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This part has almost nothing to do with recipes and cooking, but I’ve been trying to guess what you were looking for when you bought this book.
Clearly you wanted recipes from one of the world’s premier authorities on chicken. I hope you’ve found this when looking at Frank’s favorites.
But maybe you’re also like many people who enjoy reading cookbooks almost as much as they enjoy the cooking. Over the years, hundreds of people have told me that they buy cookbooks and only try a few recipes. The real pleasure they get from a cookbook is in reading it. Knowing this, I’ve tried to make this book something that would be fun to read as well.
But if you live in an area where Frank sells his products, or if you’ve seen the PBS specials on him or read about him in In Search of Excellence, or perhaps read about him in some of the gossip columns, you may also have an additional reason to buy this book. Perhaps you were curious about him as a person. What kind of man built a company from a father and son operation to one that today processes more than a million chickens a day and has sales in excess of a billion dollars a year? What is he really like?
To me, his outstanding characteristic is that he gives of himself. I’ve seen first hand how he gives of himself for the sake of doing the best job he can for both consumers and for the people who work for the company. I know how often he’s set the alarm for 4:45 a.m. after being up until 1:30 a.m. so he can get a head start on work. When he’s really busy with something, I’ve seen him get by with two hours sleep after a month of getting only four hours.
He cares so much for the people who work for him that I’ve heard him make transatlantic phone calls even during our honeymoon to make sure a low level associate’s grievance was handled fairly. I’ve been touched by how often he visits retired associates, now in their 80s and 90s. Company functions mean so much to him that once, after we had been traveling for twenty-three hours on our return from the Soviet Union, he went straight to a Perdue Volunteer Fire Brigade Appreciation Dinner rather than going home to bed. The associates meant far more to him than his sleep. When one of the Perdue truckers needed help loading boxes, Frank worked alongside him until the job was done because Frank believed the man had a right to be home with his family.
Even in the building of the company, I find him generous. That may seem like an unusual way to look at the work of an entrepreneur, but he is providing jobs and a quality product; he’s not engaged in leveraged buy-outs and paper transactions.
Many people know that Frank Perdue is famous for his chickens, his financial success, his marketing innovations, his drive, his creativity, or even his eccentricities, but I think that his greatest success lies elsewhere. To me, true success isn’t measured by what you get, but rather by what you give. The tough man who Makes those tender chickens, is an unusually giving man.
Chicken Recipes – The Perdue Chicken Cookbook
Copyright (C) by Mitzi Perdue – Used with Permission
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