Chefs Stories Unmasked
An entertaining collection of stories that brings us an affectionate insight into a chefs craft. Together, our finest cooks, chefs, bakers, and growers of fine food, take joy in sharing their individual journey for their love of cooking or growing healthy sustainable food, that is fundamental to support our health and wellness.
“This must-read book highlights the importance of communication, understanding, and comradery in bridging the kitchens strategies and goals with each chef. This is the key to making things happen and achieving outstanding dishes, menus, and goals. It is a well-researched, well-written, beautifully personal book that will interest budding chefs, and for chefs to bring back stirring memories of fast, noisy kitchens doing and achieving incredible things together as a team.” ~ Karen Doyle, Program Manager Le Cordon Bleu
"This book gives a great insight into what makes a chef ‘tick’, or what makes them even become chefs. For so long there has been a misunderstanding of why chefs can be so highly strung and challenging personalities.
If you take the time to read and think about some of the answers in this book it will give you insight and maybe even want to make you become a chef yourself.
Cooking is about a selfish pursuit of excellence and at the same time the total sacrifice of giving to others. That can be in your knowledge, your craft or your time.
We work in a temporary artistic medium that is only at its best for a short while. This creates pressure and frustration, previously misinterpreted as arrogance.
Through communication, care and understanding, thankfully we have moved on from those days and now can celebrate our excellence and complexity.
Reading through, I see that these are all successful chefs who have the grounding of good family support and a commitment to seeing it through. Both of these points are the keys to success.
They have evolved into the chefs they have become, through hard work and a never give up attitude.
For me it’s simple... Cooking professionally is not a job, it’s a way of life. It’s exciting and a rollercoaster but you learn about life and love along the way and that is its greatest reward.
There has never been a better time to be a chef." ~ Michael Moore, Chef/Owner O Bar and Dining in Sydney. He has owned and managed numerous top restaurants both in London and Sydney.
"This book is a must-read for anybody wanting a realistic and truthful insight into the hospitality industry. With firsthand insight from many of Australia’s leaders from all walks of the industry." ~ Liam Tomlin, International chef, restaurateur, and author who has garnered many accolades including the much-coveted 3 Hats Award and the Restaurant of the Year title. Recognized by British Airways as a member of the prestigious ‘Taste Team’. Liam now lives in Cape Town South Africa
"Congratulations Juliana, on a wonderful collection of stories from those who have served the industry on the front line. Reading through the extraordinary list of talent I am pleased to see many well-known and familiar names, many I know personally and have had the pleasure to work with and on occasion socialize with.
Many things have changed over the years and it is refreshing to see that so many chefs are now taking their own physical and mental health more seriously. They are eating better, exercising and taking time out for themselves and their families. This is fundamental in our industry where the hard work, long hours, at times harsh conditions and the elevated stress levels have claimed many relationships and sad to say even lives over the years.
As always with creative thinkers the passion levels are high and the pride in the chef whites is as strong as ever. Chefs are caring more about product and sustainability. They have respect for the food. They are conscious of food waste and maintaining the integrity of the food they produce. They are constantly pushing the envelope and coming up with new, imaginative ways of preparing and presenting food so that when the masses gather, their senses will be stimulated and the taste buds aroused. One chef commented that food is subjective and that you won’t please everyone, but that won’t stop them from trying.
Comradery within the brigade is akin to a dysfunctional family at times, but a family nonetheless. Floor staff and kitchen work together these days in a symbiotic relationship, each relying on the other to achieve their goals.
Their stories take me back to my early days, the friends I made then that I still have today. The opportunities to travel and the food! Wow. What other occupation would give you the opportunity to taste and eat such a vast array of produce from the freshest crispest apple to the sweetest seafood?
I would certainly recommend this book to anyone thinking of joining hospitality. It will change your life!" ~ Paul Butler, Food and Beverage Manager at National Press Club of Australia.
"Chefs Stories Unmasked is an essential read for anyone looking at entering into a career as a chef. The book is written well and uncovers truths of the kitchen which you would not know without industry experience. It’s the next Kitchen Confidential." ~ Roy McVeigh, Executive Chef Restaurant Eighty Eight – The Convent, Hunter Valley.
"When I read these stories and interviews it not only takes me back to hard lessons learned in the kitchen but in life as well. You shake your head and go that’s it. It’s so true. So, when you get industry mavericks, academics, superstars and quiet achievers sharing their wisdom with those who care to listen it has to have a positive outcome.
There are serendipity moments where a visit to a place, a meeting with a mentor, a life choice shared with family have sent the chef on a career path they couldn’t foresee but has shaped that person and maybe industry to be forever changed. Career paths of the successful are fascinating, but it is your own path that will be challenged and rewarded at every turn on the road to success and ultimately be interesting.
A common thread these industry enthusiasts champion is the need to create time to disengage from our work. To invest time in our families and to listen to our bodies. No doubt that the hospitality industry can be tough, but we are now smart enough to realize the need to manage our lives and careers to be balanced for ourselves.
A chef is a tradesperson you expect to follow industry standards just like your electrician. They are a craft person that practices their craft demonstrating years of skill and experience. They are artisans blending personal interpretation with visual and palate balance. They are financial magicians that somehow manage all the competing interests of a catering operation. A chef is a proud and noble pursuit and these interviews demonstrate that on a very personal level.
For myself personally, I work in a workshop, it just happens to be a kitchen. I walk in and ask, “What will I build today?” After 40 years of cooking, I’m still as engaged and enthusiastic as ever because there is always something interesting to do. Hospitality is a broad family and there is a place out there for everyone. You just have to ask yourself what you want to do." ~ Steve Baar, Executive chef at University House – a private club for academic staff at Melbourne University.