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The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America Paperback – March 31, 2009
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Ever wonder what goes on in a busy kitchen, why your meal comes late or shows up poorly cooked? The temptation is to blame the waiter, but there are a world of cooks behind those swinging doors, and Ruhlman marches you right into it. It's a world where, when everything is going right, time halts and consciousness expands. And when a few things go wrong, the earth begins to wobble on its axis. Ruhlamn has the writerly skills to make the education of a chef a visceral experience. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The book is a reporting on Ruhlman's taking an abbreviated version of the full curriculum at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where only the President of the school and a few select senior instructors know of the author's real role at the school. This means that when the author did attend classes, he attended the full class, from start to finish, and was expected to perform as well as any other student. While the CIA has many of the appearances of a liberal arts college, it is much closer in practice to a trade school. One symptom of this is that the stocks produced by the basic kitchen skills classes are then used by other classes at the school and they are used by each of the four restaurants run by the school for students, faculty, and outside guests. In a sense, this is a mix of trade school and graduate school, where it is expected that no one will do work worthy of a grade less than a B-.
The epiphany that reveals how serious the culinary profession is about uninterrupted service comes early in the first year when the school is hit by a serious snowstorm and the author considers whether or not he should attempt the difficult trek into the school.Read more ›
Anyone writing seriously about chef training now appears almost automatically indebted to Mr. Ruhlman. And no wonder: the premise here is almost too good for any aspiring chef. The author goes undercover posing as a student at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA)--arguably the best culinary training school in the country, if not the world. (Only the teachers and administrators know his true identity and purpose.) The book often reads like cleaned-up notes from his various adventures--and that's really where the attraction lies. If you find being a virtual student at CIA potentially attractive, I suspect you'll love `The Making of a Chef'; Ruhlman not only give you what it's like, he truly gives you how it feels.
A stark example clarifies the emotions involved: apparently the weather during our hero's winter semester at CIA was the worst in years: many feet of snow dumped regularly. (The campus is in the Hudson Valley in New York State). At one juncture Ruhlman ponders not coming in to class--he's expected for an important test--due to the weather. And one of his teachers--after quietly hearing his decision--lets him have it over the phone: "We're different," he said. "We get there.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ruhlman takes you on a great journey of what it means to become a chef. The book isn't about learning how to cook, it's about the attitude and dedication it takes to approach this... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Constantine P Lapaseotes
I absolutely loved this inspiring book. I thoroughly enjoyed Ruhlman's writing style, sense of humor, and the vivid clarity he brings to life in the CIA. Read morePublished 17 days ago by kitchenqueen
You're, like, supposedly a really good writer, right?
I write. I get paid for it. I'm guess I'm doing something right. Read more
For the aspiring chef, this book is a must-read. In addition to the wealth of insight provided by this book, Ruhlman also includes many applicable (albeit slightly outdated)... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Zili Shi
Incredible insight into the world of professional culinary education.Published 4 months ago by Sammo
I'm a sucker for food books, food shows, food competition, food period. This is a solidly written book that almost satisfies the urges of those who will never be able to attend... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Carol Peckham
I just cook at home and always wondered what it would be like to go to a school to be a professional cook. Read morePublished 5 months ago by sara sara
A Nuts & Bolts book. Telling it like it is. A must read for anyone with a passion for food,and a desire to contribute to the Culinary Profession.
Five Stars is not enough!