Generation Chef: Risking It All for a New American Dream

Karen Stabiner. Avery, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-58333-580-2
Journalist and author Stabiner (Family Table) presents this exhaustive and fascinating account of how 20-something chef Jonah Miller elbowed his way onto New York City’s competitive culinary stage. Stabiner, who teaches food journalism at Columbia University, captures every moment of drama in the daunting and Byzantine process of establishing Huertas, Miller’s Spanish restaurant in the East Village. Miller has been working towards this dream since he was 14 years old, and Stabiner does great justice to both his determination and creative flair. Stabiner’s narrative offers an excellent window into the world of bussers, dishwashers, line cooks, waiters, landlords, inspectors, and community board members. Stabiner creates tension for the reader as Miller and his business partner, Nate Adler, await the first wave of New York’s fickle, fashion-seeking patrons; weather a terrifying summer lull; and await the potentially life-changing visit from a New York Times reviewer. These are just three of the steps along a tortuous path of high-stakes tests that Miller must pass simply to stay in business for the first year. Stabiner takes the reader beyond the shiny surface of food celebrity and Instagrammed plates to expose the beating hearts of those who get up every day to create something inspiring for strangers to consume. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2016
Release date: 09/13/2016
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-7352-1767-6
Show other formats
Discover what to read next