5 Books to Read this Month: May 2023
by David Klemt
Our engaging and informative May book selections will take your front and back of house to the next level, and help develop your leadership skills.
To review the book recommendations from April 2023, click here.
Let’s jump in!
Contagious You: Unlock Your Power to Influence, Lead, and Create the Impact You Want
This is one of three books KRG Hospitality’s Jennifer Radkey read in February. It’s the sequel to a book titled Contagious Culture, which we featured last month.
From Amazon: “For anyone who’s sought to create change, or felt sucked into the drama and chaos of a toxic work environment, this book will advance the notion that everyone at an organization is a leader—for good or for bad—and that leaders have tremendous power to influence those who follow their example. The quality of our leadership is based upon our intentions, energy, and presence. By emphasizing authorship, self-care, and response-ability (not responsibility) as leadership skills and therefore cultural amplifiers, Contagious You shows you how to walk the path of more effective leadership while navigating the road blocks in your way. Whether these road blocks are working with negative co-workers with secret agendas and unrealistic expectations, or just the general ‘busyness’ of life and its excessive demands, this book will take you on a journey to create more space, more courageous leadership, and stronger collaboration to influence others and create the impact you desire.”
Grab this book today: click here.
Chef’s PSA: Culinary Leadership Fundamentals
If Chef’s PSA sounds familiar, that’s probably because it’s a series of four books. We included another book in the series, How Not to be the Biggest Idiot in the Kitchen, last December in our last book roundup of 2022.
Culinary Leadership Fundamentals is intended to prepare chefs to lead a brigade. It’s one thing to know how to prepare food; it’s another to know how to be the leader in the kitchen. Of course, this book is also full of valuable information for owners and operators. After all, they should know how their chef is approaching their role.
From Amazon: “When you become a Chef for the first time you may be put in a position where you know how to cook but not how to lead and manage. This book will teach you everything you need to know to become a Chef Leader in the kitchen. From how to manage costs, build a team, market yourself and overcome adversity. This is the book every Chef needs if they want a competitive edge in running a successful kitchen.”
Southern Cooking, Global Flavors
Chef Kenny Gilbert’s journey through the culinary world is epic. By the age of seven he had shown such an interest in the art of BBQ that his father bought him his first grill, a small Weber. After high school he moved from his hometown to Cleveland to attend the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. After graduation, Chef Gilbert entered into an apprenticeship at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, in Florida. By age 23, Chef Gilbert earned the role of Chef de Cuisine. He has also opened restaurants and led the culinary programs at restaurants and hotel properties not only throughout Florida but also Colorado, Georgia, throughout the Caribbean, France, Japan, and Spain. Oh, and there was Chef Gilbert’s Top Chef season seven appearance, plus the development of his own line of spices and rubs.
His newly released book features 100 recipes that put international spins on southern classics. Pick up Southern Cooking, Global Flavors today!
The Ice Book: Cool Cubes, Clear Spheres, and Other Chill Cocktail Crafts
We’ve addressed the need to compliment your cocktail menu with a dedicated ice program. This book, available now for pre-order, is from world-renowned cocktail and spirits writer Camper English. Not only does it include easy-to-follow instructions for you and your bar team to elevate your cocktail program, from full-proof to zero-ABV drinks. The Ice Book, then, is aptly titled—it’s everything you need to introduce a memorable drinking experience.
From Amazon: “In The Ice Book, internationally renowned cocktail icepert Camper English details how to use directional freezing to make perfectly pure ice in a home freezer, carve it up into giant diamonds and other shapes, and embed it with garnishes, including edible orchids and olives. You’ll learn how to create a frozen bowl for Negroni punch, serve a Manhattan inside an ice sphere, and infuse cubes with colors and flavors to create cranberry cobblers, a color-changing Gin and Tonic, and other awesome drinks.”
The Book of Cocktail Ratios: The Surprising Simplicity of Classic Cocktails
Long-time subscribers to KRG Hospitality’s newsletters and readers of our articles know that I love a controversial take on cocktails. Take, for instance, the origin of the Margarita. Well, the opening sentence from the description for The Book of Cocktail Ratios certainly got my attention.
From Amazon: “Did you know that a Gimlet, a Daiquiri, and a Bee’s Knees are the same cocktail? As are a Cosmopolitan, a Margarita, and a Sidecar. When hosting a party wouldn’t you enjoy saying to your guests, ‘Would you care for a Boulevardier, perhaps, or a Negroni?’ These, too, are the same cocktail, substituting one ingredient for another. Or if you’d like to be able to shake up a batch of whiskey sours for a party of eight in fewer than two minutes, then read on.
As Michael Ruhlman explains, our most popular cocktails are really ratios—proportions of one ingredient relative to the others. Organized around five of our best-known, beloved, classic families of cocktails, each category follows a simple ratio from which myriad variations can be built: The Manhattan, The Gimlet, The Margarita, The Negroni, and the most debated cocktail ever, The Martini.”
This book should provide you and your bar team with a totally different perspective when it comes to drink ratios. Pre-order your copy today!