Andrew Friedman has made a career of chronicling the life and work of some of our best chefs.
His most recent book, Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits, and Wanderers Created a New American Profession (2018) tells the story of the evolution of the American chef in the 1970s and 1980s. To write it, Friedman interviewed more than 200 industry figures including legends such as Wolfgang Puck, Jeremiah Tower, Alice Waters, Jonathan Waxman, and Ruth Reichl.
Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll earned rave reviews from The Wall Street Journal, Salon, The Village Voice, and Kitchen Arts & Letters, among many others, and has been optioned for development as a docu-series.
His forthcoming book The Dish: The Lives and Labor Behind One Plate of Food, will be published by HarperCollins in fall 2023 and tells the story of all the key people whose work comes together in a single composition at Chicago’s Wherewithall restaurant, offering a snapshot of the contemporary cooking and farming communities. He is also collaborating on a memoir with Daniel Boulud, to be published by Grand Central Publishing in 2024.
Andrew is also the host of the podcast Andrew Talks to Chefs, on which he engages the best and most well-known chefs in the world in in-depth conversations. Guests have included everyone from three-star Michelin chefs such as Massimo Bottura, Dominique Crenn, David Kinch, and Eric Ripert to television favorites such as Alex Guarneschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, and Curtis Stone to rising stars such as Olmsted’s Greg Baxtrom and Field Trip’s JJ Johnson to legends like Tom Colicchio, Charlie Palmer, and Nancy Silverton.
Friedman first became fascinated by chefs in 1997, when Alfred Portale asked him to collaborate on the Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook. The book received the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award for “Best Chef or Restaurant Cookbook,” as well as a James Beard Award nomination for “Best General Cookbook,” and is widely considered a classic in the “chef cookbook” genre.
Since then, Andrew has collaborated on cookbooks and other projects with Laurent Tourondel, Michelle Bernstein, Bill Telepan, David Waltuck, Michael White, and Paul Liebrandt, among many others, receiving another IACP award along the way. He also co-edited, and largely ghost-wrote, the popular anthology Don’t Try This at Home, in which forty chefs including Daniel Boulud, Sara Moulton, Scott Conant, Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger, and Wylie Dufresne shared humorous kitchen-disaster stories.
In 2009, Andrew wrote his first non-fiction book, Knives at Dawn: America’s Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d’Or Competition. To write it, he trailed the 2009 US team—headed by The French Laundry’s chef de cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth (currently at LA’s Otium)—from its formation in Orlando, Florida, through its training under the auspices of Thomas Keller in Yountville, California, and into battle in Lyon, France. The book received many plaudits, including raves from Publisher’s Weekly, Eater, The Washington Post, and others.
Andrew was featured in the Zero Point Zero/CNN documentary Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent; was one of four experts interviewed for a special Parts Unknown episode devoted to the legacy of the late Anthony Bourdain; and is a frequent judge on Beat Bobby Flay. Additionally, he is an in-demand guest on other hosts’ podcasts including Food Republic Today, Serious Eats’ Special Sauce, A Taste of the Past with Linda Pellacio, The Splendid Table, and Good Food. He has also contributed articles to Taste, Fool, O—The Oprah Magazine, and other publications and websites. He has been profiled in The New York Daily News and New York Magazine, and interviewed for, or featured in articles in, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as on NPR’s Taste of the Nation. An editor at-large for TENNIS magazine, he also co-authored (with American tennis star James Blake) the New York Times bestselling memoir Breaking Back.
Before becoming a working writer, Friedman developed film and television projects for producers Steven Haft and Marcia Nasatir. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Columbia University, and is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute/International Culinary Center’s “La Technique” program. He lives in New York, with his family.