"This engaging and fun tell-all book will make you think twice about the importance of servers - waiters, bartenders, maitre d's - who populate the lives of celebrities and ordinary folks alike. Often "invisible," these servers know more about you than you might think. I enjoyed this book - great beach or vacation read - nothing to weighty or puzzling - just a great story, well told, fun, revealing, and presents an inside glimpse into the celebrity world of Beverly Hills' environs not all of us are privileged to inhabit. My advice: Buy it, you'll like it."

- Pat Barnhart, Smashwords

Paul Hartford’s “Waiter to the Rich and Shameless: Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server” is a humorous tell-all about the inner workings of a 5-star eatery in Beverly Hills as well as the inner workings of a beleaguered top-line server who works there. The narrator, Pauli, gives up on his rock n roll dream following a series of bad-luck events and enters the high-end restaurant business as a server.

This is truly a tell-all, with Pauli sparing no detail as he shares his challenges in facing everything from the restaurant's shocking mismanagement to his pampered and demanding A-list clientele of movie stars, moguls and legends. He turns his jaundiced eye on himself as mercilessly as he does to his customers, which leads to his own reluctant insights and evolution.

The writing is bitingly honest, sometimes tender and at times downright snarky. Pauli has a real knack for sharing the truth in a way that makes you laugh out loud. If you want a humorous tell-all to read, look no further than this book.

- J. Linson, Amazon

"Waiter to the Rich and Shameless" is not just a peek into the secretive inner workings of a legendary five-star restaurant; it is not just a celebrity tell-all or a scathing corporate analysis. It is a top-tier waiter's personal coming-of-age story, an intimate look into the complicated challenges of serving in the country's most elite, Hollywood-centric dining room while fighting to maintain a sense of self and purpose.

Chapter 2
Modern Times

...Behind the bar, everything was under control on my watch.  My guests were introducing me to check totals I had only dreamed of, as they would order Beluga caviar and drink Dom Perignon by the glass. From my post, I spied none other than celebrity royalty Warren Beatty seated in a booth with his hand in the air, furiously trying to flag down a server to wait on him.  Instinct told me to approach him immediately.  I quickly looked around for our Maître d' but he was nowhere to be found.  Even though I hadn't been trained to serve the tables, watching and listening to waiter-extraordinaire Jens had given me a false sense of confidence and I boldly approached Mr. Beatty.  He was pretty angry. 

"What the hell is going on here today? Can you get my guest something to drink? What do you want, Sam, an iced tea?"Sam nodded. "Yeah, get us two iced teas and don't put that orange in it, just a bunch of lemons on the side, okay?"

I nod as I'm writing furiously in my captain's pad.

"What do you want, the fish, Sam?  Yeah, waiter, we'll both have the sea bass, broiled not grilled, no butter just a little olive oil, no salt and some steamed broccoli and sautéed spinach, but sauté the spinach with garlic, would you?  And no salt on anything, right, Sam?" Whoever the fuck Sam was, he nodded again.  "And bring us some of that flat bread, the 'lavask' You know, the hard cracker bread?" 

"Yes, sir, would you like some mineral water?" I asked when I finally got a chance to say something. 

"No, we'll have some green tea after lunch with some blueberries and blackberries for dessert, and don't put any sugar on them, just au naturel, okay? All right, thank you." 

"Thank you, Mr. Beatty."

I repeated his order back to him just to make sure I'd gotten it right.

"Yeah, yeah, and hurry up with the bread and iced tea, please."

"Yes, sir."  He must be on some kind of lean Beverly Hills diet.

All of a sudden, I'm no longer a bartender, I'm a waiter and my guests at the bar are left without a host.  How does it happen in a place like this that a superstar like Warren Beatty with Hollywood glamour practically tattooed on his forehead can be sitting unnoticed, reduced to waving his hand in the air?

I wondered if Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay or Thomas Keller would approve?  It wasn't long before I realized that there's a different movie playing behind this particular silver screen, one not so obvious to anyone at first glance...


"The only restaurant memoir I've read that comes close to keeping my attention like this was Anthony Bourdain's 'Kitchen Confidential.' Note to reader: There is a lot more going on in this story than one would expect from a book of this sort. Yes, it is full of celebrity anecdotes, but as fun as they are to read, they co-exist within the context of Pauli's own coming-of-age story that is full of angst, growth and humor. His memoir also exposes his anger and disappointment with the corporate jocks who own the restaurant and dictate the ridiculous rules he must live by. Follow Pauli as he takes us on an adventure that encompasses Hollywood, the music industry, the culture of five-star service and his own self-actualization."

 - Allen Guldman, Goodreads

Revenge of the Proletariat! 

Or revenge of the 99% - that's how I see this book. Well, the Occupy Wall Street moment may now be over, but it lives on in this amazing memoir, “Waiter to the Rich and Shameless”  by Paul Hartford, or Paulie. Paulie is a waiter at a really high end Hollywood restaurant called The Cricket Room, and he catches top Hollywood celebrities away from the cameras, during their most vulnerable, unguarded and “real” moments.

It's the sort of book that would appeal to all the celebrity watchers of the world, those who visit sites such as or subscribe to celebrity magazines such as OK! or People. The book is a voyeuristic delight, a guilty pleasure from the very first page...        

- Ranger, Amazon

#1 Best Seller in Kindle eBooks Pop Culture!

Chapter 4
The Party

...It took a long time for the image of him with two women to fade. Anytime I needed a little “stimulation” all I had to do was call up that image and boom. Instant flag salute.

But Jens quickly proved that nothing could get in the way of his love of serving guests in the Cricket Room.  He juggled several tables with ease, sold wine and champagne like a seasoned sommelier, and acted as though nothing was bothering him.  It was as if it were just another day at the Beverly Hills Cricket Room.

