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Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat (Anglais) Broché – 6 mars 2012

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"[Life, on the Line] may be the best, most inspiring chef memoir ever written." — American Way

"[Life, on the Line] is full of energy and without pretense." — Chicago Tribune

"The next great food memoir." — Details

"This must-read for the culinary crowd is the literary equivalent of caviar and Krug. Foodies will marvel at Achatz's thought process on his molecular creations, while Kokonas provides a detailed glimpse of the artistic vision and creation of modern fine dining." — Booklist

"Writing with the panache of professionals, Achatz, chef and owner of Chicago's Alinea, and his business partner, Kokonas, relate the story of Achatz's life and work in a memoir that lives up to its expansive subtitle. ...Achatz and Kokonas share an engaging, well-written, and informative description of what it's like to work in commercial kitchens along with the stirring story of Achatz's fight for his life." — Library Journal

Présentation de l'éditeur

"One of America's great chefs" (Vogue), Grant Achatz, shares how his drive to cook immaculate food fueled his miraculous triumph over tongue cancer.

By 2007 chef Grant Achatz had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine, he had received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, and he and Nick Kokonas had opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, positioned firmly in the world's culinary spotlight, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma-tongue cancer.

The prognosis grim, Grant undertook an alternative treatment of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation that ravaged his body and left him without a sense of taste. Tapping into his profound discipline and passion, he trained his chefs to mimic his palate and learned how to cook with his other senses. As Kokonas was able to attest, the food was never better. Five months later, Grant was declared cancer-free and went on to achieve some of the highest honors in the culinary world. Life, on the Line is not only a chef's memoir, it is also a book about survival, about nurturing creativity, and about profound friendship.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 130 commentaires
73 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Amazing Story of Success and Determination 4 mars 2011
Par Cory Giles - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
By the age of 32 Grant Achatz, chef/owner of Alinea, had achieved his dream of having the best restaurant in American and, along the way, had completely redefined not only the dining experience but how we think about food and eating. In this book, Chef Achatz, along with Nick Kokonas (his business partner in Alinea and a first-time restaurateur), describes the path he took to reach his goal. If the story ended there, it would be an amazing story of hard work and sacrifice coupled with sheer genius and the audacity to succeed at all costs. The story takes a totally different turn when Chef Achatz is diagnosed with stage IV cancer of the tongue and is faced with the heart-rending choice of risking his sense of taste, and with it his livelihood and identity as a chef, in an attempt to save his life.

Though it sounds cliche, this book transcends genre and audience. For those interested in cooking and the life of a chef, it ranks alongside the works of Michael Ruhlman and Anthony Bourdain as the best in the genre. As a business book, it is a tremendous inspiration for the budding entrepreneur (or for a successful businessperson who is in the midst of doubt) and shows the power of making an audacious goal then driving forward to reach it. Above all it is the story of the extraordinary life of an extraordinary person as he strives to grow, succeed, live, and love. Chef Achatz has shown that he holds himself (and his staff) to the highest standards, and this book does not disappoint in any way. In short, the best book I've read in a very long time. Very highly recommended.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Solid Read 7 mars 2011
Par vbgal2 - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Behind the allure of Alinea, an intangible experience for many normal Americans, lies the story of Grant Achatz.

His story is moving, witty, driven, and honest (with a hint of that chef ego that we all know is there). It doesn't pretend to be something it isn't, and opens up a world of food that would otherwise go unilluminated to the general public.

I am thankful for the experience of reading this book. It was a great read.

Oh, and I'm thankful that someone slipped a phonetically-correct definition of Achatz into the book. That did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. After mainly reading about Chef Achatz online, I was grateful for that small formality.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Inspiring story 6 avril 2011
Par Lea - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This book is terrific. In it, Grant Achatz talks about the roots of his desire to be a chef, and it follows him from his childhood, through his education at the Culinary Institute of America, and his stints in several high profile restaurants before opening his own in Chicago.

