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The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America | [Michael Ruhlman]

The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America

Ruhlman propels himself and his readers through a score of kitchens and classrooms, from Asian and American regional cuisines to lunch cookery and even table waiting, in search of the elusive, unnamable elements of great cooking.
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Publisher's Summary

In the ultimate food-lover's fantasy, journalist Michael Ruhlman dons chef's jacket and houndstooth-check pants to join the students in Skills One at the Culinary Institute of America, the most influential cooking school in the country. His goal is to document the training of America's chefs from the first classroom to the Culinary's final kitchen, the American Bounty Restaurant. The result becomes more than a rote reportage of a school for cooks. Ruhlman learns to cook as though his future depends upon it, and this complete immersion enables him to create the most vivid and energetic memoir of a culinary education on record.

©1997 by Michael Ruhlman; (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (192 )
5 star
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4.3 (71 )
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Story
3.7 (69 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer Huntington Beach, CA, United States 06-22-11
    Jennifer Huntington Beach, CA, United States 06-22-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book, horrible narrator"

    Seriously. This guy reads like he's a police desk sergeant reading the crime blotter. His pacing is completely off -- he doesn't pause at the end of a sentence before he starts a new chapter, for goodness sake. He's monotone, he pronounces things oddly, and I am just agog that he can make a career out of this.

    The content is interesting and in text form I would have given it at least 4 stars, but at this point I don't even know if I'm going to finish it because listening to it is alternately putting me to sleep and driving me crazy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 05-15-14
    David 05-15-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "I'd rather listen to Siri read the book."
    What did you like best about The Making of a Chef? What did you like least?

    The information in the book was in depth and had a nice flow to it. The book was more a journal rather than having any kind of cohesive narrative or story. There wasn't much of a underlying theme to the book. There could have been more back story to the history of the CIA and cooking instruction as a whole.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator was like a robot that mispronounces words he doesn't know. There was no flow or character to the voices. I could have had more fun listening to a text to speech program narrate the book for me.


    Could you see The Making of a Chef being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I love Michael Ruhlman's cookbooks and follow his blog, this book is nothing like that. Its more of a diary account of him going to the CIA.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Sun Prairie, WI, United States 12-01-13
    James Sun Prairie, WI, United States 12-01-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"
    What did you love best about The Making of a Chef?

    I enjoyed the intensity of the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The inside look at CIA


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Ensured I am never a chef.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Outlaw, Jr Memphis, TN United States 03-05-13
    James Outlaw, Jr Memphis, TN United States 03-05-13 Member Since 2012
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    51
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Dull narration"
    What did you like best about The Making of a Chef? What did you like least?

    The story was interesting, however the narrator's performance was dreadful. He spoke in a complete monotone.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Making of a Chef?

    The descriptions of the curriculum and the preparation that goes into a restaurant meal was very interesting.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narration was dull. The narrator seemed to be doing a cold reading of the text. There were awkward pauses (probably poor editing) and it was next to impossible to determine which character was supposed to be speaking.


    Did The Making of a Chef inspire you to do anything?

    Not really, I was just interested in the subject and thought it would be a good "read".


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard ucson, AZ, United States 12-27-12
    Richard ucson, AZ, United States 12-27-12
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    "Really turned out to be a dud."
    Would you try another book from Michael Ruhlman and/or Jeff Riggenbach?

    Not likely.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Narrative boring. No climactic finish.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Monotone basically. Errors/corrections. No character vocal changes.


    What character would you cut from The Making of a Chef?

    Need a better narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brigette Lewisville, TX, United States 01-25-12
    Brigette Lewisville, TX, United States 01-25-12 Member Since 2010

    brigettem

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    "Story is interesting but...."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, but only in print format.


    What didn’t you like about Jeff Riggenbach’s performance?

    His performance is so wooden. There are odd pauses and weird inflections throughout, and no differentiation between various people in the book. I finally realized who he reminded me of - the guy who does the English translations on Iron Chef, only not as much personality.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ferguson Irvine, CA, United States 09-04-11
    Ferguson Irvine, CA, United States 09-04-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Great content, didn't like the narration"

    I really liked this book but I found the narrator irritating. He has a voice better suited for reading news.The problem is that since this book was published, Michael Ruhlman has become a well know food celebrity. He should do this audio book over and read it himself. He has a great voice. I bought Medium Raw and if anyone but Tony Bourdain had read it I would have been very disappointed. It wasn't a horrible experience but it always took me a few minutes to get used to the voice when rejoining the book. If Ruhlman read this book I would buy it a second time for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie S. Bethesda, MD, United States 06-08-11
    Carrie S. Bethesda, MD, United States 06-08-11
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    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    "Don't operate heavy machinery while listening"

    I never fully appreciated the contribution of a narrator until I tried to listen to this book. Painfully, mind-numbingly boring.....so bad that Audible may wish to review whether this is a book it wants to keep offering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simca Alexandria, VA 02-21-06
    Simca Alexandria, VA 02-21-06 Member Since 2006
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    "A Travesty"

    I read this book several years ago, along with its successor "The Soul of a Chef" - thoroughly enjoyed both, have recommended them to friends, and purchased several as gifts. What a disappointment to hear the audio version. This narrator is TERRIBLE - there are awkward pasues throughout the narration, and inexcusable mispronunciations of basic cooking terms and place names (Barnard College pronounced as "Bernard" eg) For a book that so passionately conveys the pursuit of perfection, its a shame that the narrator didn't bother to do minimal homework. Read the books, skip this audio. And a note to Mr. Ruhlman: if "Soul of a Chef" is going to be made into an audiobook, please narrate it yourself or get a food professional to do it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Charlotte, NC, USA 02-15-06
    Ken Charlotte, NC, USA 02-15-06
    ratings
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    12
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    "Brown Sauce"

    Interesting insight into the making of a cook and chef (they aren't the same, I learned). A bit long winded at times, but worth the time.

    Audio quality is pretty dismal in places. Whoever they've got splicing these tapes together really did a crummy job. Nothing is missing, but it is annoying. A less forgiving person would have tried to get his credit back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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