Hospitality PR veteran Shari Bayer is publishing an upcoming Phaidon book in May, titled “Chefwise: Life Lessons from Leading Chefs Around the World.” Compiling advice from 117 outstanding chefs, Chefwise explores topics not typically taught in culinary school – both in and out of the kitchen. This groundbreaking guide is one of the first books to provide an insider look into the contemporary culinary industry, rather than focus just on recipes or techniques.
The featured chefs represent leaders of today and tomorrow who cook across a range of cuisines around the world. Many of the chefs run world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurants that author Shari Bayer, a culinary and hospitality PR veteran and host of the All in the Industry podcast, had the privilege to visit in person. Bayer interviewed both the old guard and rising stars—Gaggan Anand, Carolina Bazán, Massimo Bottura, Nina Compton, Wylie Dufresne, Suzanne Goin, Virgilio Martinez, Enrique Olvera, Eric Ripert, Clare Smyth, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Alice Waters to name just a few.
Bayer expertly tailored her interview questions to each chef and their culinary and personal backgrounds, asking specific questions about running kitchens and restaurant life, and invited the chefs to share their most poignant lessons. Chefs were enthusiastic and eager to contribute, sharing their insightful anecdotes based on their own singular stories.
In Chefwise, some of the world’s top chefs reflect on their individual beliefs and viewpoints, from Hélène Darroze’s simple yet powerful words to “be yourself” to Nigerian chef Michael Elégbèdé’s lesson that “experience is the best teacher.” Chefs spoke candidly about their craft and the realities of work, including their struggles, the invaluable lessons they have learned along their journeys, and humbly, what they still strive to get right. They mentioned changes in our culinary landscape, from the good to the less so, and their hopes for the future. Jeremy Chan of Craft reminded us that you do the work because you want to do it, not for any other reason.
Organized into fourteen chapters—including Philosophy, Leadership, Business, Technology, Activism, Work-Life Balance, Fundamentals, and Future, among others—the chefs offer their thoughts and guidance on topics from creating seasonal menus, using the best ingredients, and essential cooking tools to sustainability, the importance of restaurant P&Ls, and how to engage on Instagram. Interspersed throughout the chefs’ responses are large pull quotes that highlight particularly salient words of wisdom.
David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, California says: “Absorb as much as possible and then move on to a new challenge.”
Rodolfo Guzman of Borago in Santiago, Chile says: “There is no technology able to replace the magic of humanity to guest relations.”
And Ana Roš of Hiša Franko in Kobarid, Slovenia says: “Without motivation in the kitchen, you will never make it.”
With such a wealth of topics and collected knowledge, Chefwise provides real-world insight into the mechanisms of the culinary industry. The advice and life lessons from those inside the industry will appeal not only to aspiring chefs, culinary professionals, foodies, and celebrity chef aficionados, but also to anyone who dreams of opening their own restaurant and those generally interested in business and leadership.
Printed in a compact yet striking package, the cover Chefwise will have an imitation cloth case that resembles the look and feel of a chef’s apron.
ADVICE FROM FEATURED CHEFS
- Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California on Philosophy: “When I first started cooking, I was only looking for taste—but, over time, I realized that taste comes from local, ripe food that is grown ethically and responsibly.”
- Junghyun Park of Atomix in New York City on Leadership: “Today, I think it’s less common for someone to have just a singular mentor. For me, a mentor is someone who provides inspiration, who proves personally to you that something previously considered difficult or impossible can be achieved.”
- Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, New York City on the Future: “Kitchens are much more civilized now than many years ago, when abuse was part of kitchen culture. I believe that the well-being of all is a trend that will never stop.”
- Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy on Activism: “When we talk about making the world a better place, we must remember that it all starts from our neighborhood. As a chef, the first step should be asking yourself what you can do for your community, for the people who you see every day. Millions of changed neighborhoods results in a changed world.”
- Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, California on Work-Life Balance: “How can you be happy at work if you’re not happy in life?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shari Bayer has more than thirty years of experience in “the industry,” from working the floor at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and founding the NYC culinary and hospitality-focused PR agency, Bayer Public Relations, in 2003, to establishing her weekly podcast, All in the Industry, on Heritage Radio Network in 2014. Her PR clients have included Sullivan Street Bakery, Serafina Restaurant Group, and The Chef’s Garden, to name a few. Bayer has hosted and produced more than three hundred episodes of All in the Industry, which is dedicated to behind-the-scenes talent in hospitality, with her past guests including Danny Meyer, Thomas Keller, Massimo Bottura, Ruth Reichl, Daniel Boulud, Carla Hall, and Drew Nieporent. In 2019 Bayer launched All in the Industry, a new media and production company, producing H.O.S.T. Summit + Social, an inaugural conference for, and about, the dynamic hospitality industry, which took place in Brooklyn, New York. A Miami native, Bayer earned a BA from the University of Michigan and a Culinary Certificate from the Cooking Academy of Chicago. She has been living in Manhattan since 1998. Bayer is also a contributing writer for Fathom, Forbes, Tasting Table, and Thrillist, and is a fearless solo diner and traveler.