Friday, June 15, 2007

Down to Business

Ive been doing alot of opinion pieces as of late, and while those are fine I want to take a step back from them for a bit. For the record though, my opinions are not set in stone. I welcome debate and fact vs fiction at all times during a matter of opinion. There are things I am opinionated about, but am probably wrong because of misinformation or a skewed viewpoint. So to anyone who reads this blog, please feel free to debate with me, I may end up seeing things better your way or vis verse.

But now, on to today topic: Books.

There are now millions upon millions of books written, being written, or in the process of being thought to be written in the world. I want to share with you some of my personal favorites. These are all books Ive enjoyed more then once and will probably read again and again and again.

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First up we have Lessons in Excellence with Charlie Trotter.

This is actually the first culinary book I had ever bought, back in my youth so long ago (So it seems). I bought the book thinking it would be an in depth look at how Chef Trotter runs his kitchen, and it was.. but it was also much more then that. It really gives you a chance to crawl inside the mans head and take a look at how he sees business. It goes into detail about the standards and practices he expects his staff and himself to uphold at his restaurant.

Its really a great book to read even if your outside the restaurant business. Its a great view of how a man and his vison has been successful.

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The Making of a Chef Michael Ruhlman

Not like I even have to mention why this book makes it on the list, but for the sake of argument...

Michael Ruhlman does a outright fantastic job of giving you a first person view of the life of a Culinary Arts student, more directly one that attends the CIA. Ive read this book, I dont know how many times, and each time I read it Im reminded of why Ive choosen to do what I do. This feeling is shared by so many people at this point having this book NOT on my list would probably cause me to be blackballed.

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Cooking for Kings: The First Celebrity Chef by Ian Kelly

This book is all about Antonin Careme, the first highly regarded chef and considered the father of modern kitchens. You get a very good view of the life of a young cook who seeks to become a great chef, and you also realize that even in history half of getting anywhere is who you know.

Through well placed connections Careme ends up under the service of both Nepoleon and Czar Alexander. The book also contains diagrams of banquets, copies of menus, and pictures.

A really good read about the history and changes in kitchens.

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Les Halles Cookbook.

All around good read and good cookbook.

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French Laundry Cookbook.

Also a VERY good read. Great tips and basics in this book. Not only that, the pictures are awsome.

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