Monday, September 12, 2016

Read All About It!

"32 Yolks - From my mother's table to working the line" by Eric Ripert  247 pages   $28

Noted chef and current owner of famed Le Bernardin in Manhattan, Ripert writes of his childhood and rise in culinary circles.  It's an interesting book and given the routine insults and bad manners (pot throwing, relentless dependence on perfect cooking - a plate rejected because the sauce dots were not exactly one inch apart on the plate rim) that seem to take place in a restaurant kitchen, a career that wouldn't appeal to a lot of us.

However, it's interesting to read about the absolute murder that chefs get away with.  Communication in a professional kitchen is rather limited.  The only response from everyone below the Exalted's level is:  "Yes, chef."  Free speech seems not to have reached the kitchen stoves yet.

"A Change of Heart" by Claire Silvia with William Novak   238 pages   $23.95 

Claire had a heart-lung transplant surgery.  The donor was an 18 year old male who died in a motorcycle accident.    Claire theorizes that the subsequent changes in her tastes and behaviors that quickly ensue are the result of the donor's heart intruding.  Now this is an interesting theory and that's what made me pick up this book. 

Unfortunately, Claire is one of those woo woo women who believes she has clairvoyance; that her dreams are interpretive of the future and none of which do I believe.  The biggest hole (to me) in her story (and "story" it has to be) is that she just sort of got this call one day to come to the XYZ Hospital - they had fresh-killed organs for her.  C'mon - when you're that sick, it's not that casual.  She had to have been schooled about what to expect, post-surgery treatment and expectations and all of the possible concerns after such a radical treatment.

Because I believe she had to have been given this information, it is entirely possible that she pre-programmed herself to believe such as:  waking up from surgery and wanting a beer - and she never drank beer before (gasp!  cue ominous music)!   

Unfortunately, we can't ask her.  She died in 2009, aged 69.  At the time she was waiting for a kidney transplant.  Still, that was 21 years after the heart-lung transplant.

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