Cooking Up Culinary True Stories Well Told

Every year, Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential comes in and out of the library like a popular restaurant dish, causing the library to add a second copy to keep up with the demand. It’s not surprising considering he has a charisma to go with his knowledge, both displayed on CNN’s ‘Parts Unknown.’

Many believe Bourdain’s book ushered in the era of the ‘celebrity chef’, but his story provides a peek into the workings of a busy restaurant kitchen, something students and staff in the Culinary Arts Program experience with enough stories of their own to fill entire shelves. However, this book represents one part of a vast world and the library offers a few suggestions for those wanting to explore the world of chefs and their kitchens, a place of innovation and a reflection of the world in general.

 

Taking the Heat: Women Chefs and Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen
Author: Deborah A. Harris and Patti Guiffre

A number of recent books, magazines, and television programs have emerged that promise to take viewers inside the exciting world of professional chefs. While media suggest that the occupation is undergoing a transformation, one thing remains clear: being a chef is a decidedly male-dominated job. Over the past six years, the prestigious James Beard Foundation has presented 84 awards for excellence as a chef, but only 19 were given to women. Likewise, Food and Wine magazine has recognized the talent of 110 chefs on its annual Best New Chef list since 2000, and to date, only 16 women have been included. How is it that women the gender most associated with cooking have lagged behind men in this occupation?–Back Cover

 

 

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

In the winter of 1996, journalist Michael Ruhlman donned a chef‘s jacket and houndstooth-check pants to join the students at the Culinary Institute of America, the country’s oldest and most influential cooking school. But The Making of a Chef is not just about holding a knife or slicing an onion, it’s also about the nature and spirit of being a professional cook and the people who enter the profession. As Ruhlman– now an expert on the fundamentals of cooking– recounts his growing mastery of the skills of his adopted profession, he propels himself and his readers through a score of kitchens and classrooms in search of the elusive, unnamable elements of great food. — Back cover.

Michael Ruhlman also wrote a follow-up entitled The Reach of a Chef: Beyond the Kitchen also available at the library.

 

 

Yes, Chef: A Memoir
Author: Marcus Samuelsson

It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Marcus Samuelsson was only three years old when he, his mother, and his sister–all battling tuberculosis–walked seventy-five miles to a hospital in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Adaba. Tragically, his mother succumbed to the disease shortly after she arrived, but Marcus and his sister recovered, and one year later, they were welcomed into a loving middle-class white family in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was there that Marcus’s new grandmother, Helga, sparked in him a lifelong passion for food and cooking with her pan-fried herring, her freshly baked bread, and her signature roast chicken. From a very early age, there was little question what Marcus was going to be when he grew up–Back Cover

 

 

Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food
Author: Colman Andrews

Ferrari Adria is arguably the greatest culinary revolutionary of our time. Hailed as a genius and a prophet by fellow chefs, worshipped (if often misunderstood) by critics and lay diners alike, Adria is imitated and paid homage to in professional kitchens, and in more than a few private ones, all over the world.
In his lively close-up portrait of Adria, award-winning food writer Colman Andrews traces this groundbreaking chef’s rise from resort-hotel dishwasher to culinary deity, and the evolution of El Bulli from a German-owned beach bar into one of the world’s best restaurants. With a new afterword revealing the future of El Bulli, Perron brings to life the most exciting food movement of our time and illuminates the ways in which Adria has forever altered our understanding and appreciation of food and cooking.–Back Cover

 

Growing a Feast: The Chronicle of a Farm-To-Table Meal
Author: Kurt Timmermeister

To support his endeavors, Timmermeister prepared weekly dinners from the farm’s bounty. With the menus designed to reflect the changing seasons on Vashon Island, the Cookhouse dinners brought people out fo the city and onto the farm to share a locally grown, home-cooked meals. Growing a Feast tells the story of a Kurtwood Farms Cookhouse dinner, from farm to table.–Book Jacket