Review: Generation Chef: Risking It All for a New American Dream

On August 20, 2016 by Dawn

Generation Chef: Risking It All for a New American Dream
Generation Chef: Risking It All for a New American Dream by Karen Stabiner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“I want to open my own place someday.”

It’s a familiar line to folks in the restaurant industry.

Running your own place is to have your hands untied, to be free to create, to do it your way, with your hand-picked brigade calling back “Oui Chef” or “Fuck off, Chef” based on your own personal inclination. Its also the risk of a lifetime, where you can literally lose your shirt overnight.

Stabiner ghosts along behind Chef Jonah Miller as he opens Huertas, in NY’s East Village, documenting each fright and frustration of his startup. From fund-raising to finding a stable clientèle Miller always knew it would be hard work. Maybe he even knew it would be this hard. But that knowledge can never match the reality, neither high nor low.

Generation Chef is a wonderfully readable account the journey, without being hysterical or arch. I for one have a new appreciation of what it takes to be the hot new spot in town, and how much work it takes to not fizzle out, even when (almost) everything goes right.

Great read for my fellow foodies.

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