“Waiter to the Rich and Shameless” is one of those memoirs that manage to not only entertain you, but impart a few life lessons and wisdom along the way. The book centers around author Paul Hartford’s life catering to the whims of the elite of society… and all of the drama, stress, frustration and entertainment to be found from it.
The well-written book keeps the reader engaged from start to finish as Mr. Hartford explores his time at The Cricket Room and all of the truly shocking events that he bore witness to. Once I started this book I really couldn’t put it down, it’s the kind of addictive memoir that you just have to read all in one setting because it’s just too good to walk away from. Paul Hartford has a sassy, engaging, fast-paced and entertaining writing style that makes this a book true treat to read. ~ L. Collins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Waiter to the Rich and Shameless is not just a peek into the secretive inner workings of a legendary 5-star restaurant; it is not just a celebrity tell-all or a scathing corporate analysis. It is a top-tier waiter’s personal coming-of-age story, an intimate look into the complicated challenges of serving in the country’s most elite, Hollywood-centric dining room while fighting to maintain a sense of self and purpose.
Of the many millions of food service workers around the globe, only a tiny number ever ascend to a top-level position at a world-renowned restaurant catering to iconic celebrities, moguls and politicians. As one of those select few, Paul (“Pauli”) Hartford is the first waiter to open the door into a cloistered, coveted world of money, fame, bad behavior and intrigue. He peels back the veneer of civility and culture at the nation’s most preeminent celebrity hangout, the Cricket Room, in Beverly Hills, California. He exposes the epic human foibles of its elite clientele, the dining room’s corrupt corporate culture, its clandestine culinary practices, and the heartbreaking struggles of its beleaguered waitstaff.
This keenly-observed story also traverses Pauli’s ten-year evolution from a jaded, party-hungry rock musician who moonlights as a bartender, into a snobbish and pretentious waiter, and finally into a polished and sophisticated server who takes his job so seriously that it drives him to the brink of illness. Pauli finds himself at first seduced by his famous guests’ glamour and self-indulgence, then accustomed to it, and finally appalled by it.
For obvious reasons, some details and specifics about the real Cricket Room have been cleverly disguised, but discerning readers will easily connect the dots.
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Excerpt of review by Martin Grossman “Hartford describes some of the guests as having had enough plastic surgery to actually scare people. Imagine it up close. It’s even worse.Put down the scalpel and pick up a cheeseburger for Christ’s sake.”
Paulie’s comments often resemble the patter of a stand-up comedian on a good night. His description of an encounter with Ozzie Osbourne is particularly good for a belly laugh.