Book Review: “Scars of a Chef” by Rick Tramonto with Lisa Jackson (2011)

The Food Network is my favorite vice. While cooking shows are the only reality-type TV shows that I enjoy, I have always wanted to know more about the chefs themselves and how they got to where they are today. Scars of a Chef offers a very intimate look into the growth of chef Rick Tramonto—from drugged up high school dropout to world-class celebrity chef—and reveals how a dangerous cocktail of selfish tenacity, a strong temper, and decades of health-defying hard work can be diluted only by the intervention of the saving grace of God through the work of Christ.

Tramonto takes his readers on a journey, the same journey he himself once took across the country and the world to learn the artistry of the culinary world. His text is captivating and his experiences, at times intimidating and at others inspiring, beautifully attest to the reality that one cannot find “true success” apart from God. Throughout Scars of a Chef, Tramonto shares how his faith in Christ’s death and resurrection proved faithful, time and again, to fill the voids that selfishness and vain pursuits unerringly left behind.

Beyond the captivating biography and Christ-centered structure of the book, Tramonto also seasons the end of each chapter with a timely recipe that, while often more work that I am ever willing to put into my own paltry dishes, evidence the man’s passion and talent for fine cuisine. I did attempt portions of his Pizza Dei Tramonto at the end of “Chapter 14: Chicago.”

I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys good food, a good biography and hearing of the great work of an even greater Lord.

©2011 E.T.

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