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Soul of a Chef : The Journey Towards Perfection

by Michael Ruhlman

Editorial Reviews

For his first book, The Making of a Chef, hands-on journalist Michael Ruhlman attended the most prestigious cooking school in the U.S., the Culinary Institute of America. He also earned his chef's whites and began cooking professionally. Ruhlman ventures further into the secret lives of chefs with his second book, The Soul of a Chef. This enthusiastically researched report is divided into three parts: The first concerns the Certified Master Chef exam, a brutal weeklong cooking marathon that measures the skill levels of professional chefs. The second and third parts of Ruhlman's book are devoted to the careers of two different chefs, Michael Symon of Cleveland's Lola Bistro and Thomas Keller of Napa Valley's legendary French Laundry. The thread connecting these three tales together is Ruhlman's quest for culinary perfection: Does it exist? Is it possible? How is it even measurable? Ruhlman does indeed stumble onto the realization of his high-minded ideal, serving up a palatable conclusion for hard-core foodies equally obsessed with the perfect meal.
--Sumi Hahn Almquist

From Booklist
Following on his previous intimate look into the lives of students and teachers at the Culinary Institute of America, Ruhlman now examines those driven individuals who aspire to culinary perfection. One road to perfection runs through the CIA's Certified Master Chef program. Ruhlman records the successes and failures of a diverse handful of young aspirants through the rigors of the 10-day examination. Ruhlman has favorites among these ambitious kitchen monarchs, but that doesn't detract from his... read more

About the Author
Michael Ruhlman has written for The New York Times, Gourmet, Saveur, and Food Arts Magazine. In 1999, he received the James Beard award for Magazine Writing for "An Alphabet Test of Nerves."

The following are random samples of reviews by customers

"I couldn't put this book down...", August 16, 2000
Reviewer: David Loomis from Cleveland Heights, Ohio USA
I know it sounds strange to say those words about a book on cooking, but Ruhlman creates amazing suspense and drama around his quest to understand what drives great chefs to achieve perfection. Since reading the book, I have already eaten at one of the establishments profiled (Lola) and have had the honor of meeting the chef, Michael Simon. I now have a personal goal to visit the two others featured. If I could give this book 6 stars, I'd do it! If Ruhlman keeps on writing, I'll keep on reading.

Worth while read for any food person., August 13, 2000
Reviewer: david kalman from Westport, CT USA
Fascinating book. Could not not put it down. Loved the CMC exam the best. Am a Member of the Corporation of the CIA I never knew what it took to be a Certified Master Chef. A must read for all food people.

A revealing winner!, August 5, 2000
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review from Oregon, WI USA
The author's prior Making Of A Chef became a cult classic in 1997; Soul of a Chef is a companion volume further exploring the world of professional cooking, blending an autobiography with insights into what it takes to become a top-ranking chef in the industry. From his experiences with three distinctive chefs to his attempts to understand culinary and restaurant success and failure, Soul of a Chef is a revealing winner.

Soul of a Chef : The Journey Towards Perfection
by Michael Ruhlman

List Price: $26.95
Our Price: $21.56
You Save: $5.39 (20%)

Hardcover- 368 pages (June 2000)
UniChef.com Sales Rank: 34
Avg. Customer Review:
Number of Reviews: 6

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