Book review: Chefwise


Shari Bayer


Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

This book would make a nice gift for budding chefs or hospitality students.

Chefwise is a collection of words of wisdom by successful chefs, or “culinary heroes” as the author calls them, from all over the world.

It doesn’t contain any recipes or cooking lessons but deals with the soft skills of the industry.

The contributions by hundreds of chefs are grouped under themes such as philosophy, leadership, inspiration, identity, communications, activism, etc, which are interspersed with a single bold quote on every other page.

The back of the book features mini biographies of all of the chefs featured.

Shari Bayer is a bit of a jack of all trades in the hospitality industry.

Having worked in various denominations in the sector, she eventually migrated to PR and podcasting, with a weekly show called All in the Industry.

In the introduction she writes: “Chefwise (is) a book … encompassing life lessons from the kitchen and beyond. Upon asking if we need a whole book on this topic, the answer is, yes, we do. There is a dialogue to be had about chefs, and for chefs, as being one is complicated. It takes more than knife skills and mastering ‘the pass’ to be successful, especially today. Chefs have become both a part of mainstream culture and culinary rock stars, adding pressure both in and out of the kitchens.”

The book is printed with blue ink on blue paper which is visually appealing but I wondered at the choice since the colour combination is apparently a nightmare for people with dyslexia and studies have shown that dyslexics thrive in the hospitality sector.