5 Books That Changed My Life: Austin Ferrari

The SF restaurateur on Danny Meyer, his wine bible and Gatsby

By The Editors

5 Books That Changed My Life: Austin Ferrari, Restaurateur
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06 January 2016

Because there is no greater way to know a man than by the books he calls his favorites, we asked Austin Ferrari, founder of SF's Provender and Hillside Supper Club, to share the titles he holds dearest.

At the top of San Francisco's Potrero Hill sits one of the best things that ever happened to coffee in a city that knows from coffee: Provender, the brainchild of brothers-in-culinary-arms (and Hillside Supper Club partners) Austin and Tony Ferrari.

That surname tells you a lot about the origins of their coffee philosophy: their Italian father introduced them to the singular glory of espresso, and that's the cup upon coffee-centric menu was built. 

But we wanted to know a little more about the underpinnings of their success, so we asked Austin — who trudged up the Bay Area culinary ladder from backwaitering at Chez Panisse to launching two of the city's coolest projects in recent years — to share the books that have helped shape his career. 

Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business
By Danny Meyer

"This book taught me restaurants, skills, and the dos and do nots. Plus Danny Meyer is my idol; he's amazing. He's a leader in the industry, and I would truly love, and be honored, to meet him one day."

The Wine Bible
By Karen MacNeil

"Because I love wine, and I go to this book for any information I may need when I'm picking bottles for Hillside or have questions I don't know the answer to."

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
By Michael Pollan

"Because knowing about your food and where it comes from is important to me, and it should be for our entire world. I didn't grow up with the best food, nor was it 'farm fresh,' but after reading this and diving into the truth of nature's bounty, I was changed. Especially after my three years working at Chez Panisse. Everything we plated was from a local garden — it was amazing! That is also where I met Michael Pollan himself, a kind and humble man."

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
By Seth Godin

"At the end of the day, I am a business man. This book just had remarkable advice on the marketing and business branding for products."

The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Because I am a sucker for stories of desire, love and anguish!"

The Specifics


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