Scars of a Chef: One Man's Journey through Fire to Faith  -     By: Rick Tramonto
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Scars of a Chef: One Man's Journey through Fire to Faith

SaltRiver / 2011 / Hardcover

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CBD Stock No: WW331621

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Product Description

Rick Tramanto started as a high school dropout with a learning disability and a drug addiction, but he has become one of the top celebrity chefs in the world. In Scars of a Chef, Tramanto tells his story, all the highs and lows, and how God met him when he needed it most. He also shares recipes, and 8 pages of color photos.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: SaltRiver
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1414331622
ISBN-13: 9781414331621
Availability: In Stock

Publisher's Description

Rick Tramonto started as a high school dropout working at Wendy’s; he became one of the hottest celebrity chefs in the world. Yet his rise to culinary success was marked with tragedy, loss, and abandonment. As a teenager, Rick worked to support the family when his father (who had Mob ties) went to prison. As a young adult, he struggled with a learning disability and drug addiction. Yet as a chef, he rose rapidly to culinary stardom, earning rave reviews and eventually opening the famous four-star establishment Tru. From the outside, it looked like he had everything he ever wanted; his lifelong hunger for meaning should have been more than met. But on the inside, his life and his marriage were falling apart. And then, one night, a voice on the radio changed everything. Containing recipes and color photos, Scars of a Chef is the mesmerizing rags-to-riches memoir of one chef’s journey through the highest heights and the lowest lows of the culinary world . . . and his search for something that would finally heal his wounds and sustain him through even the darkest times.

Author Info

Rick Tramonto served as executive chef/partner at the world-renowned four-star restaurant Tru in Chicago. He has received a bevy of awards and honors including the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef and Food & Wine Magazine's Top 10 Best New Chefs. He started his culinary career in 1977 at Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers in Rochester, NY, and has gone on to work with other master chefs around the world. An accomplished cookbook author, Tramonto has also appeared on shows such as Oprah, The Today Show, Iron Chef America, Top Chef, and most recently Top Chef Masters.

Scars of a Chef details the journey of celebrity chef Rick Tramonto from his humble beginnings as a cook at Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers to a multi-restaurant entrepreneur. It tells the story of his personal choices from depression to born-again Christian.

On the one hand, the book provides lessons in tenacity, goal setting, creative energy, diligent studies, and positive networking. On the other hand, it reveals how fame and popularity can make a person arrogant, selfish, overconfident, careless, and self-destructive. Tramonto is candid about his battle with food, first as someone who ate too much of it and then as someone who mastered its artistry as a way of finding fame and fortune. He also talks about misuse of drugs to deal with bouts of feeling like a failure or needing an extra boost to keep working when his body was saying he needed rest. Food enthusiasts, fans, and readers unfamiliar with Tramonto's success will enjoy this honest telling of an incredible journey through success and failure. At times the story drags through many job transitions. However, the conversational tone made this book an enjoyable story overall.

Tramonto's discovery that the world and all its pleasures had precious little of lasting value to offer him led to a relationship with Jesus Christ. His testimony is genuine and impressive. In short, this chef's book is a tasty morsel. – Bethany Sievert,

Publisher's Weekly

Chef and cookbook author Tramonto (Steak with Friends) has won acclaim for his restaurants and cookbooks, and in this memoir he takes readers into the kitchen to show them a chef's life. It ain't pretty, but it is edifying. As he was growing up in a volatile working-class family in Rochester, N.Y., Tramonto's dad was jailed for embezzlement, and young Rick, struggling with a learning disability, left high school in 1977 for his first culinary job, at Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers. He paid dues all along the way, working with terrifically talented and not a few temperamental chefs, succeeding (earning four-star reviews) and failing (losing a restaurant to fire, divorcing his culinary partner and wife, Gale Gand). As he narrates it, only when he hears a Christian radio broadcast one dark day in his car does he begin to find a way out. Tramonto and his co-writer favor speed over detail and successfully convey how driven and intensely focused the author's career has been. Anyone with a romantic view of the restaurant business should read this mea culpa and redemption tale. (Mar.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

3.6 Stars Out Of 5
3.6 out of 5
3.8 out Of 5
(3.8 out of 5)
3.6 out Of 5
(3.6 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.2 out Of 5
(3.2 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
Page 1 of 1
  1. Columbus, GA
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    New Insights into the Culinary World
    March 15, 2011
    Columbus, GA
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Until I read "Scars of a Chef," I thought anyone who could follow a recipe could cook. I've persisted in this belief for years, though personal experience has told me differently. Perhaps I should have put two and two together: cooking is not an exact science, but rather a grand science experiment. Rick Tramonto (along with other chefs mentioned in his book) is an extraordinary food scientist.

    I was amazed at the amount of work required to learn how to cook like he does. His story is fascinating—of studying for decades to become the master chef he is and of his spiritual development along the way. I may not be a foodie, but I learned much about them while reading this book.

