Silence of the Chefs

An Outsiders Story of Kitchen Life

Andreas Liebe Delsett was offered what many food enthusiasts dream of: Would he work for a period in the restaurant kitchen, learn the profession, cook at a really high level?

Few places in society are as diverse as the restaurant kitchen. The chefs have become oracles, celebrities and cultural heroes, and the professional kitchen is constantly presented as mythical and magical in magazines, TV series and popular culture. At the same time, the cooking profession is a low-status occupation, with poor pay, low recruitment, difficult working conditions and tough physical demands. In the eyes of society, the chef is at the same time an artist and craftsman, ruler and servant, oracle and idiot. What reality really awaits those who choose the Kitchen Life?

Andreas envisioned a few months in an exciting world, an easy shortcut to the master chefs’ recipes and insights. Instead, the time at the kitchen counter at Restaurant Stock in Oslo became an exhausting and challenging encounter with a different reality.

Silence of the Chefs is a book about food, collaboration, crafts, repetitions, fellowship, mistakes, knowledge, kitchen appliances, creativity, boredom and class. In addition, the book is one of the most vivid and insightful portrait of the professional kitchen to date.

I can’t remember reading such an unaffected, thorough and immersive book about life in the kitchen.