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My Last Supper: The World's Greatest Chefs and Their Final Feasts [Hardcover]

Melanie Dunea
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 25.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Nov 2007
In this brilliantly realised book, Melanie Dunea, award-winning photographer and contributor to "Time", "People" and "Newsweek", convinces fifty of the world's most famous chefs to reveal their last supper fantasies, asking them who would prepare it, where it would take place, who would be invited, whether there would be music, and, most importantly, what the dishes would be. Their answers reveal the passions and personalities of the most respected names in the business.Accompanying the interviews there are Vanity Fair-style portraits that beautifully capture their intimate responses, and at the back of the book there are mouth-watering recipes from each of the chefs. As well as being a full-colour visual feast, "My Last Supper" is a veritable Who's Who of the cooking world: Anthony Bourdain, Fergus Henderson, Tom Aikens, Raymond Blanc, Amit Chowdhury, Giorgio Locatelli, Nobu, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Tetsuya are among the many contributors. This is the perfect book for any foodie, chef-obsessed fan or lover of cutting-edge photography.

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My Last Supper: The World's Greatest Chefs and Their Final Feasts + My Last Supper: The Next Course: 50 More Great Chefs and Their Final Meals: Portraits, Interviews, and Recipes
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; First U. S. Edition First Printing edition (5 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747594112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747594116
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 50 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Chefs have been playing the "Last Meal Game" amongst themselves for decades - if not centuries. Like "The Aristocrats" joke, it's - until now - been largely kept within the profession. Melanie Dunea has come up with a damn good idea. And she has the reach, the means, and the talent to execute it' Anthoy Bourdain

About the Author

Melanie Dunea is an experienced photographer whose work regularly appears in Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, People and Time, among others. She has won the American Photography Award and the Society of Publication Design Annual Award. She lives in New York.

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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food glorious food! 26 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Being interested in all things food this book caught my eye.

Oddly enough I'd just read a kindle book on death row inmates last meal requests obviously not as sumptuous and grandiose as some of these here.

Quite a hefty coffee table book here that asks 50 of the world's top chefs...
-What would be your last meal on earth?

-What would be the setting for the meal?

-What would you drink?

-What music if any?

-Who would be your dining companions?

-Who would prepare the meal?

Accompanied with each chef's choices is a portrait photograph taken by top photographer Melanie Dunea whom also interviewed the chefs.

If you've ever discussed this over a few drinks and eats with friends and family you may find this fascinating. What I found odd is some of the very simple meal choices by a lot of the chefs. Of course there's some complicated and extravagant dishes to be feasted upon too! A lot of people will also always love their mothers cooking. Do you relate good food to happy memories?

This is a large glossy book and at the back is a recipie submitted from each of the chefs. Some difficult and some simple. Being a home made burger lover my fave here is Wylie Dufresne's The Burger recipie, dead easy yet mouth watering in a man v food way!

