Back of the House: The Secret Life of a Restaurant

Scott Haas. Berkley, $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-25610-7
Adding another addition to the long line of books about restaurants, chefs, and chefs in their restaurants, Haas focuses on Tony Maws, the chef of Craigie on Main, a buzzy place in Cambridge, Mass., that specializes in "obviously offbeat" American cuisine "like pig's head and other odd ingredients." While Haas's book could educate (or warn) some readers about what happens in the kitchen—apparently, a lot of yelling—other books make the same point more vividly, such as Anthony Bourdain's now-classic Kitchen Confidential. Haas, a clinical psychologist, insists both on analyzing the chef and inserting himself unnecessarily into the book. The analysis drags the books down, but a sudden digression towards the end is worse: Haas visits New York and interviews several of his famous chef friends, including Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller. Both of these chefs are far more intriguing than Maws, and readers may find themselves disappointed to have to return to Boston and more psychoanalysis, rather than learn more from those culinary notables. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 02/01/2013
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-61927-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-4228-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-1228-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-6228-2
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.