Two Books I Highly Recommend

 Michael Ruhlman’s journalistic writing style has a smooth flow and will fascinate those who like food and cooking. He writes about the restaurant industry in an honest, alluring way. It is easy to become immersed in both the “The Soul of a Chef” and “The Reach of a Chef”.


 I recommend readers start with the first book about chefs and becoming a master chef at the Culinary Institute of America, in The Soul of a Chef.  Only then should you move on to The Reach of a Chef. The books are woven together nicely, focusing on the progression of star chefs and behind the scenes tidbits, which are positively fascinating.

 Both books show admiration for chefs, their education, dedication, and the passion that's behind each tantalizing plate described in the books. Michael depicts the food served in each restaurant very precisely. I imagine this is because he tasted the food and worked in each kitchen as part of  his research. I was taken with what he wrote about Thomas Keller, of The French Laundry and the evolution of his empire.

In The Reach of a Chef, Michael continues to write about many of the same individuals that he did in his first book. He focuses on their personal growth and success, as well as that of their protégés. He also brings to light the risk and sacrifices that a chef endures as they reach for the stars.

Included in Rhulman’s second book are additional culinary personalities who have helped to create the booming business of food based shows, including the Food Network, its stars, and their “branding”. Anomalies such as, Emeril, and Rachael Ray, are explained. This, for me, shed new light on their work.

The Reach of a Chef also examines the dramatic change in the culinary industry over the past thirty years. You'll learn about  the current transformations that are taking place in Cooking schools and professional kitchens.

The unveiling and wizardry behind Edge Cuisine was eye opening, indeed. And the dedication it takes to run an organic based seasonal restaurant from a farm is down right admirable. Ruhlman is well rooted in the restaurant industry and connects his stories with cooks, food critics, and renowned chefs with astonishing romance.

If you love food, the restaurant scene, and the overall preparation of food, you’ll enjoy both of these books. But I warn you, Michael Ruhlman’s smooth evocative writing will leave you hungry for more!

  • You are invited to visit my Web site for recipes and short stories at where I encourage everyone, except bots, to join in a virtual potluck.

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About isimmer

Chef, recipe developer, photographer, music lover, indi-gal who makes a damn good cookie....more later... just filling in the blanks.
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