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Kay C. Henderson (Devon, UK)
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The Art of the Restaurateur
The Art of the Restaurateur
by Nicholas Lander
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.97

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A retired hotelier and restaurateur appreciates this book, 6 Dec 2012
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I have to declare that I have known and liked Nick Lander since I met him more than 25 years ago, and I met Jancis Robinson more than 30 years ago when she came to review our restaurant, long before she became Mrs. Lander, and before she became the most famous (and I think the best) wine authority in the world.

My wife and I have been retired for more than seven years, but we know, and admire, several of the restaurateurs profiled by Lander. He writes incisively about the their skills, and between each of the profiles is a very perceptive short commentary on a principle that applies to all restaurants.

In the 27 years that we owned and ran Gidleigh Park, we only had three professional chefs, two of whom became famous in Britain while cooking with us, first Shaun Hill, then Michael Caines. Each of them was excellent in different ways, and each had a great impact on the success of our business. But I have always thought that the most important single person in our business was our outstanding hotel and restaurant manager, Catherine Endacott. Maybe 20% of our clients were 'foodies', but 100% appreciated being served as individuals, and Catherine was brilliant at that.

Paul Henderson


My Archipelago: The Story of a Family
My Archipelago: The Story of a Family
by Kit Chapman
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Memoir, or fiction?, 22 Oct 2010
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I have to start by saying that my wife and I have known Kit and Louise Chapman (and we also thought knew his parents Peter and Etty well) for 30 years. We are amazed by the revelations of the turbulence in the relations between Kit and his parents. In many visits to The Castle in the 1980s and 90s, we had no idea of the dramas taking place behind the castellated facade of the hotel. Kit must have been at least as great an actor as his brother Gerald, to maintain the image of harmony with his parents that clients and fellow hoteliers and restaurateurs felt at the hotel.

We also know each of Kit's three previous books, entertaining to be sure, but in no way showing any indication of his talent as a writer that we see in My Archepeligo. I read this within a month of finishing Jonathan Franzen's acclaimed novel Freedom, and I am struck by the similarities in content and style between the two. Franzen may be the more accomplished now, but Chapman is gaining ground. It would be very interesting to see if he has a novel in him.

Paul Henderson, retired hotelier, Chagford, Devon


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