- 8,49 €
A devastatingly original look at the world's worst dictators, through the eyes of their personal chefs, by award-winning Polish author Witold Szablowski.
What is it like to cook for the most dangerous men in the world?
In this darkly funny and fascinating book, Witold Szablowski travels across four continents in search of the personal chefs of five dictators. From the savannahs of Kenya to the faded glamour of Havana, and the bombed-out streets of Baghdad, Szablowski finds the men and women who cooked fish soup for Saddam Hussein, roasted goat for Idi Amin and chopped papaya salad for Pol Pot. He reveals the strangeness of a job where a single culinary mistake could be fatal, but a well-seasoned dish could change your life. And in doing so, he lifts the veil on what life is like at the very heart of power.
In this heavily researched history, Polish journalist Szablowski (Dancing Bears) shares the stories of six personal chefs of five dictators, among them Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Enver Hoxhas, and Pol Pot. These are the kinds of stories only a chef could know: whether it's being accused of poisoning Amin and being exiled, or having to pay Hussein for the wasted meat if he found it oversalted, the chefs Szablowski interviewed divulge morsels of character from their respective rulers. Each chef elaborates on the dictator's favorite dish such as Amin's Roasted Goat (stuffed with "rice, potatoes, carrots, parsley, peas," recalls chef Otonde Odera) and Hussein's Thieves' Fish Soup and tells stories of their unsettling attributes (Pol Pot "had an incredible sense of humor. He was like a clown, he really was," his unnamed chef recalls) and, in some cases, their eventual demise. Throughout, Szablowski entertains with disturbing rumors, such as Amin eating human flesh (whatever the case, his chef never cooked it for him), and strange obsessions (Castro preferred the milk from a single cow named Ubre Blanca, or "white udder"). Food and history buffs will find these firsthand accounts irresistible.