Friday, August 08, 2008

"The Life & Times of Jimmy Sears"

No, there's no book titled The Life & Times of Jimmy Sears...yet. But that is in fact the working title of a book that John Tesar, the executive chef at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, is working on.

Chef Tesar is the subject of my latest interview at "Dining with Bacchus." He's a very generous host, a superb chef, and a fount of expert information and insights about food, running restaurants, sustainable flora and fauna, and much more. Only a portion of what I learned from him made it into the published interview.

Readers of foodie books may be as interested as I was to learn that Tesar is "Jimmy Sears" in Anthony Bourdain's landmark Kitchen Confidential. Those familiar with the book--subtitiled "Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly"--know that it's a warts-and-all account of restaurant life and that the chef-author shines a harsh light on others as well as on himself.

Nevertheless, Tesar/Sears comes off very well when he's introduced:
Jimmy was a brilliant cook. He'd come up with Brendan Walsh at Arizona 206, and the food he turned out in his brief time working [in a pseudonymous restaurant] was so good, I'd stay after my shift was over, sit at the bar and order dinner and pay for it. Seeing what Jimmy could do in the kitchen really inspired me; I'd been slinging hash for way too long, and tasting a real demiglace again, eating new, exciting food, seeing new presentations, made me remember what I'd enjoyed about food in the first place.
Having now eaten Tesar's food at Rosewood Mansion--the delicious King Crab in Two Butter Sauces--I don't think Bourdain was overstating the chef's talent.

Among other things, The Life & Times of Jimmy Sears will look back on the episodes and events first chronicled in Kitchen Confidential. I'll be first in line for a copy.

Read my interview with Chef John Tesar.

--Marshal Zeringue