Review: The Soul of a Chef

Soul of a Chef Cover The Soul of a Chef, Michael Ruhlman (2001)

This book contains three “backstage” views on cooking in contemporary America. My favorite two pieces were the opener, describing the excruciating Certified Master Chef exam at the Culinary Institute of America, and the closer, spent in the kitchen of French Laundry — reportedly America’s best restaurant. Both accounts were crammed with detail, enabling the reader to experience an otherwise closed-off world to most of us. Ruhlman does get a bit long-winded and, frankly, over-effusive at the end, especially for someone who gets offended when anyone calls cooking an “art.” But the otherwise fascinating writing more than makes up for that.

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2 thoughts on “Review: The Soul of a Chef

  1. cooknkate 1 January 2007 at 11:45 am

    I have read his books, not too bad. He does get on the inside track. His descriptions further enforce my resolve to never make a career out of working in a professional kitchen. Talk about a rough, rough job

  2. […] The Soul of a Chef, Michael Ruhlman (2001) — This collection contains three nonfiction accounts of a backstage look at cooking in contemporary America. […]

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