Did you notice that everyone is obsessed with food? Seriously this is getting really out of control, people! Food is all over the social media and internet and Chefs have become proper celebrities! Yes of course I am kidding I should be the first one to know because of my Food Network adventure and Cooking in Manhattan. An essential element of our lives, preparing food to eat, has become a phenomenon, more than just a normal step of our daily routine. I am not sure this glamorization of food is a good thing because some people are actually intimidated by cooking more than before (and obviously with Cooking In Manhattan we dispel most of the cooking myths and make the process more accessible and approachable). But this trend is very recent, say the past 15 years… so the question is: what about the past? Were chefs and cooks considered celebrities? Because we know all about the Bourdains, Flays, Collicchios, Kenneys and Conants of our world but we know little about the inventor of Peking Duck, the creator of Kimchi, the first chef cooking on a train, the best confectioner in the world or the creator of culinary cubism. Some chefs are overexposed so it’s time to expose the lives and times of notorious cooks from the past!
Brendan Connell follows in the steps of Tom Standage and many other food historian to tell the tale of these FICTIONAL cooks from the past in “Lives of notorious cooks“. The book is a divertissement that gives these “cooks” the celebrity chef treatment, telling you about their origins and specialty along with some really fun details about their fictional lives. Not only this book is a fun read, but it’s hilarious to see how Connell created quirky characters, outlandish recipes and grotesque and bizarre stories. All the chefs are inspired, by the gods, by alcohol or just by their passion and Connell created a microcosmos that is really interesting, fun and momerable. Whether you want to read this book as a commentary on the celebrity chef phenomenon or just for a good laugh, it is a very witty and imaginative read and you will want to know if the modern times celebrity chefs have the same quirks as the fictional cooks. But something tells me that the fictional cooks are MUCH more interesting!