misadventures of a jalapeno popper from too-stoned, arizona
Do NOT buy this book if you’re looking for recipes, anecdotes, or warm and fuzzy tales of communal mastication. This is not a memoir written by a world-renowned, critically-acclaimed chef. It is not the story of a life before rising to fame.
Laminating Daniel is the candid recounting of the sometimes-sobering experiences and generally-intoxicated escapades, from Arizona to New York and back again, of one who’s spent more than two decades in the food service industry with little to no formal recognition. Which is probably something much closer to what most kitchen folks tend to experience.
DO buy this book if you grew up watching PBS cooking shows and Food Network before everything became a competition. DO buy this book if you are also not a world-renowned, critically acclaimed chef, cook, baker, server, bartender, dishwasher, manager, owner, foodie, gourmand, gourmet, wannabe, burnout, delivery driver, sales rep, porter, mechanic, or all-around maintenance guy. Also, DO buy this book if you just want to buy it, and feel free to give it as a gift to anyone and everyone you think might find it enjoyable deplorable adorable.
poetry unintended for the faint of heart
Pairing a phenomenological approach with outright sensationalism, Dark Wander intentionally blurs the line between the artistic license of fiction and the searing honesty of autobiographical reflection:
Steve sired a child but Kayla was just a girl at the time.
Jamaal hardly knew better: He listened to his mother his whole life, all the way to the end.
Avadore thought she knew more but really all she knew was that which happened behind closed doors.
Reese was a wanderer, a hard-drinking man who lost his step-father to suicide and his mother to vehicular manslaughter.
Valerie dated Adam but but Valerie and Adam were figments of an imagination.
The man was not the boy's father but he taught him about weakness, even as he battled his own demons and the boy became a young man.
Thematically skewed toward the morbid sordid depths of the human mind and ability, de Martinez offers an unconventional collection of nontraditional, character-centric free verse and prose poetry, “unintended for the faint of heart”.
bare bones kitchen basics
the Cook's Book
Comprised of three essays and an open letter, a section regarding common techniques and terminology to be found in the professional kitchen, and a listing and explanation of The Rules, the Cook's Book is a small volume that packs a mighty punch: Two decades of professional kitchen experience, including much time in the middling positions of line cook and prep cook, the Cook's Book is a kitchen exposition that is meant to be instructive, informative, and innovative.
In "The Kitchen as a Braise", de Martinez not only delineates the technical methodology of preparing a braised dish, but correlates the braised dish to the crew that comprises almost any given kitchen. "Making Things Happen" is a dryly motivational piece about doing anything and everything you can, as a cook, not only to fulfill the orders, but to recognize that every situation, whether customer-, server-, manager-, or fellow cook-related, is going to be different and that yes, you can and will get through it intact.
Meanwhile, the first and foremost of the rules puts forth that any kitchen's success is the result of team efforts; that you can never do too much in the kitchen; and that there is no such thing as perfection. Intended to be read, followed, enjoyed and possibly hated by all cooks and chefs alike, the Cook's Book is a must-have not only for any aspiring back-of-the-house foodservice employee, but also for those who've established themselves, those who are finding themselves, and those tasked with training others to do the same.