The Reach of a Chef: Beyond the Kitchen

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9780670037636: The Reach of a Chef: Beyond the Kitchen

The acclaimed author of The Soul of a Chef explores the allure of the celebrity chef in modern America

Michael Ruhlman has enjoyed a long love affair with cooking and food. His explorations of kitchens and the professionals who call them home led Anthony Bourdain to call him "the greatest living writer on the subject of chefs—and on the business of preparing food." But even his vast experience couldn’t have prepared him for the profound shift that has occurred in the chef’s place in society.

Beginning at Per Se, the newest and most expensive of Manhattan’s four-star restaurants, Ruhlman takes readers into some of America’s most illustrious—and most innovative—kitchens. Throughout his travels, he seeks new trends and phenomena, like Las Vegas’s recent elevation to the country’s food Gomorrah with the addition of Picasso and Aureole to the Strip’s already formidable selection, and returns to legendary haunts like The French Laundry, Le Bernardin, and Café Gray to see what’s changed. A dispatch from a new world where chefs are celebrities and culinary school classes are burgeoning, The Reach of a Chef looks at the state of professional cooking in the post-Child, Food Network era. In the end, an audience who loves to talk about, read about, and dine in the finest restaurants in America gets an in-the-trenches look at the professionals whose very life’s work is to feed us.

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About the Author:

Michael Ruhlman is the author of The Making of a Chef, The Soul of a Chef, and Charcuterie. He has also collaborated with Thomas Keller on two cookbooks, The French Laundry Cookbook and Bouchon. Additionally, Ruhlman has written for The New York Times, Gourmet, Saveur, and Food Arts magazine, as well as being featured on the PBS series Cooking Under Fire.

From Publishers Weekly:

There's no rest for the restaurateur in Ruhlman's engaging account of a culinary world that's become even more frenetic in the wake of the Food Network's success and the rise of celebrity chefs desperately clinging to their stars. Ruhlman (The Making of a Chef; The Soul of a Chef) revisits some of the people he's worked with in the past and the school where he trained to see how things have changed since "chef branding, with its product lines, multiple name–recognized restaurants, and entertainment venues, has lured the chef out of the kitchen." Ruhlman points out the irony of such chefs as Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Anthony Bourdain becoming so successful that they no longer have time to practice the thing that brought them success in the first place. He solicits opinions on the phenomenon from an array of people in the business and also profiles some of those still shaping American cooking in the kitchen, from Melissa Kelly and her down-to-earth comfort food to Grant Achatz and his avant-garde, technical creations. Ruhlman has a light, unobtrusive style, and he brings considerable knowledge to the table when commenting on either individual dishes or the industry as a whole. (On sale May 22)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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