward. This book rocks.” —Will Guidara, restauranteur, Eleven Madison Park, the Nomad, Made Nice

“In the 1970s, a revolution started that is still building today. In his deeply researched Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll, Andrew Friedman brings vividly to life the pioneers who made this happen.” —Russ Parsons, author of How to Pick a Peach

“Andrew Friedman’s genuine curiosity and deep admiration for chefs and the American restaurant industry have enabled him to capture some of the greatest history of our times.” —Michael Anthony, executive chef, Gramercy Tavern

“Andrew Friedman’s new book is impressive; the depth of research is quite astonishing. I haven’t read anything like it.” —Ruth Reichl, food writer

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062225856
  • ISBN 10: 0062225855
  • Imprint: Ecco
  • On Sale: 02/27/2018
  • Pages: 480
  • List Price: 34.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: COOKING / History
  • BISAC2: COOKING / Individual Chefs & Restaurants
  • BISAC3: HISTORY / Social History

Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll by Andrew Friedman

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