All or Nothing: One Chef's Appetite for the Extreme

By Jesse Schenker

Blending Kitchen exclusive, Blood, Bones & Butter, and Breaking Bad, a culinary memoir that illuminates the highs and lows of dependancy, nervousness, and ambition on this planet of haute cuisine.

 Thirty-one-year-old Jesse Schenker has rocketed to the head of the culinary global. An Iron Chef winner and James Beard nominee, he was once voted most sensible New Chef by means of ny journal, and his acclaimed Recette used to be named top New eating place by way of the New York Times. yet Jesse’s epic upward push mask a little-known earlier packed with demons and obsession, genius and mania.

Growing up in filthy rich suburban Florida, Jesse was once brought to the culinary world—and the realm of difficult medicinal drugs. changing into a high-school dropout hooked on heroin and crack, he used to be alienated from his relatives and sought after by way of the police officers. via twenty-one, he had robbed, cheated, and lied to every body in his life—and had overdosed, been shot at and approximately overwhelmed to loss of life. His eventual arrest inspired him to get clean.

Jesse discovered to channel his obsessiveness and wish to get ever “higher” into his occupation. yet his starting to be good fortune fueled his nervousness, resulting in panic assaults and hypochondria. during this startling and grounded memoir, Jesse lays all of it at the desk for the 1st time, reflecting on his insatiable urge for food for the extreme—which has ended in his greatest triumphs and failures—and stocks the surprising tale of his turbulent life.

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Sam Sifton replaced my existence. From that second on, Recette was once booked each evening. i assumed i used to be busy sooner than, yet as soon as i used to be reviewed within the long island occasions, every person sought after a bit of me. Requests for personal events and occasions poured in, and that i persevered to claim sure to every little thing from small dinner events at people’s houses to very large catering occasions on the Cartier mansion. whilst charities requested for aid, I consistently made some extent to assert convinced and be of provider, and that i loved cooking for 800 humans at urban Harvest and Autism Speaks occasions.

Your students dilate, your speech slows, and also you commence listening to and seeing issues that not anyone else does. It’s a psychotic kingdom that you’re thoroughly conscious of yet can’t do whatever to alter. Out of crack, we headed for the Orange Blossom path, a big highway that’s well-known for its infamous drug crime. shortly, we observed a few younger drug buyers. “We’re trying to find a few hard,” Gibson advised them. “You a narc? ” requested one child who appeared to be the chief. I didn’t blame the child for being suspicious of 2 white men during this local.

I used to be not operating for Carson, and we had already passed through all the medications and cash within the secure, so i wanted to get a role. I landed a gig at Max’s Grille in Mizner Park. Max’s was once a South Florida establishment. It have been round without end, and each South Florida chef who was once anyone had began operating for its founder, Dennis Max. It used to be continuously loopy busy there; 1000 covers an afternoon used to be the norm. I labored the salad station and the vegetable station and was once primarily the complain. I made plate after plate of sautéed spinach and bowl after bowl of the Caesar salad that got here with the prix fixe dinner particular.

My left leg used to be draped over the bath. I had no inspiration how I’d gotten there or why I couldn’t circulation. The left aspect of my face used to be swollen and throbbing. Pus was once oozing from an abscess on my left forearm. yet i used to be preoccupied with a thick layer of dried blood caked to my correct hand. i attempted rubbing it off, and a capturing discomfort shot up my arm. ultimately I peeled my physique off the ground and positioned my hand at the wall to regular myself. I stood there myself within the rest room replicate. My eyes have been bloodshot and teary, so dilated they gave the impression of they'd no scholars.

This fashion a minimum of I knew that somebody may trap me if I fell. I didn’t consistently recognize the place to show, yet I stored striving ahead. I approached lots of my filthy rich consumers and requested them in the event that they desired to turn into a companion within the eating place, yet all of them handed. Then I requested numerous humans I knew in Florida—some of them buddies or company affiliates of my father’s—but all of them handed too. past due at evening I puzzled what percentage of these humans had stated no simply because they knew approximately my prior, yet i attempted to not take into consideration that because it was once past my regulate.

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