Vividly, compulsively readable, Hotbox is a behind-the-pipe-and-drape look at the business and drama of high-end catering.
Matt Lee and Ted Lee, best known for three award-winning books on American Southern food, turn their hands here to the culinary version of special forces: the crack teams of cooks,captains, and waiters who pull off high-stakes events night after night in locations that were never designed for dinner. Whether it's a museum gala or a hedge-fund billionaire's third wedding (set in a field with a stunning view of rivers, mountains, and valleys but no running water, electricity, or gas—and 500 spun-sugar cages that must be precisely placed atop individually plated ice cream wedding cakes—) everything must seem to be perfect.
Of course, it is not always so. And it's in those moments that courage and a flair for improvisation set the great catering teams apart.
If you like Bill Buford's Heat, or Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, Hotbox will grip you.