The full title of this book by Michael Ruhlman is The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America. It’s a fantastic book, and it really connected with me.
I hadn’t even heard about this book. I was just browsing in the book store randomly a couple of weeks ago and literally stumbled upon it. What a find!
The book is an account of the author completing the training program at the Culinary Institute of America, the other CIA. It’s one of the most prestigious cooking schools in the world. As a foodie, I’d heard about the institute, as well as some of its methods, graduates, and teachers. But it was very cool to see an inside story.
The book connected with me, I think, for three reasons. First, I like reading inside stories about how notable institutions work, whatever they may be. Second, I’m a foodie, as noted previously on this blog. Third, I always find it fascinating to learn how the best people in a profession go about becoming the best and teaching others.
The writing is clear, concise, and flowing. The stories are intense, the characters interesting, and the context unique. The chefs and instructors are larger than life, as one might expect. The contstant references to figures and places I knew already certainly helped.
The combination of all of the above resonated with me. It’s been a few days, and the book is still heavy on my mind. It probably helped that we had dinner at In de Keuken last weekend and the White Barn Inn last night (to be reviewed shortly). I evaluate the food differently now.
Heck, I almost want to go to school at the CIA myself.
The author, Ruhlman, also has a blog and some other books. Count me as a subscriber.
If you care about food even a little bit, you will probably greatly enjoy this book.