The Perfectionist To the outside world, Bernard Loiseau's life could not have been better. He was a renowned chef with an ebullient (though bipolar) personality who was… The Perfectionist To the outside world, Bernard Loiseau's life could not have been better. He was a renowned chef with an ebullient (though bipolar) personality who was… 2005-05-19 Nonfiction Gotham
Book Review

The Perfectionist (2005)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: May 19, 2005; Writer: Rudolph Chelminski; Genre: Nonfiction; Publisher: Gotham

To the outside world, Bernard Loiseau's life could not have been better. He was a renowned chef with an ebullient (though bipolar) personality who was adored by diners and staff alike, and his Burgundy restaurant La Cote d'Or was awarded three Michelin stars — the highest honor. So it sent shock waves worldwide when Loiseau, 52, put a gun to his head and took his own life on Feb. 24, 2003. (His GaultMillau rating had just dropped two points.) Rudolph Chelminski, a friend of Loiseau's, sympathetically recounts the meteoric rise and untimely fall of one of France's premier chefs. While it lacks the quick-paced dish of Kitchen Confidential, Perfectionist effectively reveals the pressure-cooker atmosphere among a culinary elite dominated by intense rivalries, fickle reviewers, and hypercritical chefs for whom there's no such thing as second best.

Originally posted May 23, 2005 Published in issue #821-822 May 27, 2005 Order article reprints
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