    And his testimony just about made me cry. I love learning the stories of how Christ draws people to Himself. These reaffirm my own faith and prompt me to pray all the harder for loved ones who haven't come to know Jesus—yet.

    As a bonus, Tramonto closes each chapter with a recipe.

    If you enjoy inspirational biographies, whether or not you cook well, I recommend this book to you! Thank you, Tyndale House Publishers, for sending it for my review.
  2. Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    March 5, 2011
    Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I enjoyed reading Rick's life story and glad that he has more to go. Even when he wasn't a believer early in his life I can see God's hand in there! He had a rough time as a child, his parents home was very dysfunctional. Am glad that he did have the support of loving Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.

    He is an over achiever, the amount of time he put into honing his craft, and the success he achieved. He is a very inspiring man, and willing to do all that he could to learn to be the very best!

    I loved that the book included pictures, putting faces to the people that are talked about in the book. Also included are some yummy recipes though out!

    A must read of any young aspiring chefs!

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. Gadsden, AL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    The American Dream is still alive
    March 3, 2011
    D C McKay
    Gadsden, AL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    It was like sitting with him looking over scrap books and old photos. Asking, "How did this all happen?" It is a wild ride through Rick Tramonto's life. A look inside of fine dining. Big chances, big egos, big money with only your name and reputation which can come crashing down with just one bad review. I am not a cook but found it fascinating to learn the ends and outs of this fast paced high stakes industry. Attitude and a tough skin is required. Chef Tramonto holds nothing back. He is not the clean kid doing everything right kind of guy. It is a true American story of rags to riches back and forth. From nothing to something to having to do it all over again and again. This book is an inspiration to us all.

    Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing.
  4. Lafayette, Indiana
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Scars of a Chef
    February 26, 2011
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I just finished Scars of a Chef by Rick Tramonto and was impressed. It was one of those books that wasn't great, it was just interesting. I had never heart of Rick and he is a well known chef, especially in the Midwest.

    The synopsis of the book sounded like a good read, which it was. It was one of those books that held your interest throughout.

    The story starts out with Rick's childhood struggles of being an only child with a strange blend of parents. He did drugs, alcohol, skipped school and was ejected from three schools because of fighting. He started at Wendy's as a high school dropout who later was diagnosed with dyslexia. He found his niche-loved the food industry and all it entailed. He had to support his mother when his father went to prison after being involved in the mob. The book details all his different jobs as a chef and the different places he worked and finally opening a four-start restaurant. The hours-he was a workaholic-were intense and the drugs kept up but he was so empty. He knew there was more to life (he was raised in the Catholic Church) and God kept trying to get his attention. He lost his marriage, business and had to start all over again. This time he let God direct him instead of the other way around. Fun to see where he started and how "sold out" for Jesus he got finally.

    It was an amazing story and not just a story for one who likes cooking. There are recipes throughout the book from his restaurants. Showed me a whole new account into the restaurant world.

    Thank you Tyndale for sending me this book for free just for my honest opinion.
  5. 2 Stars Out Of 5
    A Book About A Man
    February 26, 2011
    Quality: 3
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I picked up Scars of a Chef by Rick Tramonto with Lisa Jackson with the thought of looking for a story that would be encouraging. The cover makes the Rick Tramonto look like a very rough and tumble guy. But, that is what publicity and marketing does--its goal is to make you curious about the book and make you want to read it. Unfortunately, it can backfire if the book doesn't match the cover--which is true in this case. This is the story of a man. It is not a story primarily about God and what He has done in this man's life or about the people in Rick's life. Thoughout the book, you hear Rick's voice. I felt as if I could be talking to him. But, the book is all about what He, Rick Tramonto, did and how He, Rick Tramonto, succeeded.

    I am thankful that Rick and his wife have come to know the Lord. I am glad for them. I am glad that Rick's father came to know the Lord two weeks before his death.

    But, this book contains the details of Rick's life and achievements. Very detailed details. If you love food and you are curious about the world which chefs live in, then you may find the bulk of this book interesting. It began to feel very repetitious to me after the first third of the book.

    This isn't a book I would recommend. It isn't a book with bad grammar or sentence structure or bad writing, per se. But, the story did become very repetitious. I didn't find what I expected when I chose to read this book. I was looking for a book that would give me insight into how someone who grew up in a very rough family found his way out (which is what the marketing led me to believe it was about). I was hoping that there would be an awareness on the a part of the author of how God helped him do that. I wasn't expecting the story of a man who indulged in drugs and alcohol for years. The inside pictures of Rick Tramonto paint a very different picture than the cover does. I don't think he's the rough guy that the front cover portrays him to be. Albeit he admits to having quite a temper, but I couldn't figure some things out about the story. Like once he realized as an adult that he has dyslexia, why didn't he get help? ...Why didn't he ever realize that the reason the marriage counselor was talking to him about the things he did wrong was that he probably did have issues he needed to work out? ...Why didn't he want to change? In this story, rather than finding encouragement and answers, I was just left with a lot of questions.

    Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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