Workhorse My Sublime and Absurd Years in New York City's Restaurant Scene

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2021-11-09
  • Publisher: Hachette Books
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A razor-sharp look at one woman’s nearly two decades in the New York City restaurant scene, including as the assistant to famed restaurateur Joe Bastianich, owner of Babbo and partner of Eataly, and what happens when your job consumes your life.

By day, Kim Reed was a social worker to the homebound elderly in Brooklyn Heights. By night, she scrambled into Manhattan to hostess at Babbo, where even the Pope would have had trouble scoring a reservation, and A-list celebrities squeezed through the jam-packed entryway like everyone else. Despite her whirlwind fifteen-hour workdays, Kim remained up to her eyeballs in grad school debt. Her training—problem solving, crisis intervention, dealing with unpredictable people and random situations—made her the ideal assistant for the volatile Joe Bastianich, a hard-partying, “What's next?” food and wine entrepreneur. He rose to fame in Italy as a TV star while Kim planned parties, fielded calls, and negotiated deals from two phones on the go.
Decadent food, summers in Milan, and a reservation racket that paid in designer bags and champagne were fun only inasmuch as they filled the void left by being always on call and on edge. In a blink, the years passed, and one day Kim looked up and realized that everything she wanted beyond her job—friends, a relationship, a family, a weekend without twenty ominous emails dropping into her inbox—was out of reach. Workhorse is a deep-dive into coming of age in the chaos of New York City’s foodie craze and an all-too-relatable look at what happens when your job takes over your identity, and when a scandal upends your understanding of where you work and what you do.. After spending years making the impossible possible for someone else, Kim realized she had to do the same for herself.

Author Biography

Kim Reed began her tenure in the New York City restaurant scene at Babbo in 2001. A practicing social worker by day, she spent her evenings and weekends working in the Babbo hospitality department. In 2010, Reed took over the office of Joe Bastianich, international restaurateur, TV personality and co-founder of BBHG, and spent the next eight years traveling around the US and Europe while solving the unsolvable and predicting the unpredictable.

Reed is the founder of the website The Abettor, a lifestyle blog known for interviews with assistants to exceptional individuals from all sectors. A recovering workaholic, Reed spends her time writing and serving on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Heights and Hills in Brooklyn where she once practiced social work.

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