books > Maxmimum Diner
400pp Original paperback
Christopher Nye’s hilarious attempt to become the Rocco Forte of the Road to Eastbourne
This is a book about a dream. The dream of running a restaurant. In Uckfield, East Sussex. Well, okay, Uckfield didn’t actually appear in the dream. But for Christopher Nye it was the perfect choice: a small town, but not too small; a town crying out for an American-style diner; a town without a McDonald’s.
So here’s the story of how to make it big in small-town Britain. How to find the right premises (if not quite the right location); how to motivate teenage staff while giving work experience to a haute cuisine chef; how to stay out of casualty when things get a bit ‘Goodfellas’ on a Friday night; how to keep your puppy hidden from the Environmental Health Inspector; and why you should never, ever, hire an Elvis impersonator on the cheap. Oh – and how to deal with McDonald’s, when they realise they need an outlet in Uckfield after all.
Maximum Diner is a tale of all this, served up with the crispiest fries and the strangest milkshakes on the south coast. Read it and laugh aloud. But keep that dream alive. For this might all happen to you.
Enjoy the town: ‘If you want to buy a plastic washing up bowl for under a pound or try out a new brand of economy toilet tissue, you’re spoilt for choice in Uckfield.’
Meet the customers: ‘I could tell Guppy was trouble from the word go. More precisely, I could tell he was trouble from the word c*** tattooed across his knuckles.’
Meet the staff: ‘That’s a lovely shirt I love that shirt it goes very nicely with your trousers do you want to swap, what do you want to eat by the way do you want coffee yeah nice coffee? Umm like your shoes too.’
“Hysterically funny … Maximum Diner is huge fun, and highly informative…this book will make you laugh and sigh.” The Independent on Sunday
“I never realised until now what grisly fun VAT regulations could furnish.” The Independent
“Entertaining … the narration is self-deprecating and funny.” The Guardian
Christopher Nye was born and raised in West Sussex. His childhood ambitions were to become a Zulu, and then a diplomat, but thwarted by poor A level grades he settled for a course in hotel and catering management at Leeds Poly. His subsequent career ranged from sculpting celery on a Caribbean cruise ship to running the crêpe stand on Brighton pier, before he hit on the plan of bringing his unique Diner cuisine to the people of small town Britain, starting out with Uckfield…
Christopher now lives in Lewes with his partner and their young son. He works as a freelance writer and journalist and his most recent book is Weekends to Brag About, a compendium of adventurous things to do instead of shopping or watching X Factor. Or cooking.