Liam Mayclem & Andrew Friedman

Liam Mayclem & Andrew Friedman (Photo credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Foodie Chap Talks 'Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll'

With Author Andrew Friedman

Liam Mayclem
April 25, 2018 - 10:52 am

(KCBS RADIO) - Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll transports readers back in time to witness the remarkable evolution of the American restaurant chef in the 1970s and '80s. Taking a rare, coast-to-coast perspective, Andrew Friedman goes inside Chez Panisse and other Bay Area restaurants to show how the politically charged backdrop of Berkeley helped draw new talent to the profession; into the historically underrated community of Los Angeles chefs, including a young Wolfgang Puck and future stars such as Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, and Nancy Silverton; and into the clash of cultures between established French chefs in New York City and the American game changers behind The Quilted Giraffe, The River Cafe, and other East Coast establishments.

We also meet young cooks of the time such as Tom Colicchio and Emeril Lagasse who went on to become household names in their own right. Along the way, the chefs, their struggles, their cliques, and, of course, their restaurants are brought to life in vivid detail. As the '80's unspool, we see the profession evolve as American masters like Thomas Keller rise, and watch the genesis of a “chef nation” as these culinary pioneers crisscross the country to open restaurants and collaborate on special events, and legendary hangouts like Blue Ribbon become social focal points, all as the industry-altering Food Network shimmers on the horizon.

Told largely in the words of the people who lived it, as captured in more than two hundred author interviews with writers like Ruch Reichl and legends like Jeremiah Tower, Alice Waters, Jonathan Waxman, and Barry Wine, Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll treats readers to an unparalleled 360-degree re-creation of the business and the times through the perspectives not only of the groundbreaking chefs but also of line cooks, front-of-house personnel, investors, and critics who had front-row seats to this extraordinary transformation. This book is a must read for anyone remotely interested in the American Chef story, from California across the country to New York with stops in between.

In this thorough, well researched and dare I say, juicy book (yes Alice Waters took LSD) Andrew Freidman digs deep. If you love food and are curious about why people choose “cheffing” as a career this is the book for you. This book summers and boils and I guarantee you will have trouble putting it down.

Andrew Friedman

Enjoy the read and interview plus the tasty recipe from author Andrew below.  We met recently at the San Francisco Cooking School where an all star Chef panel talked about the highs and lows of the restaurant industry. The take away: "Follow your passion, enjoy food and cook at home but don’t become a chef"!!

Cheers, Liam!

Andrew Friedman's Farfalle with Parmesan, Peas, and Prosciutto
(Photo credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Andrew Friedman's Farfalle with Parmesan, Peas, and Prosciutto


  • 1 pound dried farfalle (mezze rigatoni or fusilli may be substituted)
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas 
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature 
  • 1 large clove garlic, mashed to a paste with a sprinkle of salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana cheese 
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) thinly sliced arugula leaves
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, torn into bite-size pieces


  1. Fill a large pot halfway with water, salt it lightly, and bring to a boil over high heat. Fill a small pot halfway with water, salt it, and bring to a boil over high heat. Have a small, heatproof measuring cup and large strainer or colander at the ready.
  2. Add the farfalle to the large pot and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, put the butter in a small bowl, add the garlic and thyme, a few grinds of pepper, and stir together with a small rubber spatula or spoon.
  4. During the last minute or 2 of the pasta’s cooking time, add the peas to the small pot of boiling water. 
  5. When the pasta is done, turn off the heat, reserve 1 cup of its cooking liquid in the measuring cup, drain it in the strainer, and return it to the pot. Drain the peas in the strainer and set aside. 
  6. Add the butter to the pasta, along with the cheese, and stir, adding the reserved cooking liquid, until the butter, cheese, and water emulsify into a creamy sauce. (You will not use all of the liquid.) Fold in the peas, tomatoes, arugula, and prusciutto. Serve.


Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll by author Andrew Friedman is available on