Award-winning, multi-certified chef and twenty-year kitchen veteran, Vincent Tropepe, is spilling the beans on a subject matter of restaurant operations that have been a sore subject for many chef and restaurant owners— Restaurant Inspections. In his third book, Roasted, Chopped & Beaten: When Cities Declare War On The Restaurants That Feed Them, a Main Entrée Publishing release, Chef Tropepe gives eye-opening accounts from personal experienced witnessed on a wide-variety of Notices of Violation.
What most people don’t know about Chef Tropepe is that he has a comprehensive understanding and education in hospitality law. With his years of cooking experience first being trained by Alain Ducasse at The Essex House to The Rainbow Room on top of Rockefeller Center, The 21 Club, the famed Mr. K’s… just to name a few, Tropepe is able to see both sides of inspections that most people can’t. “As a chef first, I see the issues restaurant owners and operators face. A lot of the times the codes written do not coincide with the practicality of operating certain aspects of a kitchen or restaurant. As a matter of fact, many times different city agencies and the codes have conflict with other city agencies and regulations they have,” Tropepe said.
In Roasted, Chopped & Beaten, Tropepe gives none of his own opinion, “I don’t believe anyone cares about my opinion. I don’t have to give my opinion because everything in the book is fact,” Tropepe stated. And indeed, the book is a factual guide. Tropepe at one time had a roster of representing over 200 restaurants in various city agencies, “I wrote this book because nobody else that knew enough would write it. I wrote this book because a system that was originally intended to protect the dining public morphed into a money-making machine for cities all across the country. Additionally, restaurant operators across the country may not be experiencing what other cities are when it comes to restaurant inspections and they need to understand that tainted inspection systems are being employed all across the country,” Tropepe said.
Chef Tropepe is known for his comprehensive and thorough approach to things. With credentials like his, it’s clear that he has access to people that many others wouldn’t. Tropepe includes the full interviews he had with the current Department of Health inspector, a city agency supervisor and a current sitting city judge who exclusively hears restaurant inspection cases. This trio gives insight on how the system has been designed to have the cards stacked against food service establishments. Additionally, Tropepe interviewed Top Chef contestant, Jon Tesar, from Dallas, Texas who recently received his first Michelin star for his restaurant Knife & Spoon at the Ritz Carlton Resort in Orlando. He includes interviews with International Pizza Champion, Chef Elizabeth Falkner, legendary Chef Jeremiah Tower, and a story from his dear friend, the late Anthony Bourdain, who he assisted with his inspection difficulties.
“It is not my position, or the position of any chef that operates their kitchen with high standards that we do not want to be inspected – we do want to be inspected but we want to be inspected and graded by knowledgeable city staff that do not have to justify their jobs by writing fictitious claims,” Tropepe concluded.
Roasted, Chopped and Beaten is certainly a must-read for those who enjoy dining and for those in the hospitality industry.
Roasted Chopped and Beaten: When Cities Declare War On The Restaurants That Feed Them is available online at Barnes and Noble for pre-order, releasing September 6, 2022.