Matt Lee and Ted Lee take on the competitive and wild world of high-end catering, revealing the secrets of a food business that few home cooks or restaurants chefs ever truly know.
Hotbox exposes the real-life drama behind cavernous event spaces and soaring white tents, where cooking conditions have more in common with a mobile army hospital than a restaurant and clients tend to be highly emotional and demanding. It's a realm where eccentric characters, working in extreme conditions, must produce magical events, instantly adapting when, for instance, the host's toast runs a half hour too long, a hailstorm erupts, or a rolling rack of hundreds of desserts parfaits goes wheels-up.
The Lee brothers, known for their humane portrayals of uncelebrated food workers for the New York Times, steeped themselves in the catering business for four years, learning the culture business for four years, learning the culture from the inside out. Now, Matt and Ted take you along for the ride as they dash through black-tie fund-raisers, spot celebrities at a Hamptons cookout, or follow a silverware crew at 3:00 a.m. in a warehouse in New Jersey. Along the way, you'll get to know every facet of this essential industry from the inner circle of elite chefs using little more than their wits and Sternos to turn out lamb shanks for eight hundred to the outer reaches of the industries that help produce the most dazzling galas. You'll never attend a party, or entertain on your own, in the same way after reading this book.