Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How I Learned to Cook

On the trip to Taiwan, I started reading the phenomenal book: "How I Learned to Cook: Culinary Educations from the World's Greatest Chefs." Finished it recently and I really can't rave enough about this book. Basically the premise is 40 big name chefs write a short segment on how they learned to be a chef or just something they'll never do again (like TV cooking). For those of you with a short attention span like me, this is such a great read. Each segment is probably 6-10 pages long and almost all of the segments are a quick and extremely entertaining read - I was reading segments on my subway ride to work. The great thing is seeing who inspired these chefs (pastry chef Gaston Lenotre is mentioned a lot) and also seeing what inspired the apprentice vs the head chef (e.g. Chang worked for Collichio, Carmellini worked for Boulud, Andres worked under Adria).

Some of the notable chefs include:
  • Ferran Adria (El Bulli)
  • Jose Andres (Jaleo)
  • Mario Batali (Babbo)
  • Anthony Bourdain (not a chef anymore, but hella funny article)
  • Daniel Boulud (Daniel)
  • Andrew Carmellini (A Voce)
  • David Chang (Momofuku)
  • Tom Collichio (Craft)
  • Gary Danko (Gary Danko)
  • Jonathan Eismann (the funniest story of the bunch...a must read)
  • Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin)
  • Masaharu Morimoto (Iron Chef)
  • Jacques Torres
Funny excerpt from Bourdain (who else) describing a Midwest morning TV show host eating steak tartare he created for the TV show: "The word Ewww! actually escaped from her lips as she tenuously reached for a meat-smeared crouton. Like a nun giving a blow job, she took the tiniest nibble, fighting the urge to gag - her head swimming with images of spongiform bacteria riddling her brain, turning it into swiss cheese."

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