Letters to a Young Chef (Art of Mentoring)

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9780465007356: Letters to a Young Chef (Art of Mentoring)

From the reinvention of French food through the fine dining revolution in America, Daniel Boulud has been a witness to and a creator of today's food culture. A modern improviser with a classical foundation (a little rock 'n' roll and a lot of Mozart, he'd say), he speaks with the authority that comes from a lifetime of preparing, presenting, and thinking about food-an ancient calling with universal resonance.In Letters to a Young Chef, Boulud speaks not only of how to make a career as a chef in today's world, but also of why one should want to do so in the first place. As he himself puts it, it is "a tasty life." The love of food and the obsession with flavors, ingredients, and techniques are the chef's source of strength, helping the young chef to survive and flourish during the long years of apprenticeship and their necessary sacrifices. Part memoir, part advice book, part cookbook, part reverie, this delicious new book will delight and enlighten chefs of all kinds, from passionate amateurs to serious professionals.

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Review:

In Letters to a Young Chef, Daniel Boulud, cookbook author, chef, and owner of Daniel, Café Boulud, and DB Bistro Moderne in New York City, briefly covers what he believes are the most important building blocks to becoming a great chef. Boulud grew up on his family's farm in a tiny town near Lyons, France. Like most of today's great European chefs, he took his first kitchen job at the tender age of 14. But his lengthy, successful career in New York City has made him very aware that the path he took to get where he is is very different from the one young American chefs take today. His advice is wise, and could apply to other careers as well: find a mentor, use your connections, work hard, learn how something is done by a successful chef before you try out your own creativity, travel, explore, be loyal to your employer, develop your sense of taste, and learn all aspects of the restaurant business before attempting to go out on your own. Boulud's excellent advice comes from years of experience, and some of the most enjoyable parts of this little book are his anecdotes about the time he spent learning and paying his dues in legendary kitchens, and about the fascinating culinary icons he mixes with today. A quick read by a most fascinating culinary celebrity, you'll wish he shared even more, and that next time he puts pen to paper, it will be for a full-length memoir. --Leora Y. Bloom

About the Author:

Daniel Boulud was born in France in 1955 and trained under renowned chefs Roger Verge, Georges Blanc, and Michel Guerard. He moved to the United States, where he served as Executive Chef at Le Cirque in New York. In 1993 he opened Daniel, Zagat's top-rated New York restaurant for two years running, followed by Cafe Boulud and DB Moderne. Among numerous other awards, he has been named "Chef of the Year" by Bon Appetit , and has received Gourmet 's "Top Table" award. He lives in New York City.

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