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Becoming a Chef Paperback – October 10, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0471152095 ISBN-10: 0471152099 Edition: Revised Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Revised Edition edition (October 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471152099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471152095
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I have a cookbook collection numbering in the mid-hundreds...and never have I seen such a wealth of insight and practical knowledge stuffed between the covers of a book."
--Barry Nelson, BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO

"Based on interviews with 60 top American chefs, this now-classic volume describes career stories and provides advice to those starting on a professional culinary path."
--M.M. Pack, THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE

"BECOMING A CHEF has become a cult classic. More than 100,000 copies have been sold...Its lessons have attracted readers far beyond the kitchen...Warren Bennis and Tom Peters are said to be fans."
--RESTAURANTS & INSTITUTIONS

"Page and Dornenburg have been publishing innovative books about cooking and the chef world for longer than I have. Their popular BECOMING A CHEF [has been] a valuable research tool for me throughout the years." 
--Michael Ruhlman

"Superb...A book rich with anecdote, insight and passion...In all, a completely absorbing book."
--Ann Shayne, BOOK PAGE

From the Inside Flap


"This is not a profession that you choose.  It chooses you."
--Norman Van Aken

Essential reading for anyone who loves food, the newly revised James Beard Award-winning BECOMING A CHEF is an entertaining and up-to-date insider's guide to the chef's profession, providing the first behind-the-scenes look into some of the most celebrated restaurant kitchens across the nation today.  More than 60 leading chefs -- including some of the newest and brightest starts in the field -- discuss the inspiration, effort and quirks of fate that turned would-be painters, anthropologists and football players into culinary artists.

Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse, Nancy Silverton, Charlie Trotter, Alice Waters, and dozens of other leading chefs reveal their most significant influences -- including childhood memories, formal apprenticeships, world travel, memorable meals, and beloved books -- and share their secrets for staying on top.  From Mario Batali's thoughts on how to open a restaurant with less than $50,000 to guidance from Gina DePalma, Emily Luchetti and Amy Scherber on becoming a baker or pastry chef, BECOMING A CHEF is filled with candid advice and thought-provoking insights for any food lover interested in the secrets of running a successful restaurant or creating inspired cuisine at home.

Throughout, the chefs share recipes representing cherished culinary memories, including Chris Bianco's Watermelon Salad, Traci Des Jardins' dad's Best-Ever Roast Chicken, Marcel Desaulniers's mother's Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Rick Bayless's signature Chocolate Pecan Pie.

A celebration of passion, persistence, and the drive to succeed in one of today's most exciting and fastest-growing careers, BECOMING A CHEF is a book for anyone inspired by the courage and commitment it takes to follow a dream.

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Customer Reviews

Anyone considering entering the culinary feild must read this book.
"bubbasjinx"
I really like that they have insight from so many different well-known chefs throughout the entire book.
Nicholas C. Palone
It caused me to question every decision I was making, but that is what makes it so great.
Kelli Johnston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Jason, Professional Chef on May 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
AS a professional of 10 years now(currently working with Wolfgang Puck), this book should be a must read before you commit to being a chef.

It gives a realistic look into what working in the high end kitchens in the World is REALLY like.(The long hours, heat, working sick, tempers,low pay, etc.) What you see on cooking shows is staged and is not a indication of the day to day grind that a kitchen hits you with. Most people have NO IDEA what they are getting themselves into!

I suggest to anyone who is considering taking on the challenge of earning the title "Professional Chef"-REad this book, get a job in kitchen before you spend money on cooking school to see if you like it, and ask yourself-do you love food, or do you just think it would be a glory filled way to fame?
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By T. Kirkham on October 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
Dornenburg & Page first published Becoming A Chef in 1995, and it immediately became required reading for anyone interested in a culinary. Now, they've updated the book for the 21st century, and the results are perfect reading for the aspiring chef.

The duo have included a lot of personal insight into the making of a chef, and have interviewed dozens of other chefs for their insight as well. Speaking from experience, the duo outlines the hard work, and the sometimes tedious processes one must go through to become a success in the culinary world.

They devote each chapter to a particular subject, dealing with cooking schools, apprenticeships, opening a restaurant and making it a success, and how to further one's education on their own.

Many ideas included in Becoming A Chef, and many of the references included in the excellent reference appendices, became the basis for the information offered up on my own website, The Moonsault Chef, and will no doubt be of countless value to those considering a culinary career.

The book is also filled with recipes from many of the over two dozen chefs who contributed their comments and experience to the educational sections of the book.

There is no doubt that if you're considering a career in the culinary arts, be it as a chef, a nutritionist, a caterer, or other related profession, this book is one of the first you will want in your library. It is required reading, and will serve you well as you move forward in your career, and offers a fascinating glimpse inside the culinary world for those who are just looking to get a little look inside what it means to be a professional chef.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "bubbasjinx" on May 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book takes the reader beyond the glamour of the celebrity chef and into the fire. Anyone considering entering the culinary feild must read this book. The authors speak with passion about the food culture and what is required to acheive success.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas C. Palone on November 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am going to culinary school in a few months and that's what sparked my interest in buying this book, and I am sure glad I did! I have read it through several times, this book gives so much helpful advice to the young people who want to be in the culinary field. I really like that they have insight from so many different well-known chefs throughout the entire book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Heather Champion on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I think this book was written with me in mind, I loved it from front to back cover. I felt a connection with the chefs and thought that I was the only one who had feelings of love when cooking food for friends. It confirmed to me that I am making the right career change in my life and spending the next year in kitchens doing work experience and then moving overseas especially to Europe to learn my trade with life experiences before i even begin my apprentaship... and I am 42 years old!! Never too old to be passionate about life... cooking!!
This was the first time I have used the amazon site and was very happy with my experience.. Thank you!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. Co "Fred" on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book takes you in-depth into the life and passion of a chef using well-known chefs as examples. It's a breath of fresh air with insights to inspire and aspire. You'll love this book whether you are just curious or you're already in the business. You'll find out how common the lives of well-known chefs are from their struggles to their road to success.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Stiver on January 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a professional chef for the past ten years I find this book interesting and informative. There are many good stories from other chefs in the industry and will be helpful for young culinary students.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Wheeler on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
It was required reading for me for intro to culinary careers. Since culinary arts, and specifically pastry, is my passion and mid-life career change, much of the book didn't help. Also, like another, I found the first part really boring (especially after having just finished Making of a Chef by M. Ruhlman). It's good if you think culinary is something you may want to do or if you are looking at the different schools and options other than formal school.
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