Nine Lives: A Chef's Journey from Chaos to Control

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A rising young chef lays bare his gripping story of culinary triumphs, consuming drug addictions, and his continuing quest to stay on top while staying sober

At twenty-six years old, Brandon Baltzley was poised for his star turn as the opening chef at Chicago’s hotspot Tribute. People called him a prodigy—the Salvador Dali of cooking—and foodie blogs followed his every move. Instead, Brandon walked away from it all and entered rehab to deal with the alcohol and cocaine addiction that had enslaved him most of his adult life.

Brandon grew up in the South with no father and an addict mother. At nine, he was prepping vegetables in the back of a gay bar. From there, he went on to deep-frying with Paula Deen to cooking in an array of Michelin-starred restaurants, including Grant Achatz’s world-renowned Alinea. In between, he was touring the country with his heavy metal band, Kylesa—and doing his first stint in rehab.

Like Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Butter and Bones, Brandon’s Nine Lives is about blazing a way out from a rough childhood through talent and an unbridled passion for the craft of cooking. A story that’s still being written as Brandon works with Crux, the pop-up culinary collective he founded, and plans for the opening of his own restaurant, Nine Lives serves up a raw and riveting memoir about food, rock-and-roll, and redemption.
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About the author

Brandon Baltzley is a recovering addict, which is not something to be proud of, but something to build on. An eternal nomad, he has spent time in Chicago, Maine, and Pittsburgh.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
May 2, 2013
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781101621707
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Culinary
Cooking / Essays & Narratives
Cooking / Regional & Ethnic / American / Southern States
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Millions of people fantasize about leaving their old lives behind, enrolling in cooking school, and training to become a chef. But for those who make the decision, the difference between the dream and reality can be gigantic—especially at the top cooking school in the country. For the first time in the Culinary Institute of America’s history, a book will give readers the firsthand experience of being a full-time student facing all of the challenges of the legendary course in its entirety.

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With the benefit of his age to give perspective to his experience, Dixon delivers a gripping day-to-day chronicle of his transformation from amateur to professional. From the daily tongue-lashings in class to learning the ropes—fast—at a top NYC kitchen, Beaten, Seared, and Sauced is a fascinating and intimate first-person view of one of America’s most famous culinary institutions and one of the world’s most coveted jobs.


From the Hardcover edition.
NOW AN ORIGINAL SERIES ON ABC • “Just may be the best new comedy of [the year] . . . based on restaurateur Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name . . . [a] classic fresh-out-of-water comedy.”—People
 
“Bawdy and frequently hilarious . . . a surprisingly sophisticated memoir about race and assimilation in America . . . as much James Baldwin and Jay-Z as Amy Tan . . . rowdy [and] vital . . . It’s a book about fitting in by not fitting in at all.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
 
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS
 
Assimilating ain’t easy. Eddie Huang was raised by a wild family of FOB (“fresh off the boat”) immigrants—his father a cocksure restaurateur with a dark past back in Taiwan, his mother a fierce protector and constant threat. Young Eddie tried his hand at everything mainstream America threw his way, from white Jesus to macaroni and cheese, but finally found his home as leader of a rainbow coalition of lost boys up to no good: skate punks, dealers, hip-hop junkies, and sneaker freaks. This is the story of a Chinese-American kid in a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac blazing his way through America’s deviant subcultures, trying to find himself, ten thousand miles from his legacy and anchored only by his conflicted love for his family and his passion for food. Funny, moving, and stylistically inventive, Fresh Off the Boat is more than a radical reimagining of the immigrant memoir—it’s the exhilarating story of every American outsider who finds his destiny in the margins.
 
Praise for Fresh Off the Boat
 
“Brash and funny . . . outrageous, courageous, moving, ironic and true.”—New York Times Book Review
 
“Mercilessly funny and provocative, Fresh Off the Boat is also a serious piece of work. Eddie Huang is hunting nothing less than Big Game here. He does everything with style.”—Anthony Bourdain
 
“Uproariously funny . . . emotionally honest.”—Chicago Tribune
 
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“Although writing a memoir is an audacious act for a thirty-year-old, it is not nearly as audacious as some of the things Huang did and survived even earlier. . . . Whatever he ends up doing, you can be sure it won’t look or sound like anything that’s come before. A single, kinetic passage from Fresh Off the Boat . . . is all you need to get that straight.”—Bookforum
The beloved owner of the wildly popular Sweetie Pie's restaurant, and star of the OWN reality television show Welcome to Sweetie Pie's shares recipes for her renowned soul food and the lessons she's learned on the path to success.

Growing up in Mississippi and St. Louis, Robbie Montgomery, the oldest of nine children, was often responsible for putting meals on the family table. Working side by side with her mother in their St. Louis kitchen, Robbie learned to prepare dozens of classic soul food dishes.

Now, at seventy-two, Miss Robbie passes down those traditions for generations of fans to enjoy in Sweetie Pie's Cookbook. Robbie takes you into the kitchen to prepare her most favored meals—smothered pork chops, salmon croquettes, baked chicken—and tells you heartfelt and humorous stories, including amazing tales from her life at the restaurant and on the road as a back-up singer. Miss Robbie began her culinary career on the road—in the segregated America of the1960s, finding welcoming restaurants in small cities and towns was often challenging for African-Americans. When a collapsed lung prematurely ended her singing career, Miss Robbie returned to St. Louis, using her formidable cooking talent to open a soul food restaurant that would make her legend.

Through her show and this special cookbook, Miss Robbie hopes to maintain the place of soul food cooking—its recipes, history, and legacy—in American culture for decades to come.

Sweetie Pie's Cookbook includes 75-100 gorgeous color photos and an Index.

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