The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection

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Viking, 2000 - Cooking - 370 pages
184 Reviews
"With The Soul of a Chef, Ruhlman lays bare the vigorous competition necessary to become a Certified Master Chef at the CIA, a process in which the chef spends ten consecutive sixteen-hour days cooking in styles ranging from contemporary Asian to classical French, under relentless scrutiny. This intense, almost bizarre cooking test - ultimately an attempt to define an objective truth of great cooking - begins Ruhlman's journey into the dark heart of the profession and soul of a chef." "Ruhlman observes, cooks with, and writes about three distinctive chefs of different stripes - Brian Polcyn of the Five Lakes Grill in Milford, Michigan; Michael Symon, a rising star at Cleveland's Lola Bistro; and Thomas Keller, proprietor of Napa Valley's the French Laundry, and, the author argues, one of the best American chefs working today." "Ruhlman attempts to understand what makes one chef, and restaurant, successful and another not; when cooking rises to the level of art; why one should cook in the first place; and what, in the end, is the source of America's ravenous hunger for knowledge about food and cooking."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Michael Ruhlman is a terrific writer. - Goodreads
Well written and easy to read. - Goodreads
Love it and love the ending too. - Goodreads
Ruhlman is a great writer and makes food come alive. - Goodreads
It was fun to read, great writing. - Goodreads
Ruhlman is a very good and entertaining writer. - Goodreads

Review: The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection

User Review  - Mary Doddridge Hazell - Goodreads

The first part about the Certified Master Chef exam was good, but I really enjoyed the next two parts about Michael Symon and Thomas Keller. Ruhlman's writing is excellent. You feel like you're right next to him observing and tasting. Read full review

Review: The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection

User Review  - Jon - Goodreads

I can't quite tell if I liked this book because of the book itself, or because I felt like I had something of a personal connection to each of the subjects. I've eaten at, and loved both Lola and the ... Read full review


Journey Toward Perfection

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About the author (2000)

Michael Ruhlman was born in 1963 in Cleveland and graduated Duke in 1985 with a BA in literature. His first book, Boy's Themselves (1996), revealed life at an all-boy day school. His second, the Making of a Chef came in 1997 and was re-released in 2009 in a new paperback edition. Michael's other published works include The Soul of a Chef (2000), Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard (2001), and Walk on Water (2003). He co-wrote The French Laundry Cookbook (1999) with Thomas Keller and A Return to Cooking (2002) with Eric Ripert, chef-owner of Le Bernardin. His latest works include Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing (2011) and Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing (2012), both with Brian Polcyn.

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