Friday, June 12, 2020

Fragments of My Father
I'm taking a little side trip today to shamelessly plug my dad's new book about his relationship with his father, one of the premier chefs of his day: Fragments of My Father: Reflections on an Unfulfilled Relationship.

Before the great Anthony Bourdain was a twinkle in his father's eye, my grandfather, great-grandfather, and great uncle were creating culinary delights in Europe.

From the book description:
"Fragments of My Father" tells the story of the life of one of the 20th Century's foremost chefs, Charles Finance, as told by his son. Beginning his career as an apprentice cook at the age of 16, Charles soon acquired a depth of knowledge of the art of French Cuisine that he applied in many of Switzerland's most renowned hotels. His personal journal relates the many struggles of his early career, of his seasonal wanderings, his romance with his future wife, and of the behind-the-scenes life of a young cook. He soon rose in prominence in the Swiss culinary world and became professor of culinary arts at the Swiss School of Hotel Trades. While serving in the Swiss Army during World War II, he writes to his young wife of the trials of Army life. The life of a cook was always uncertain in those days, and in his letters Charles gives testimony to the difficult periods in his life when management of various establishments treated him shabbily. His dream was to come to the United Sates to make his own way. He eventually succeeds, but at the cost of his marriage. Now a top Executive Chef, he oversees kitchen operations in several major U.S. hotels and leads teams of American cooks to international competitions, where his leadership earns the Americans numerous 1st-place medals. After he retired in Ft. Worth, TX, , Charles devoted much of his time to breeding orchids and to being a judge at a variety of cooking competitions. He lived an extraordinary life during which he made extraordinary contributions to the culinary profession over the span of nearly half a century.
This is an engaging insight into another time and another country, and it's the story of how my dad's side of the family came to this country. You can get the Kindle edition here, and it's only $4.95. If you're looking for something different to read in quarantine, this might be something you'll enjoy!

My dad also wrote a book about my Grandmother, which should be coming out on Kindle in a few weeks. He's started to gather notes and photos for his own biography, too! I'm pretty proud of him!

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