“Lessons in Excellence from Charlie Trotter” by Paul Clark and Charlie Trotter – $16.66
Available on Amazon, or, you can get a signed copy from his website.
Working in restaurants and bars gives you the chance to learn many things. For instance, during my time as a waiter and bartender, I learned cocktail recipes that include prescription drugs, how to gut a man in a bar fight (to illustrate, the dishwasher pulled me close, pressed his fist against my belly and slid it up to my sternum), and that I should maybe carry a gun. Other people learn what it takes to be the absolute best.
Being a notoriously difficult businesses to run, restaurants give you the chance to learn all about business in a pretty raw form from those who are succeeding and those who are failing spectacularly. “Lessons in Excellence” by Charlie Trotter and Paul Clarke gives you the chance to learn from one of the true greats. This book generalizes Trotter’s experiences into lessons useful for anyone seeking perfection in their work. Two other books, “Lessons in Service” and “Lessons in Wine Service” are more focused on the food and beverage industry.
Trotter opened his eponymous Chicago restaurant in 1987 when he was 27. Over the past 25 years, it’s been awarded pretty much everything and is generally considered one of the best restaurants in the world. He’ll be closing the doors at the end of August.
I can personally vouch for the perfection of Trotter’s food, having been lucky enough to eat there a few years ago. It sounds ridiculous, but for one course they served me a prawn that is still probably the single best piece of food I have ever eaten.
“Lessons in Excellence” covers all aspects of running a world-class business, from the personal vision that starts it all, to the hiring and managing of staff, through marketing and PR. No matter what level you are currently at – CEO or employment-seeker – it’s a book that will help guide your work and inspire you when you’re feeling stuck.
You’re on your own for bar fight advice, though. For some reason this book doesn’t cover that.
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