The compelling tale of how a Brooklyn boy ditched a lucrative career at age thirty-seven to follow his dream of opening a restaurant in Manhattan . . . and taught himself to be a chef along the way.
A successful New York City jeweler with a love of good food, John LaFemina decided to take a major risk in pursuit of a dream held by millions: to have his own restaurant. But instead of going to culinary school or getting on-the-job training, he did it the hard way: he bought a restaurant and then learned how to cook.
Today he owns three successful dining establishments Á pizz, Peasant, and The Orchard in a city where 90 percent of new restaurants close within their first two years. He is one of New York's most talked-about chefs, earning rave reviews from fans and critics. In this compelling memoir/cookbook, LaFemina describes how he used his Canarsie, Brooklyn, street smarts to deal with a colorful, and often shady, cast of characters while opening his restaurant. LaFemina takes us step-by-step through how he found the perfect location (and figured out how many meatballs you have to sell to pay the rent), designed the restaurant, and created the menu. He tells of his experiences in dealing with the public, his staff, the press, and unexpected disasters and finally, basking in the glory of a popular restaurant. And he shares scores of mouthwatering recipes from his restaurant menus and his Italian family heritage, including:
Veal, Beef, and Pork Meatballs with Ricotta Filling Red Pepper and Fresh Basil Soup with Crispy Shallots Mushroom Risotto Open Ravioli with Roasted Butternut Squash White Chocolate Bread Pudding
This one-of-a-kind restauranthow-to and cookbook will charm readers eager for great storytelling and delicious recipes.