His business partner and friend, Nick Kokonas, shares the narration. Initially I was put off by this style, but I found myself reading one side of the story, then wondering what the other's thoughts were. (This isn't meant to imply that there was conflict between the two men -- they seem to have a wonderful working relationship, which is reflected in their writing about each other.)

I was surprised by how little of the book is actually devoted to Achatz's diagnosis of and treatment for cancer. It opens and closes the book, but the majority of the story is focused on the development of Achatz's career. Fine by me -- in and of itself, it's a hell of a story. He's a determined and inspiring guy. (And Kokonas's support, and the faith he had in Achatz, is inspiring as well.)

When the story does turn to Achatz's illness, there is an incredible intensity to the story. Some of the most difficult passages to read were Kokonas's telling of being at a golf tournament while waiting to hear the results of Achatz's biopsy.

"My third nine-hole match concluded that day at nearly 7:00 P.M. I played remarkably well, considering that I didn't think about golf for a second. The caddie would hand me a club, I would look at the target and hit the ball. I genuinely didn't care. It was a state of golf I had been trying to achieve my whole life: complete dispassion."

I cried my eyes out in parts of this book. I really liked both Grant and NIck, as well as their friends and colleagues, and I was truly anxious to see how it all turned out. Unlike fiction, real life is sloppy, and things often end up where you wouldn't expect, or even where you hope they won't -- marriages end, people die, businesses close . . . We know from the first chapter that Grant Achatz survives his ordeal, and Achatz and Kokonas end things on a positive note, but there's always a little part of you that wonders if they'll make it in the end. Hopefully their partnership and friendship will continue for many years to come.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves food or cooking, or reading about food or cooking! This is also a wonderful story about sticking to your ideals and dreams, even if everyone around you thinks you're crazy, even if the odds are stacked against you.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
fantastic! 7 mars 2011
Par professionalcook - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I read this book in two days, i couldnt put it down. I am a cook myself and love to hear stories from the greats on the roads they traveled.This should be a mandatory read for all culinary students. Inspiring, heart wrenching, and overall great to read.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Molecular Gastronomy? I Just want a Meal 3 avril 2011
Par Kevin Quinley - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Sorry, I don't need a caviar egg balanced from the head of a pin. Nor a reduction of stuffed truffle served from a swinging trapeze. Or essence of broccoli reduction dropped from the end of a laboratory pipette. Nor do I need a four and a half hour dinner with 32 courses weighing in at $195. You've got to be kidding me.

For those who love haute cuisine, though, who don't mind their dinner be prepped in something that looks more like a chemist lab than a kitchen, you will likely love restaurants like Alinea.

Regardless of the type of food, A LIFE ON THE LINE is, for the most part, a compelling read. Co-author Grant Achatz has a burning vision of what he wants to do in food, in cooking and in creating a complete dining experience. He works tirelessly to bring this vision to life. Management guru Tom Peters has said that anybody who created anything great was a megalomaniac on a mission. That fits Achatz. The guy burns his candle at both ends as he translates his culinary vision into one of the world's top restaurants.

So, even if you are not "into" this type of food or dining, the story is compelling for the message that you must work hard and relentlessly to achieve something great. Added to the professional challenges is the health crisis that confronted Achatz. He learns that he has cancer of the tongue and must reassess his life's priorities.

Here is where the phrase, "Life on the Line" offers a telling pun. On the one hand, most of the book describes Achatz's life as a line cook and chef. Once he learns of his diagnosis and the grim prognosis, his life literally is on the line as he gives himself over to the rigors of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Interspersed with Achatz's narrative is the first-person perspective of his friend and restaurant business partner, Nick Kokonas.

The field of chef memoirs is getting crowded. You have the Bad Bay of Cooking Anthony Bourdaine. Gabrielle Hamilton's superb "Blood, Bones and Butter" is a gem. LIFE ON THE LINE is a compelling story, even if you are not a chef, a cook or a "foodie." It stands as an absorbing narrative for anyone who has a passion and wants to pursue it with single-minded devotion.
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