Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tasty Tales: Four Stars for Service Included!
For all you foodies out there (or those who dream of becoming one), Phoebe Damrosch gives a great glimpse into the world of fine dining in her book Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of An Eavesdropping Waiter. As a former member of the service staff at Per Se in New York, Damrosch’s memoir includes an extremely accurate portrayal of the guts and glory of working in the restaurant industry, particularly the preparation behind creating a perfectly choreographed dining room. Sharing her trials and tribulations with a most witty writing style, she divulges the intricate details of the training she endured to become a captain in one of New York’s finest restaurants, the quirky guests she encounters along the way and her love affair with one of the restaurant’s sommeliers. From attempting to recreate Chef Thomas Keller’s salmon cornets to serving New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni to scouring the city to settle a bet over the best bone marrow, her tales are charming and make readers truly appreciate pristine food and flawless service. An added bonus –Damrosch’s sprinkling of snarky comments kept a smile on my face throughout the book. This is also a great learning tool for those who haven’t spent time in restaurant kitchens or are about to embark on a culinary career – Damrosch does an excellent job of explaining kitchen lingo and even offers up “dos and don’ts” for diners at the end of each chapter.