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Food Non-fiction August 19, 2004
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Michael Ruhlman
The Soul of a Chef
2000

Over the course of three long essays, Michael Ruhlman tries to illustrate a world that has become increasingly fascinating to readers and eaters alike -- that of the professional chef. The public has never been keener to peek into the kitchen -- from the sublime memoirs of Anthony Bourdain to the ridiculous antics of Rocco DiSpirito on reality television. Still, you might consider this volume as a well-balanced tasting menu of food writing. Ruhlman begins by detailing the trials of several already acclaimed cooks who are attempting to be recognized as culinary creme de la creme by taking the grueling Certified Master Chef exam. Then he turns his attention to individual chefs -- Cleveland's Michael Symon of Lola Bistro and Thomas Keller of the world-famous French Laundry in Napa. The great thing about this book is that it not only offers insights into the daily lives of great chefs, but also considers the subjective nature of culinary "perfection."


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