In his second in-depth foray into the world of professional cooking, Michael Ruhlman journeys into the heart of the profession. Observing the rigorous Certified Master Chef exam at the Culinary Institute of America, the most influential cooking school in the country, Ruhlman enters the lives and kitchens of rising star Michael Symon and the renowned Thomas Keller of the French Laundry. This fascinating audiobook will satisfy any listener's hunger for knowledge about cooking and food, the secrets of successful chefs, at what point cooking becomes an art form, and more.
Like Ruhlman's The Making of a Chef, this is an instant classic in food writing - one of the fastest growing and most popular subjects today.
©2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.; 2001 Michael Ruhlman
I was worried when this book started out as I was thinking it was just another book trying to capitalize on the reality show / Iron Chef craze. The beginning covers the Master Chef exam and was like that. So, initially I was turned off but then the author began to detail a chef, really getting into the person behind the title. He then covered another, the head chef of the French Laundry in Napa Valley. The horizon of cooking then just really began to open through masterful story development. It helps that Michael Ruhlman actually went to the CIA, took classes and has developed a real insight into the craft of cooking and chefs.
The narration was excellent, a good narrator really opens up a book as it should be.
I highly recommend this book.
The thing liked about this book is the subject. Cooking is interesting, the mindset is fascinating and the CSI is mystical. The thing I loved about The Soul of a Chef is the believable peek behind the curtain.
"Life on the Line" is a book I might compare based on the detail regarding the inner workings of a professional kitchen and the conviction it takes to succeed. Likewise, "Butter, Bones & Butter" for the life psychology and growth as young cooks make their way from inauspicious beginnings.
Corren's read was flat for my tastes. Not a lot of dynamic range or inflection in the reading. Where some voice actors can make you forget your listening to a reader and transport you through the eyes of the writer, Donald Corren did not do this for me.
If The Soul' were to be made into a movie, the tagline could be "Brown Sauce, Taste It!"
The subject of the book made it compelling. Props to Ruhlman for being so dedicated to seeing the challenge through, but I do wish he had a bit more dynamic presence in his writing. The voicing didn't help. Hence the 4 stars.
fantastic book. the writing is excellent and really puts the reader in the author's place. great sense of the life and drive of a chef and what it takes to succeed in such a business.
also fantastic to hear about now-famous chefs before they were anybody were good, upstanding people.
I loved this, found myself telling my wife about the various life experiences in this work. Very well narrated!
It took awhile to get into. I found the whole first part rather boring, but then parts 2 and 3 were fantastic and brought in elements from part 1, which made it all worth it. I love hearing about food and cooking and the heart behind accomplished chefs, so I it was a fun read.
The author ties together explorations of several chefs and types of cooking to explore what makes (one type of) greatness in the culinary world.
Insight to the passion that some have for creating food, the detail at which they do it, and the never ending drive one needs to work in this profession.
Some additional tonal emphasis
The description of the Master Chef testing
Insightful glimpse into being an American chef...
Love michael but the readers really need to be rehearsed in the proper pronunciation of culinary jargon. I cringe every time I hear "coooulinary", "stAAAge", or "fAeva bean."
it really takes the romance out of a truely poetic description. tho, I truely love the applied accents, nestalgic reminder of my late mother's bed time stories. on an a idditional note, I would find the collaboration by a musical sound designer most appealing.
"Annoying imitation of foreign accents"
Good book, but more philosophical and introspective than "The Making of a Chef", which I prefer. However, what really turnes me off is the caricaturization of foreign accents in this narrated version, specifically for French chefs. Totally uncalled for. Also the dramatization was over the top some points. The first book was narrated by other person, who didn't have to imitate foreign accents to deliver the story.
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