Letters to a Young Chef

Letters to a Young Chef

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From the most successful and influential chef in America, a meditation on the delights and obsessions of a life dedicated to making and experiencing great food.. From the reinvention of French food through the fine dining revolution in America, Daniel Boulud has been a witness to and a creator of today's food culture. A modern improviser with a classical foundation (a little rock 'n' roll and a lot of Mozart, he'd say), he speaks with the authority that comes from a lifetime of preparing, presenting, and thinking about food-an ancient calling with universal resonance.In Letters to a Young Chef, Boulud speaks not only of how to make a career as a chef in today's world, but also of why one should want to do so in the first place. As he himself puts it, it is "a tasty life." The love of food and the obsession with flavors, ingredients, and techniques are the chef's source of strength, helping the young chef to survive and flourish during the long years of apprenticeship and their necessary sacrifices. Part memoir, part advice book, part cookbook, part reverie, this delicious new book will delight and enlighten chefs of all kinds, from passionate amateurs to serious professionals.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 132 x 204 x 20mm | 281.23g
  • The Perseus Books Group
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 046500735X
  • 9780465007356

About Daniel Boulud

Daniel Boulud is the world-renowned owner and chef de cuisine of Daniel, Caf Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, and the catering company Feast & Ftes, all in New York City. After studying with the likes of Georges Blanc, Michel Gurard, and R oger Verg in France, he emigrated to the U.S., wo rking at Le Cirque before striking out on his own. He is the author of Daniel Boulud's Caf Boulud C ookbook and Cooking with Daniel Boulud. He lives i n New York City.show more

Review Text

Stern but realistic advice to those with their hopes pinned on the art of cooking, along with some strangely obvious culinary comments for such an audience. Boulud's short, formal-toned work is ostensibly aimed at those who have already logged some substantial hours in the kitchen: "You, on the other hand, having spent three years in cooking school, know a lot more about our craft than I did when I threw myself into this career." But why, then, does he write, "It all starts with heating the ingredients"? Doesn't his audience know, when it comes to roasting and sauteing, that this is the case, or that "braising means to cook on a braisier"? Such comments suggest that Boulud, celebrated chef at New York's four-star Daniel, among others, is reaching for a wider audience, but it also reveals a modest lack of focus, for most home cooks don't need to know his more arcane details-for instance, that venison "does not have space in its fibers to absorb and hold moisture." Still, there's information here that anyone with a glimmer of interest in top-level kitchen life will find intriguing, including even the dedication: "When you are not working, you are thinking about work." Boulud tells us everything from where the profits come from (dessert and wine) and what the team character of a great kitchen is like (woe to the sous-chef who forgets that "there is only room for one ego in a kitchen when the crush of service is on"), to the need for paying your dues at each station in the kitchen and the absolute necessity of attention to detail, from the quality of the ingredients to the welcoming smile of the maitre d'. Something more fascinating than advice and admonitions: the chance to live briefly inside the head of a great chef who keeps more balls in the air than any juggler ever attempted. (Kirkus Reviews)show more
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