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Cutting It Fine: Inside the Restaurant Business [Paperback]

Andrew Parkinson , Jonathon Green
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Jun 2002
How do you cost a menu? What happens if everyone orders the sea bass? What happens if no one orders the sea bass? How do you deal with a complaint about food poisoning? How indeed can five people in a small hot kitchen produce great food for hundreds of people at twenty minutes' notice? Leading chef Andrew Parkinson answers all the questions we have ever pondered, and reveals in telling detail each bit of the everyday magic involved in running a successful restaurant.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (6 Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099283727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099283720
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 860,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Tells you everything you want to know about what goes on in the kitchen... Parkinson is a professional to his scarred fingertips, and impressively honest" (Independent)

"Packed with good information, with plenty of enlightening detail about what it's really like to work in a London kitchen. Anyone who works at the coalface of the capital's restaurant scene should buy this book. It will tell you more than Kitchen Confidential ever could about the realities of kitchen work" (Time Out)

"This detailed account painstakingly punctures the idea of cheffing as a glamorous profession. The hard, repetitive work is conveyed in all its tedium - and adrenalin-fuelled excitement" (Guardian)

"An English equivalent of Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential" (Independent)

"A warts-and-all account of the real world beyond the kitchen door" (Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

The restaurant business from the inside - the only book that tells it how it really is.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
An excellent book which finally gives the reader with no experience of the hotel and restaurant trade a clear (and unvarnished) insight into the world of the professional chef. The authors concentrate on explaining in detail how an aspiring chef works his way up the hierarchy, what he or she can expect in terms of reward and working conditions, the day-to-day running of different types of kitchen, including how the materials are sourced, menus compiled, recruitment and staffing problems overcome and how and why businesses succeed or fail in this toughest and most fascinating of professions.
I have never come across a more readable book on the subject, or one which goes into this level of detail: in fact, I don't believe there is another book which gives the reader such a clear picture of how the trade in Britain actually works, with many real-life anecdotes - a welcome change from Sunday supplement gastroporn.
Anthony Bourdain's 'Kitchen Confidential' comes close, is great fun, but is American, and concentrates more heavily on the outrageous personal lives of the kitchen staff. 'Cutting It Fine' is more than fun: it's genuinely useful. I wouldn't hesitate to give this to any teenager thinking of entering the trade. Well done Parkinson and Green.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not as revealing as I had hoped 11 Aug 2008
Reads like an unedited transcript of a middle-of-the-road chef boring on into a tape recorder. Lacks the charisma, stories and surprises of Bordain. Too many statements of the obvious. I'm sure that it does capture the reality of most kitchens. Unfortunately, the reality of most kitchens isn't very interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 4 Feb 2013
Welcome look at the state catering us in. Very few people know how to do it properly and Andrew is one of the few to have this polished and his team are a credit to how he does things.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 7 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Product arrived as stated, brilliant read (slightly biased as Andrew is a personal friend!!) True from the heart and passionate.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cutting It Fine 9 Sep 2002
"Cutting It Fine" is an excellent recommendation for what to do with this book. It was terrible. Undoubtedly, Parkinson was attempting to build upon the trail blazed by Anthony Bourdain and to cash in on public appetite for food writing. But where Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" had style, wit, verve, Parkinson has none of the above. The book was laboured from start to finish. It began as if it was Jamie Oliver on paper and, fortunately, improved in style, but not by much. Dull, overly descriptive and uninformative, Parkinson has achieved quite a feat: he has taken a potentially interesting topic and turned it into a prosaic potboiler. Rather than reading this tripe, re-read Bourdain, or Michael Ruhlman, or anyone who can write for that matter. I must to avoid his restaurant, too, in case his cooking is as poor as his writing.
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