Around one o’clock, I walked through the kitchen to get to the waiters stocking area, and I caught a glimpse of Jens rounding the corner with a bottle of 92 Corton Charlemagne and two glasses carefully balanced on his silver tray.  He walked casually over to the big 30-gallon trashcan on the way from the service bar and made a pit stop.  I thought he was going to take a swig from the bottle, but instead as he was elegantly holding his tray away from his body, he bent over the can and puked twice.  Then, still holding the tray perfectly, he walked over to his glass of iced tea, rinsed his mouth out, gargled a bit, and gingerly wiped his lips with a cloth napkin that lay folded on his wrist.

I watched him walk out onto the restaurant floor, carrying that perfectly balanced tray as if nothing had happened. He poured a taste of wine for the host at the table, then served the lady first, bowing politely while maintaining eye contact with the guest.  He never missed a beat. That was the moment when he officially became my hero, albeit a hero who had gotten his balls polished by two professionals.

Later on, he came over to my bar.  “Pauli, make me a Danish Mary before I crash and burn.”

“You got it, buddy, I’ll put it in a Styrofoam cup right there for you.  Have you even been home yet?”

“Thanks, no,” he said with a laugh.  “And I’m not looking forward to it. She’s pissed off beyond belief.”

Thinking about the deep shit he was in with Christie, I giggled cautiously.  Martin Scorsese, who was drinking at my bar, turned around to face Jens.

“Rough night?” He asked. Apparently one of the world’s most famous directors could recognize a hangover when he saw one.

“Yeah, but worth every minute of it,” said Jens. 

Scorsese chuckled knowingly and saluted Jens with his glass. It was a one-scoundrel-to-another salute if ever I saw one...

Chapter 10
The Man Who Would Be King

...Red has one of those high-pitched, annoying voices and he often becomes quite excitable very quickly, which makes his voice even more unbearable.  Other than his ability to suck up to Russell Crowe like a turbo-charged Hoover, I don’t know what Crowe sees in him.

By the time I’d brought their first round of drinks, they were already smoking like a row of chimneys. Crowe downed his drink quickly and headed out to make a call. My buddy Red called me over and ordered a new round for everyone, but he instructed me to make sure to bring a glass of Grey Goose to Mr. Crowe, not Belvedere. “We’re doing an experiment!” he said, chuckling again in his annoying voice.  I did so and returned with the drinks and Mr. Crowe’s mystery vodka. The Crowe was still out on a call.

I put down clean ashtrays and noticed most of the cigarettes had been smoked right down to the filter.  Crowe returned and I watched from a distance as he made a toast with his wine and welcomed everyone.  I finally grasped the obvious: Red and some of the guys were actors from the Robin Hood set.  I could only hope the Robin Hood spirit would prevail when it came to paying the check.

There was more loud talking and they all listened intently as the king regaled his minions with stories about football, music, rugby, the farm back home and his kids. Red piped in every now and then, shouting (or squealing), “Russell! Russell! Remember when we blah blah blah!”  Guess he was playing the part of the court jester, he just didn’t know it.

Russell Crowe The Great smiled, obviously feeling important in this setting. He was the center of attention as he always is when surrounded by his subjects.  He lifted his vodka glass.  I watched from a distance where I could have eye contact with him without anyone at the table seeing my face.  Red, still chuckling in his annoying way, said, “How is it?  Tell me if it’s Belvedere or something else!”  I thought: Judas is trying to discredit the boss. Where I come from people will bury you in a cement block and dump you in a river for that kind of shit.  Hell, if this was Goodfellas, Joe Pesci would have shot that screeching hyena a long time ago and put his bullet-ridden body in the trunk of a Buick where it belonged.  Trouble with today’s cars is size; no room for a body in the pathetic excuse for trunks anymore. Sad.

The Great Crowe threw a serious look toward the glass, as if he’d been caught by surprise.  He tasted the Grey Goose and looked around pensively.  Then he threw me a quick glance and our eyes met.  I held his gaze for an instant and then quickly, subtly, I shook my head, “No.”  It all took only about one second but it had seemed like time stood still for at least a minute.  Everyone was dead silent, except for Judas who was chuckling in a more nervous tone now.  He’s probably realized that if Crowe got it wrong, he’d be revealed as the Betrayer, having undermined the illustrious host of this sweet little party.  Oops. But fortunately for Crowe, thanks to yours truly, he didn’t have to eat any.

Crowe said, “I don’t know what this is but it’s not Belvedere, that’s for sure.” 

Red Judas responded, “No way! How can you tell?” 

Crowe, feeling quite sure of himself after my clue, said, “I just know my vodka, that’s all.”

Red squawked: “Wow! No way!  You can’t!  Wow!  That’s amazing, you got it right, man.  That’s amazing!  The waiter switched it out for a Grey Goose or something.” 

The Crowe shot me a look with a completely straight face.  I gave him a swift, subtle nod. Red continued sheepishly, “Well, we told him to bring you something else.”

Someone else at the table said, “Whaddaya mean “we”? You told him to switch it out!” 

Well yeah, but we were all kind of in on it, right?”  No one answered.

Crowe looked at Red, then said with a smile as he rubbed Red’s head and eyed his girl, “You just don’t know who you’re dealing with here, Red, do you?” Everyone laughed, following The Great One’s lead. 

Later when I came around to Mr. Crowe’s left side, Red was engaged in a conversation with his girl on Mr. Crowe’s right side, and the guy who was sitting on Mr. Crowe’s left side was gone, possibly making a call or answering one in the bathroom.  Crowe looked up at me humbly and said, “Nice work earlier, mate,” as if I were the quarterback who set up his winning touchdown.

I gave him a knowing smile and nodded.  He continued, “You’ll be mentioned in the will…”