Why restaurants were an unlikely career choice for these top chefs


Most of America’s top chefs didn’t come from a line of gourmet cooks, or even have a deep affinity for food, according to chef insider Andrew Friedman, author of the book “Chefs, Drugs & Rock and Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession,”. Rather, it was the energetic, unconventional style of the kitchen that lured many of them into the profession in the 1970s and ‘80s.

“They went into the kitchen, they liked the hours, they liked that you could tell the jokes during your job. You didn't have to get dressed up to go there.” Friedman explained to SalonTV’s Manny Howard on “Salon Talks." “They liked that you got off work at midnight and went out and had beers with the people you worked with, and some of those people became our best chefs.”

On the flip side, Friedman pointed out, there was also a more academic sect of cuisine culture. “Those are the people who went to the Culinary Institute of America or went and did what we call a stage, or an unpaid apprenticeship or internship in France. They would sort of do French cuisine initially, but then they started to find their own style.”

Watch the full episode to hear Friedman talk about the rise of celebrity chefs and how Anthony Bourdain’s death had an immense impact on the global chef community.


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