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  • ISBN: 9780141001890
  • ISBN10: 0141001895

The Soul of a Chef the Journey Toward Perfection

by Michael Ruhlman

  • List Price: $18.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin USA
  • Publish date: 08/01/2001
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Description: In 1997, journalist and cook Michael Ruhlman observed incognito the Certified Master Chef examination at the Culinary Institute of America, a kind of Iron Man culinary competition in which a group of disparate men and women spend ten consecutive sixteen-hour days cooking in a range of styles from contemporary Asian to classical French, under intense scrutiny by lab-coated proctors, under mindbending stress and fatigue to prove to themselves and their colleagues that they work at the Master Chef level. Ruhlman, obsessively in search of the root and source of extraordinary cooking and the mind and soul of the chef, discovers that this intense, bizarre cooking test -- unusual souls engaged in a cooking battle -- in fact attempts to define an objective truth of great cooking, and therein begins his journey into the dark heart of the profession toward the soul of a chef, a journey that takes him from the Hudson Valley to the Napa Valley.Ultimately, Ruhlman scrutinizes three different cooking situations and three distinctive chefs of different stripes -- Brian Polcyn of the Five Lakes Grill in Milford, MI, engaged in the test of his life; Michael Symon, a rising star at Cleveland's Lola Bistro; and ultimately, Thomas Keller, proprietor of the French Laundry in Napa Valley, CA, and, the author argues, the best American chef working today.
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