For me right now my last meal would be a blow out affair and why not? In my kitchen/dining room with family and friends. Mowtown and beer would be the order of the day. Healthy eating would go out the window!
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful book 17 Aug 2014
love this book it has many talking points and great recipes
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book 21 Nov 2007
By DC Foodie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the first time I've felt compelled to review anything on Amazon but I'm a total foodie and I enjoyed browsing through this book so much. The photos are amazing. Each one is staged so differently and has a completely different feel. It really gives you a view into the chef's personality that I haven't seen elsewhere. In fact, some of these chefs I had only read about but had never seen a photo of, like Lydia Shire or Ferran Adria. Melanie Dunea really knows how to entertain with her photographs. I could look at them for hours. What the chefs say about their last meals is also really interesting to read. It also made me hungry. I highly recommend this book for foodies and anyone interested in the chef culture, or anyone else. It's highly entertaining and would make a great gift (I bought an extra for my friend who is also a foodie).
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly beautiful book 15 Nov 2007
By TBird - Published on Amazon.com
I LOVE this book! Though at first glance, one might think, coffee table book, but Melanie Dunea's "My Last Supper" is so much more than that! Not only are the pictures amazing, the chefs responses are fascinating. I really love how the photos reflect each chefs last supper. As an added bonus, you get recipes too! "My Last Supper" is a beautiful book with substance and sustenance (though not provided, that's up to you)! All I wanted to do after reading this book was to eat, drink, and be merry!
52 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Culinary Coffee Table Decoration. Clever but light 6 Nov 2007
By B. Marold - Published on Amazon.com
`My Last Supper' by photographer, Melanie Dunea is a culinary tabletop book for browsing while waiting for the host of the evening to bring out the coffee and brandy / sherry / cordials. It is graced by an introduction by the culinary journalist ombudsman, Anthony Bourdain, who adds some cachet to the book's premise by stating that the `game' of relating one's preferred last meal is a common recreation in the kitchens and after hours back rooms of restaurants around the world for decades, if not centuries.
It is important to note that the principal author's primary vocation is photography, because the photographs of the forty-nine chefs / culinary professionals who participated in this project are by far the most interesting offering in this volume. Each pic is decorated by the chefs' answers to the same five questions. These are `What would be your last meal on earth?', `What would be the setting for the meals?', `What would you drink with your meal?', `Who would be your dining companions?', and `Who would prepare the meals?'. The answer to the second question contributes much to the setting for the chef's photograph, although I suspect that the chefs themselves had much to say regarding their pose and backdrop. I am quite impressed by the fact that the photographer and her team have been able to corral 32 people out of the 49 whom I recognize by both name and visage. In fact, I have reviewed books written by over 25 (over half) of the principals. The selection is so good, it's interesting to note the very few famous chefs who are not captured, such as Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, and Alice Waters. On the other hand, we do get such luminaries as Ferran Adria, Jamie Oliver, Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Nobu, Rick Bayless, and Thomas Keller. And, every last one of the contributors is major, very serious working chefs, even though Bourdain, Jacques Pepin, Tyler Florence, and Lydia Bastianich are best known for work outside the kitchen.
The first thing I find remarkable is how few of the participants thought outside the box of the five questions. The only two were Guy Savoy, who agreed to a portrait, but refused answers to the questions and, amazingly, Tyler Florence of various Food Network shows. Even odder is as original as Florence' answers are, his picture is probably the least interesting and least artistically composed.
While I always enjoy Bourdain's writing, I suspect some of his perceptions about the answers are a bit forced. On the other hand, his photographic portrait is easily one of the most interesting. Part of Bourdain's misstatement may be the observation that most chefs pick very ordinary meals. I find this true of only about half the choices. While very few of the meals involve difficult dishes, most do use relatively expensive ingredients such as caviar, foie gras, truffles, Kobe beef, and Toro tuna. In fact, it's remarkable that across all these chefs with such diverse backgrounds, that me most common wish is for raw fish in some form or another.
Each chef contributes one or two recipes printed at the back of the book. I find this one of the at least two annoying ways in which the book is organized. Why not put the recipe together with the section in which it is mentioned. The second annoyance is that the chefs' restaurant affiliations are presented in the very back of the book, taking up four oversized pages with information which would easily fit on half a page. And, for those chefs whose venue I do not know, I would have preferred this information up front, instead of being put into a filler section whose primary function seems to be to add a few more pages to this padded book.
It is also interesting to tabulate the musical interests, which are generally pretty ordinary. Very few pick Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven. By my very informal count, the favorite performer seems to be The Rolling Stones!
Another little parlor game with the book may be to find the two chefs of whom there are at least two different pictures. One is very easy, as they appear on facing pages. The second answer needs some digging.
In the end, this book's primary value is as I stated at the top. An entertainment for foodie dinner guests. If you have none of these, this pricy volume may be just a bit too dear for the average cookbook collector. If you are a foodie who simply must have every interesting book published on celebrity chefs, then you must have this one, and it will entertain you for an evening. If you are on a budget, ask for it as a present or check it out in the library.
Needless to say, almost all the recipes are interesting, but $40 is a lot to pay for 50 recipes, which are not organized in a useful way. Odds are, you already own many books by the most interesting chef / writers such as Batali, Bourdain, Oliver, Bayless, Boulud, Keller, Pepin, Silverton, and so on. And, if you don't, and you are interested in these recipes, you are better off getting the books with many more recipes in them.
This book has much which is clever and entertaining, but it has little permanent value.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is no food porn 4 Feb 2012
By flatteryourself - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
In my opinion, to appreciate this book you should be very familiar with these chefs already. I bought this as a gift for someone after seeing all the stellar reviews, but after receiving it I decided that it was not going to do in that regard. The book fails in several important aspects.

All the portraits of the chefs are shot in settings completely unrelated to the subject matter of the book. The photography is well done, but I do not know who some of these chefs are and seeing them does not excite me in any way. I want to see food! I want to SEE what they envision as their last meal on earth -- the setting, the people, the food. I do not care to see Ferran Adria with his two dogs or Lydia Shire holding up a lobster or Gabrielle Hamilton breast-feeding her baby. This does nothing for me irrespective of how well the image itself is executed. If this was an Annie Leibovitz book I'd be all for it! But it's not. I want to "be there" for their last meal, but instead i just get to read little blurbs about what this last meal is and see an image of a person that is hardly relevant to why I bought this book.

Maybe it is my fault for not knowing who all these people are. That is fine. But the book could have given me some idea of why these people are special...it didn't. Just the name and the face (or the naked body in the case of Bourdain). Would have been nice to include a short description of why i should even care about what Lydia Shire wants.

Some of the reviews praised the overall layout -- the typography, the photography, etc. It is not bad. But it is not enough to elevate this book. The substance of this book should not lie in unique (albeit italic) font and plentiful negative space. I would have loved to love this book. The idea is so clever. But the execution leaves much to be desired and is too boring for my taste.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe this hasn't been done before. 12 Nov 2007
By lachina - Published on Amazon.com
What a great idea! It's a treat in itself to flip through the pages of beautiful pictures. It's so interesting to read what these famous chefs would actually want to eat for their last supper. And an added treat...some of the chefs describe not only what they would eat, but the scene of their last meal...music and company included! This book is the perfect x-mas gift for all of your foodie friends.
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