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Knives at Dawn: America's Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d'Or Competition | [Andrew Friedman]

Knives at Dawn: America's Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d'Or Competition

The Bocuse d'Or is the real-life Top Chef, a biannual cooking competition in France featuring teams from 24 countries vying for the top honors. Named after Paul Bocuse, one of the greatest, most influential living chefs, the Bocuse d'Or has become the most sophisticated and closely watched cook-off in the world. Ironically, though American cuisine now rates among the best in the world, a U.S. team has never placed among the top three in the competition.
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Publisher's Summary

The Bocuse d'Or is the real-life Top Chef, a biannual cooking competition in France featuring teams from 24 countries vying for the top honors. Named after Paul Bocuse, one of the greatest, most influential living chefs, the Bocuse d'Or has become the most sophisticated and closely watched cook-off in the world. Ironically, though American cuisine now rates among the best in the world, a U.S. team has never placed among the top three in the competition. In 2008, under the auspices of renowned chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, the two-person U.S. team of Timothy Hollingsworth and Adina Guest trained in a specially outfitted facility in preparation for the 2009 competition with the goal of a best-ever showing for the United States.

With unparalleled behind-the-scenes access, Andrew Friedman follows the American contestants and other hopefuls as they spend months training to cook and serve their dishes just once, over the course of five and a half tense hours, in an arena filled with a thousand screaming spectators. Along the way, he paints intimate portraits of Boulud and Keller, two of the leading culinary figures of their generation, revealing their hopes and aspirations for their proteges as well as for American cuisine. Through this compelling sports-meets-cooking story, Friedman explores the clash of culinary titans and cultures in a real-world kitchen stadium and ratchets up the suspense of who will reign supreme.

©2009 Andrew Friedman; (P)2009 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"It's great fly-on-the-wall reporting.... Even those who don't care about the intricate details of a nine-course meal could learn something about entrepreneurship and project management from this story." (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (29 )
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  •  
    Linda Zimmerman Los Angeles, CA USA 02-07-12
    Linda Zimmerman Los Angeles, CA USA 02-07-12

    Expert Griller

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating for Foodies"

    If you're a foodie, you'll be fascinated by the chef competition,. the Bocuse D'Or ...and centered around the American Team, a chef from Thomas Keller's The French Laundry. The story bogs down in parts, but the food descriptions and attention to all details revolving around the competition are worth the listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Parowan, UT, United States 01-07-12
    Jeanne Parowan, UT, United States 01-07-12 Member Since 2009
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    "An Interesting Look at Competitive Cooking"

    Knives at Dawn provides a look at a world few people in the United States even know exists. There are many chefs and cooks. A few participate in the strangely wonderful world of competitive cooking. Well written and well read, Knives at Dawn makes me wish I could be ringing a cowbell or at least cheering loudly for my favorite chef.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-10-14
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    "Polictical propaganda in a book about cooking?"
    What disappointed you about Knives at Dawn?

    Poor writing. Fascinating story but hindered by awful rambling thoughtless writing. The author for some reason decided this would be a good platform to spew political propaganda. He took on the task of deciding what the entire world (to a person) thought about the US before and after the 2008 elections and presented his thoughts on that as indisputable fact. Thank goodness that time has proven him very wrong and made him look silly and stupid.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Andrew Friedman? Why or why not?

    Not no but h$ll no!


    Have you listened to any of Sean Runnette’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, he is very good. He does a great job with Tufo's books


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Knives at Dawn?

    I would have hired Michael Ruhlman to write this story, confident he could have told the story as it happened in a easy to follow way.


    Any additional comments?

    The book offended me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen T. Coomes Louisville, Ky. 05-22-12
    Stephen T. Coomes Louisville, Ky. 05-22-12 Member Since 2006

    Food Writer

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    "Really interesting story, but mostly for chefs"
    If you could sum up Knives at Dawn in three words, what would they be?

    Well worth listening to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Knives at Dawn?

    the team meeting Paul Bocouse at Keller's Yountville, Calif., home.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Runnette???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I don't think so, but as a reader, he's really good.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're a budding, current or former chef, you'll likely love the book. I can't imagine others who don't know the difficulty of the trade caring much. Though I never competed as a chef, I know the skills they were struggling to master for the contest. That kept me interested throughout. Great story and documentary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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