Conversations Behind the Kitchen Door
Morgan James Publishing (2022)
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (08/2022)
5*Learning the secrets of the (food) stars
“Conversations Behind the Kitchen Door: 50 American Chefs Chart Today’s Food Culture” is Emmanuel Laroche’s compilation of interviews and conversations from his podcast “Flavors Unknown” with chefs and bartenders and really anyone serious about the art of food and drink. Laroche has over twenty-five years of experience on the marketing side of food and drink and is transparent with himself from the beginning of the book by explaining his (literal) beginning in the world, including how his love of food came to be.
Within the pages, Laroche dives into topics and questions related to the makings of a chef, inspiration needed and gained, mother nature’s help, food’s influence on cultures, creations versus the creative process, the art of making people happy versus just cooking, and the life-skills the kitchen can teach both those willing and unknowing. Needless to say, the questions and conversations go past surface-level and into job interview-style questions and answers. It is evident that among the many chefs and restauranteurs included in the book, that food is a central and important part of their lives and can’t be helped but must be shared with the public. Included at the end of the book is a QR code for a free surprise gift from the author and his chef-friends!
Reading through “Conversations Behind the Kitchen Door,” the reader will gain a (new?) appreciation for food in general, along with an understanding of the power that food plays in both individual and group lives. The writing is both informational, with facts and quotes, as well as an enjoyable experience, reminiscent of sitting down with a friend and learning of their genuine thoughts and feelings. Quotes from chefs are scattered throughout, along with tips and tricks related to food, possibly dining, ordering, or preparing food across the globe.
Laroche gives credit where it is due and does well to introduce each person at the beginning of the new chapter and provides ample details about them throughout. Before, during, and after your reading experience, you will most likely feel that you are given a heavy burden of knowing famous chefs’ secrets; use them wisely to share with others or improve your own life in every aspect. Food lovers, non-food lovers (what?) and those in between, curious to learn what all the talk is about will enjoy “Conversations.” The content will prove timeless in its practical application to people’s lives, and the fact that food is never going out of style.