Observations from the Kitchen is an autobiographical adventure story that unfolds upon the metaphoric battlefield of a chess board, a place The Cook uses to describe and make sense of a lifetime spent in service to gastronomy.
Set within the sweatshop kitchens that have been his home, it is a journey that takes the reader from the frenetic chaos of the London's West End to the narcissistic playgrounds of the Cote d'Azur, through amazing India and magical Marrakech to the snow-covered domes of the Kremlin before ending in the steamy jungles of beautiful Costa Rica.
The Cook invites different companions, the people who have touched him, made his life something other than mundane, to join him 'a table', where, whilst preparing his signature dishes, they discuss such themes as Ambition, Loyalty and Contentment and whether such ideas are comprehensible to anyone other than the person who utters them.
I had hoped to have a professionally edited and photographed book to offer and even imagined that I had secured the help of a large and prestigious literary agency whose M.D encouraged me over the summer with the following assessment ........
OBSERVATIONS FROM THE KITCHEN is rather wonderful. You’ve created an extraordinary work here, and a beautifully crafted one. I found myself thinking that every creative should read it regardless of what industry they’re in or skillset they’re mastering. It raises such important questions, and is so refreshingly forthright about them.
This work is unique in many ways, yet you refer to OBSERVATIONS as a novel. That brings with it certain assumptions and expectations. I’m not sure that this is where it should sit. It’s such a smart, thoughtful, brave discussion about some really difficult (dare I say unresolvable) issues. It strikes me as a meditation, a parable, an exploration of the creative journey. If a reader comes to the work with that sort of lens, I think they would get a lot more out of it than if they came to it with “novel” in mind.
Unfortunately, the company decided that the book was impossible to 'position' so I am left with offering an amateurishly edited book accompanied by my own home photographs. I do hope however, that you might still enjoy it.
If you would like a copy you can find it at the following link.