A Dallas-based restaurant industry honcho has written a dishy new book: Called ForkFight! Whisks, Risks, and Conflicts Behind the Restaurant Curtain, it's by Mark Brezinski, a 45-year food & beverage pro famous for creating or co-creating some of the industry's biggest game-changing concepts.
Heralded by Simon & Schuster as "the most compelling, insightful, and white-knuckled journey behind the restaurant curtain since Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential," the 225-page hardcover book, published by Post Hill Press, chronicles Brezinski's colorful career, spanning the globe in search of culinary discoveries and inspirations with industry icons like the late Norman Brinker, Paul Fleming, Phil Romano, and chefs Michael Mina and Mark Miller.
If you love hot gossip about restaurant industry bigwigs, this book is a must-read.
Brezinski will be doing a book signing of ForkFight! on Saturday, April 22 from 1-3 pm at Bizzy Burger Merchants, his latest concept, located at 13251 Montfort Dr., Dallas.
A graduate of the famed School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Brezinski has had a hand in creating multiple nationally acclaimed restaurant companies, from Pei Wei to Velvet Taco to Tin Star to Trinity Groves.
In a statement, Brezinski says that he uses the book to open up about his successes and failures in the restaurant world, wherein he worked alongside some "dynamic" personalities, dynamic, that's a nice word.
"This is certainly a no-holds-barred look inside this consistently challenging industry that keeps me coming back for more," he says.
Former associates and collaborators such as Christophe Poirier, Chief Brand Officer, New Business Development, at Pizza Hut Global, offer high praise.
"Many creative guys are working on renovation, they take something that exists, polish it, and make it look new," Poirier says. "Not Mark. He has the capability to create a new blue ocean."
Lane Cardwell, former CEO of Boston Market, former President of P.F. Chang's China Bistro, and former CEO of Eatzi's Market & Bakery, notes that despite all his achievements, Brezinski retains an almost-surprising humility.
"I have lived in this industry for decades and learned something new about it in every chapter of the book," Cardwell says. "Informative, entertaining, and filled with life lessons, ForkFight! should yield this humble individual the credit he so rightfully deserves for his contributions to the industry."
Brezinski's creations have won many a "Hot Concept" award, and he was recently named one of "Nation's Restaurant News Most Influential Restaurant CEOs." D Magazine hailed him as "the father of Dallas' fast casual food scene" and in 2020, he was named one of North Texas Top 500 CEOs by the D CEO Magazine.
His travels have taken him from Tokyo to Tuscany, from San Francisco to Shanghai, and from Mumbai to Maui. And while his concept have comprised a wide range of cuisines, including Indian, Italian, French, and Vietnamese, Brezinski says he has always had a soft spot for Asian food - in concepts he consulted on such as Marugame Udon, and in restaurants he founded, such as Bengal Coast, the Asian-fusion restaurant he founded in the Centrum Building on Oak Lawn Avenue, now closed.
Dallas has been the lucky recipient of many of his innovative ideas and concepts including
- Banh Shop, the fast-casual banh mi concept he helped Yum! Brands launch in 2014
- Food hall: Brezinski was well ahead of the curve when he co-founded Uptown Urban Market, a food hall that in the Gables building in Uptown Dallas in 2014
- Bizzy Burger Merchants, his newest concept that reimagines a better version of fast food, featuring petite burgers made from HeartBrand Premium Akaushi Beef served on cult favorite King's Hawaiian buns
"I hope that this book takes readers to all of these places and more while telling behind-the-scenes stories — sometimes funny, often heartbreaking, and never without lessons learned," Brezinski says. "I believe that the journey is a remarkable tag-along to the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur and the self-discovery that comes with each stop."