The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine (Google eBook)

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Penguin, May 19, 2005 - Cooking - 368 pages
53 Reviews
An unforgettable portrait of France’s legendary chef, and the sophisticated, unforgiving world of French gastronomy

Bernard Loiseau was one of only twenty-five French chefs to hold Europe’s highest culinary award, three stars in the Michelin Red Guide, and only the second chef to be personally awarded the Legion of Honor by a head of state. Despite such triumphs, he shocked the culinary world by taking his own life in February 2003. TheGaultMillau guidebook had recently dropped its ratings of Loiseau’s restaurant, and rumors swirled that he was on the verge of losing a Michelin star (a prediction that proved to be inaccurate).

Journalist Rudolph Chelminski, who befriended Loiseau three decades ago and followed his rise to the pinnacle of French restaurateurs, now gives us a rare tour of this hallowed culinary realm. The Perfectionist is the story of a daydreaming teenager who worked his way up from complete obscurity to owning three famous restaurants in Paris and rebuilding La Côte d’Or, transforming a century-old inn and restaurant that had lost all of its Michelin stars into a luxurious destination restaurant and hotel. He started a line of culinary products with his name on them, appeared regularly on television and in the press, and had a beautiful, intelligent wife and three young children he adored—Bernard Loiseau seemed to have it all.

An unvarnished glimpse inside an echelon filled with competition, culture wars, and impossibly high standards, The Perfectionist vividly depicts a man whose energy and enthusiasm won the hearts of staff and clientele, while self-doubt and cut-throat critics took their toll.

  

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Review: The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine

User Review  - Lynne - Goodreads

LOVED this book. It was well researched and although the basis is the life and death of Bernard Loiseau - it really is about French cuisine. The history of the Michelin stars, the history of classical ... Read full review

Review: The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine

User Review  - Carol Hukari - Goodreads

An absorbing tale of a Michelangelo chef with three stars. His rise to fame overshadowed only by his accomplishments and his untimely end. A very good read Read full review

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ILUXE CALME ET VOLUPTÉ
IICLERMONTFERRAND
IIILE GUIDE MICHELINand the others
IVAPPRENTICESHIP
Paris with Pygmalion 19721975
A Rocky Start in Saulieu 19751976
VIIBUILDING LE STYLE LOISEAU19771982
XEXIT CHANTAL ENTER DOMINIQUE
XITHE BIG PUSH
XIITHE LOISEAU DECADE
Bernards Bipolar World
XIVTHINGS FALL APART
XVDÉNOUEMENT
XVITHE THIRD LIFE OF LA CÔTE DOR
INDEX

VIIIBACHELOR DAYS IN SAULIEU19771982
IXA MARRIAGE AN ACQUISITION AND A BREAKDOWN

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About the author (2005)

Freelance writer and author, RUDOLPH CHELMINSKI has been living in Europe ever since the sixties, when he was sent to Paris as a writer for "LIFE" magazine. He has also written for "Smithsonian, Playboy, Readers Digest, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Town & Country, Fortune, Money, People, Time," and many other publications.

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