The End of Many Books

Unreasonable Hospitality

by Will Guidara

Part rising star autobiography, part intro to the world of fine dining, part leadership principles, the whole book is full of tasty courses from the hors d’oeuvre to the afters. A friend recommended it to me in January, but I procrastinated on getting a copy. In the meantime he recommended it to a whole bunch of people and then they all started talking about it so I could resist no longer.

I should have remembered Guidara and his restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, from a Seven Days Out episode that Mo had us watch a few years ago. The story is fun, even Legend; I wasn’t too many pages into the book before I cared about the author and his team.

Hospitality is a Christian virtue, and there is application to be found far beyond four star restaurants. How can you pay better attention to others, serve them, even surprise them? Hospitality is not exactly generosity, and it’s definitely not necessarily luxury. “Hospitality is about creating genuine connection” (loc. 1912), especially since “the human desire to be taken care of never goes away” (loc. 131), and comes with an opportunity “to make magic in a world that desperately needs more of it” (loc. 354).

Hospitality is potent, and something Christian cultures should develop. This book is a great encouragement toward that end.

4 of 5 stars