44° Good Afternoon
44° Good Afternoon

Jamesport: Tom Schaudel plays with fire

Photograph of Tom Schaudel at the grill in

Photograph of Tom Schaudel at the grill in his restaurant "Coolfish" at 6800 Jericho Turnpike. for Erica Marcus story about Tom. May 18, 2006 (Newsday/ Ken Spencer ) Photo Credit: Newsday / Ken Spencer

Tomorrow, Nov. 27, Tom Schaudel, chef-owner of A Mano in Mattituck, will be demonstrating one of his pasta dishes at Martha Clara Vineyards in Jamesport.

Schaudel, also the owner of Coolfish in Syosset, became an author two years ago when he published “Playing with Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast” (Legwork, $29.95). On Saturday he’ll be signing copies of “Playing with Fire,” which I included in my best-food-books list of 2008.

The book, I wrote back then, “is a hilarious, behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant business, a front-of-the-house companion volume to Anthony Bourdain’s back-of-the-house classic, ‘Kitchen Confidential.’ The stories are laugh-out-loud funny. Schaudel is simultaneously appalled and impressed by the staggering chutzpah demonstrated by his clients: the customer who steals a framed menu out of the men’s room; the fellow who brings his own wine but doesn’t want to pay a corkage fee because, wait for it, he removed the cork at home; the couple who brings in Italian takeout to eat in the restaurant’s bar; the guy who, attempting to get special treatment, announces to the person manning the desk at Coolfish that he knows Schaudel personally. This is news to the person manning the desk, Schaudel himself (related: the lady who, attempting to get special treatment, announces that she is Tom’s sister—to Tom’s sister).”

Signed or unsigned, the book’s a great holiday gift for the enthusiastic diner.

Martha Clara Vineyards is at 6025 Sound Ave., Jamesport, 631-298-0075.


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