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Michael`s Cecchi-Azzolina book presentation “Your table is ready”

Published: November 30, 2022; Author: Julia Sonrisa

 December 6, 2022    07:00 PM-08:00 PM EST

Address: 180 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002, United States

Phone: +1 212-546-7536


Michael`s Cecchi-Azzolina book presentation “Your table is ready”

P&T Knitwear is pleased to welcome Michael Cecchi-Azzolina to celebrate the release of his debut memoir, Your Table Is Ready (St. Martin’s Press)! A " vivid, candid account of an admirable restaurant career" (Kirkus Reviews), Your Table Is Ready is a rollicking, raunchy, revelatory memoir — a front-of-the-house Kitchen Confidential from a career maître d`hotel who manned the front of the room in New York City’s hottest and most in-demand restaurants. Michael will be joined in conversation by Andrew Friedman, author of the forthcoming book The Dish.

From the glamorous to the entitled, from royalty to the financially ruined, everyone who wanted to be seen—or just to gawk — at the hottest restaurants in New York City came to places Michael Cecchi-Azzolina helped run. His phone number was passed around among those who wanted to curry favor, during the decades when restaurants replaced clubs and theater as, well, theater in the most visible, vibrant city in the world.

Besides dropping us back into a vanished time, Your Table Is Ready takes us places we’d never be able to get into on our own: Raoul’s in Soho with its louche club vibe; Buzzy O’Keefe’s casually elegant River Café (the only outer-borough establishment desirable enough to be included in this roster), from Keith McNally’s Minetta Tavern to Nolita’s Le Coucou, possibly the most beautiful room in New York City in 2018, with its French Country Auberge-meets-winery look and the most exquisite and enormous stands of flowers, changed every three days.

From his early career serving theater stars like Tennessee Williams and Dustin Hoffman at La Rousse right through to the last pre-pandemic shutdown full houses at Le Coucou, Cecchi-Azzolina has seen it all. In Your Table Is Ready, he breaks down how restaurants really run (and don’t), and how the economics work for owners and overworked staff alike. The professionals who gravitate to the business are a special, tougher breed, practiced in dealing with the demanding patrons and with each other, in a very distinctive ecosystem that’s somewhere between a George Orwell “down and out in....” dungeon and a sleek showman’s smoke-and-mirrors palace.

“...a funny, raunchy, savvy and hugely entertaining book.” — Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City

“What [Michael] experienced was an in-house riot of sex, drugs, alcohol and, now and then, excellent cuisine...vivid, detailed, unsparing.” — Alan Richman, James Beard award-winning food journalist

“...funny, nostalgic, and fascinating, an insider-peeks into New York City’s most iconic restaurants... I always feel welcome the minute I see Michael wearing his warm smile, cool glasses, and elegant suits and I always leave him laughing; Your Table is Ready will do the same for you.” — Brooke Shields

  • This is a free in-store event with limited amphitheater-style seating
  • All guests must be vaccinated to attend and must provide proof of vaccination in order to enter the event. We encourage all guests to wear masks.
  • The talk will be followed by a book signing. Books signed at P&T Knitwear events must be purchased from P&T Knitwear. If you would like a signed copy and cannot attend the event, we’re happy to take your pre-order. We ship to most places!

About the author

Michael Cecchi-Azzolina has been in the restaurant industry for more than thirty-five years. From his early career at La Rousse, he has gone on to run the front of the house at New York’s most famous and influential restaurants, including The Water Club, The River Cafe, Raoul’s, and Le Coucou. He lives in Manhattan.

About the moderator

Andrew Friedman is the author of Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits, and Wanderers Created a New American Profession (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2018), and of the forthcoming book The Dish, to be published by Mariner Books/HarperCollins next year. He also hosts and produces the independent podcast Andrew Talks to Chefs, currently in its fifth year. As a book collaborator, he co-edited the popular anthology Don’t Try This at Home, and has partnered on more than 25 cookbooks, memoirs, and other projects with some of America’s finest and most well-known chefs, from legends like Alfred Portale to today’s tastemakers, such as Paul Liebrandt and Michael White, to an upcoming autobiographical book by Daniel Boulud, to be published by Grand Central Publishing. He is a proud resident of Brooklyn, NY.

Time: 7:00 PM — 8:00 PM EST



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