The Perfectionist

The Perfectionist

Life and Death in Haute Cuisine

Book - 2005
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An unforgettable portrait of France’s legendary chef, and the sophisticated, unforgiving world of French gastronomyBernard Loiseau was one of only twenty-five French chefs to hold Europe’s highest culinary award, three stars in the Michelin Red Guide, and only the second chef to be personally awarded the Legion of Honor by a head of state. Despite such triumphs, he shocked the culinary world by taking his own life in February 2003. The GaultMillauguidebook had recently dropped its ratings of Loiseau’s restaurant, and rumors swirled that he was on the verge of losing a Michelin star (a prediction that proved to be inaccurate).Journalist Rudolph Chelminski, who befriended Loiseau three decades ago and followed his rise to the pinnacle of French restaurateurs, now gives us a rare tour of this hallowed culinary realm. The Perfectionistis the story of a daydreaming teenager who worked his way up from complete obscurity to owning three famous restaurants in Paris and rebuilding La Côte d’Or, transforming a century-old inn and restaurant that had lost all of its Michelin stars into a luxurious destination restaurant and hotel. He started a line of culinary products with his name on them, appeared regularly on television and in the press, and had a beautiful, intelligent wife and three young children he adored—Bernard Loiseau seemed to have it all.An unvarnished glimpse inside an echelon filled with competition, culture wars, and impossibly high standards, The Perfectionistvividly depicts a man whose energy and enthusiasm won the hearts of staff and clientele, while self-doubt and cut-throat critics took their toll. Advance Praise for THE PERFECTIONIST " Chelminski gets right to the heart of what it takes to get--and hold on to--three Michelin stars. The Perfectionistis a knowledgeable, wise, unsparing yet sympathetic portrait of a great chef at a crossroads in culinary history. Few other writers have taken us as deeply--or as unblinkingly--into the real business of haute cuisine. One of the finest and most incisive portraits of a chef ever written--and a sobering account of the real human costs of being the best. A book as strong on "who" cooks as "what" is cooking. Absolutely fascinating from its beginnings--to its tragic end."--Anthony Bourdain, author of the New York Timesbestseller Kitchen Confidential “Rudolph Chelminski is an excellent and absorbing writer who obviously understands the inner workings of the culinary world, as well as how chefs think. His empathy for the industry as a whole - and for Bernard Loiseau in particular - makes The Perfectionista fascinating read. Bernard’s death is a tragedy that I have struggled with; Mr. Chelminski’s book made me finally understand why it occurred.”—Daniel Boulud, Chef/Owner DANIEL, author of Letters to a Young Chefand Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud Cookbook "As someone who spent a year with Bernard Loiseau and wrote his own book about the remarkable chef, I read this account with great interest. It is a tour de force - a story of the universal quest for perfection and French gastronomy's battle to continue defining haute cuisine for the rest of the world."--William Echikson, author of Burgundy Starsand Noble Rot: A Bordeaux Wine Revolution “This fascinating account about the top dogs on the French food scene is brilliant in its circumstantial detail. To gain recognition as one of the world's great chefs merely anticipates the unceasing challenge to stay out front as a successful restaurateur. The struggle was too much for the Cote d'Or super star, Bernard Loiseau. The tragedy plays out in Burgundy, France, but Rudy Chelminksi's gripping story serves as a global morality tale about the perils of g
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Gotham Books, c2005.
ISBN: 9781592401079
1592401074
Characteristics: xi, 354 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Life and death in haute cuisine

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