Playing with Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast by Thomas G. Schaudel

Playing with Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast
Thomas G. Schaudel
Legwork Team Publishing (2008)
ISBN 9781604813623
Reviewed by Danelle Drake for Reader Views (2/09)


One of my most favorite activities is to visit the best of restaurants.  Not only do we love those swank fancy places, as they are good, but those little hole-in-the-wall spots that seem to have patrons bursting at the seams are my all time favorites.  Here in Asheville there are loads of hip restaurants to choose from that span the array, but we seem to prefer the one where the guy at the grill has a thing for his customers.  He knows most of his customers by name, knows what we want and how we want it and knows that we need two beef patties to-go for our doggies at home.  When I opened “Playing with Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast” I quickly realized that all great restaurants are just as crazy as my all-time favorite.  I also realized that if Thomas Schaudel was located anywhere remotely near me I would have a new favorite.  Would it be politically correct to say I am in love with the guy???

Crazy customer after psychotic wait staff after weary cook will have you rolling in the floor laughing.  “Foodies” will love this book – my husband who prefers cooking great food just as much as drinking great drink couldn’t put it down.  Each of us have read it and then read our favorite parts to our friends sitting around the fire in the yard during a dinner party.

Mr. Schaudel has a knack for writing; he tells it like it is with no sugar-coating, just the facts in a to-the-point style.  I love to read memoirs, they are my all-time favorite, and this one shows his passion for what he is all about.  “Playing with Fire” is entertaining and runs the gamut of Thomas Schaudel wide array of experiences in the restaurant business.  I kept finding myself wondering, “How in the hell could someone act like that?”  When you think you have read it all…turn the page.  You are guaranteed not to stop laughing.  Did I say I am in love with this guy???  I was never a groupie for any rock-band, but I just may be one now….for the Culinary King.

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