World Chefs: Paul Liebrandt chronicles culinary career in first book

Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:21am EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acclaimed chef Paul Liebrandt recounts the ups and downs of his culinary career and describes how working with world-class chefs in Europe and the United States fueled his ambition to succeed in his first book, "To the Bone."

Critics have praised the 37-year-old Zimbabwe-born chef for his inventive dishes and impeccable technique since he burst onto the U.S. culinary scene in his early 20s as the executive chef at Atlas in New York's Greenwich Village.

In 2011 he was the subject of the documentary film "A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt."

Last summer, Liebrandt opened The Elm, a restaurant that focuses on French European food, in Brooklyn's trendy Williamsburg neighborhood.

In "To the Bone," co-written with Andrew Friedman, Liebrandt recounts his failures, including being fired from the American nouveau restaurant Gilt and his successes such as receiving two Michelin stars for Corton, the Manhattan restaurant he left in July and eventually closed.

Liebrandt, who grew up in London, spoke to Reuters about the book, his approach to cooking and creating the perfect dish.

Q: Why did you write this book?

A: The idea was to do something you could read, something you could enjoy as a good story, as well as looking at beautiful pictures of food. I have been an avid lover and collector of cookbooks for decades. What I love about cookbooks is the story (about) where the dishes come from and the thoughts on the creative process and thoughts on the food itself. That, I thought, would resonate in a big way.   Continued...

Chef Paul Liebrandt is pictured in this handout picture taken in 2011 in New York, courtesy of Evan Sung. REUTERS/Evan Sung/Handout via Reuters