Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute
If you ever thought of going to cooking school at the Culinary Institute of America or any cooking school for that matter, you want to read Michael Ruhlman's Making of a Chef - now available at Amazon.com.
This book is so well written, it puts you right into the heat of cooking school and you will feel the intensity of the fire. In fact, it may may you think twice about going to cooking school at all.
I am not a professional chef because I cook for fun not for a living but... I have often fantasized what it would be like to cook in a busy kitchen with all the craziest going on around you. Reading this book put me right there. I have spoken to many professional chefs who have read this book and they say it is the real deal.
Now, not every cooking school is as intense as the CIA but if they are worth their salt, they will make you work hard. Real hard and you better be ready to take a little abuse. Let's face it, working in a hot kitchen, standing over a hot stove under intense pressure where you are only as good as the last plate of food prepared is abusive enough.
I'm not suggesting you read this book to discourage you from fulfilling your dreams of going to cooking school and work in the restaurant industry. I just think reading The Making of a Chef will give you some in site into the field of culinary arts before you take the plunge.
I still recommend you do your research by checking out cooking schools in your state, filling out their short questionnaires and getting all the information you can from the schools representative. I also suggest you read as much as you can about the industry and what it is like to become a professional chef.
About the Author
Michael Ruhlman is a journalist who enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America to do research to write a book not to become a chef. However, the more time he spent at the CIA he became determined to become a real culinary student and not just a writer doing research. You will "feel" his experience in his writing and be engrossed by the stories he tells of individual classes.
The first third of the book describes the introductory classes Ruhlman had to take to learn the basics as well as introducing you to a few of the instructors and some of the other students. The second third of the book tells about his experience in the specialized classes and includes baking. The last part of the book covers the experience the author had in the practice restaurants. And at the end of the book in the appendix, Ruhlman gives you a chart showing what you have to do to receive an associate degree. That alone is worth checking out if you are thinking of going to culinary school.
Even if you are not thinking about becoming a culinary arts student but love to cook, the book is a great read. Not only will you learn what's going on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurant, you'll pick up a bunch of great cooking tips and information only a professional chef could teach you.
You can order The Making of a Chef online at Amazon.com and don't forget to visit my Culinary School Primer page filled with articles, books and school resources. A great place to start your culinary and hospitality management educations.