Kenny Shopsin

Cover via AmazonI just finished reading Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin.  Kenny Shopsin is a classic New Yorker.  I am pretty sure, just putting it out there, that after Kenny was born, they broke the mold.  

Most people in the Village know Shopsins, the restaurant, and others, like myself, have eaten in the original.  I remember going to the original with 2 friends many many years ago.  The menu had hundreds of options.  I was blown away.  How can you possibly offer this many things?  He does it and he does it well. 

He began as a deli and when him and his wife, Eve, realized they couldn’t make ends meet this way, they decided to change the place into a restaurant.  As rent went up, he moved to a second location and as he got older he decided to downsize and move again.  You can now find Kenny cooking in the Essex Street Market.

What I love about the book is Kenny plays it as he sees it.  If he doesn’t like a customer in his restaurant, he boots them out.  He has certain rules you must follow or leave.  The restaurant is a total family affair and his kids, who are adults at this point, still work in the restaurant.  But what is the most incredible part of the book is how he teaches us how to run a restaurant with a few hundred things on the menu.  His creativity, what the kitchen looks like, and how he cooks.  Genius in his own way. 

Kenny is unique and in many ways the ultimate short order chef.  I also love that Kenny is obsessed with the Internet.  The book is a quick read with many recipes included but for any New Yorker who has eaten at Kenny’s restaurant, it is absolutely worth the read.  Gives you a little more insight into the true character Kenny is. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Banet

    I finished this book about 2 weeks ago. I’ve had a number of meals at the first 2 locations — not yet at the newest.I always thought that Kenny was a bit of a nut, maybe an ass, but heck, it’s his place so he can run it however he wants.After reading the book I have a much deeper appreciation for the man. Now I realize he’s not an ass at all, he’s just has very high standards and doesn’t want to compromise. Maybe he doesn’t communicate that so well — but hey… it’s his restaurant. ;)Great book, great food, can’t wait to eat at his place the next time I go to Saxelby’s.Peterhttp://www.FlashlightWorthy…Books so good, they’ll keep you up past your bedtime. 😉

    1. Gotham Gal

      Couldn’t agree more. Total respect for Kenny.Anne Saxelby rules the cheese world.joanne [email protected]

  2. thefensk

    I have to agree with your review and with the comment below. When I first saw “I Like Killing Flies” I thought he was a bit on the strange side, but “Eat Me” is a wonderful gastronomic autobiography. Even though I’ve never enjoyed his food first hand, I know I’d like it, and him. Even if he kicked me out. Which he might. Every one of the several recipes I’ve tried has been first rate. Good stuff.

    1. Gotham Gal

      A true original

    2. Gotham Gal

      A true original