The Soul of a Chef

Joined Apr 17, 2001
If you haven't read this book then you've got a treat coming to you. The author, Michael Ruhlman, is the same guy who wrote Becoming a Chef. I never read that one, but The Soul of a Chef was great. I think I read it in 2 days. It is really three books in one. First it covers the Certified Master Chef Exam, Second he writes about a restaurant in Cleveland named Lola. But the ultimate is the third section which discusses the French Laundry. It made me really want to go into the kitchen and try to be more perfect. I am now constantly asking myself "what would Thomas Keller do?" If anyone asks me what it's like to be a Chef, I tell them to read this book.

Some of my other favorites are Culinary Artistry and Becoming a Chef both of these were written by Dornenburg and Page. I know that they have at least one more book but I haven't read it yet. I was at Barnes and Knoble tonight but the store was so disorganized I had trouble finding anything.

A chef I once worked for told me to read a book called Burgundy Stars. I have not been able to locate it. Has anyone heard of it?
Joined Apr 9, 2005
Ya, I think I have but I thought it was called white stripes and burgundy stars? Haven't read it though.
Joined Mar 9, 2005
Agreed with your review of Soul of a Chef. My wife and I read it together (try that!) in a couple of nights -- it's a page-turner.
Joined Apr 5, 2005
Great book, only took me two or three days to read. I love all the stuff about keller, he is a FREAK. carpet floors! That said, I would be proud to wash the mans dishes.
Joined Apr 1, 2005
i read both books; my copy of soul is very nearly read to destruction! it changed the way i cook for the better
and made me more mindful.
Joined Oct 2, 2005
man, i thought that book was incredible! it changed the way i think about stuff. i agree Keller is like a superfreak. id polish his shoes than wash his dishes . lol. and i totally freaked out when i saw michael simon on iorn chef right after i finished te book, oh the irony. i was glued to the that CMC exam is a be-otch. great read :smiles:
Joined Jan 3, 2002
I, too, loved Soul of a Chef.

I think the author was a bit opinionated about whether cooking is craft or art. The narrative would have been better served by letting the annecdotes speak for themselves and letting the reader draw conclusions in quiet. Still, the book was very engaging, and I'm ready to read it again.
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