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

Friedman, Andrew

468 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1439153078 / ISBN 13: 9781439153079
Published by Free Press, New York, 2009
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Jay Toelkes (Salem, OR, U.S.A.)

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2009 New Book, New Unclipped jacket, Stated First Free Press Edition December 2009, First Printing 1,3,5,7,9,10,8,6,4,2 304 clean tight unmarked unread pages, eight full pages of color photos in one mid section, book has grey boards with 1/4 red cloth covered spine with silver embossed lettering, jacket is color illustrated. Bookseller Inventory # 005111

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Knives at Dawn: America's Quest for Culinary...

Publisher: Free Press, New York

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Sizzling sauté pans. Screaming spectators. Television cameras. A ticking clock.

Fasten your seatbelt for the Bocuse d'Or, the world's most challenging and prestigious cooking competition, where the pressure and the stakes could not be higher. At this real-life Top Chef, twenty-four culinary teams, each representing its home nation, cook for five and a half grueling hours. There are no elimination rounds, no time to ease into the rigors of competition. The teams have just one precious chance to cook and present two spectacular platters of food, then plate them for tasting by a jury of chefs -- the ultimate test of their ability to execute their craft, with prize money, international acclaim, and national pride on the line.

Surprisingly, although American cuisine now rates among the best in the world, a U.S. team has never finished among the top three at this "Olympics of Food." In 2008, a triumvirate of culinary figures -- Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérôme Bocuse -- raised unprecedented support and awareness for the American effort. This is their story, and the story of the team that competed for the United States at the 2009 Bocuse d'Or -- what they did, how they did it, and what they learned.

Knives at Dawn chronicles the formation and training of the 2009 American team. Chef Timothy Hollingsworth and his assistant, or commis, Adina Guest, both from The French Laundry in Yountville, California, are the stars of this chefs-as-athletes story. After winning a national team selection event, the pair trained in a specially outfitted facility, while twenty-three competitors -- including a Norwegian who'd been hell-bent to win the Bocuse d'Or since the age of twelve -- rehearsed around the globe. The days of the competition, when they all come together in an arena in Lyon, France, are recounted in riveting detail -- putting you right alongside the action -- as the months of toil and aspiration come to a head in the final hours of fierce cooking, when technical and mental fortitude, split-second decision-making, or a few too many seconds of heat can make all the difference in the world.

Beyond the American team itself, unparalleled behind-the-scenes access allows sports journalist and food writer Andrew Friedman to paint intimate portraits of Boulud and Keller, two of the most influential culinary figures of their generation, as well as of French icon Paul Bocuse, who created the competition more than two decades ago. With its revealing look at chefs and cooks of different generations and nationalities, Knives at Dawn delivers fascinating insights into what drives chefs to cook and compete, both in the Bocuse d'Or and in their own kitchens every day.

Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2009: Just when you thought you've read enough culinary memoirs and single-subject studies on every esoteric food topic imaginable comes Knives at Dawn, Andrew Friedman's sharp, insider account of America's quest to win the Bocuse d'Or--the epicurean equivalent of the World Cup, held biannually in Lyon, France. For over two decades, international teams have entered the arena, cooking for five-and-a-half hours from a glass-walled pod in full view of the intimidating judges and howling spectators (who add to the frenzy with chants and clanging cowbells). In 2009, Paul Bocuse himself enlisted legendary chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller (well-known for his obsession with perfection) to field the U.S. team. French Laundry chef Timothy Hollingsworth and his commis, Adina Guest, continued to work their grueling day jobs over three-and-a-half months of intense training, and set the bar for future U.S. brigades. If you don't already know the outcome, restrain yourself from Googling the results, and let Friedman sweep you up with his culinary page-turner. --Brad Thomas Parsons

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