The Reach of a Chef: Beyond the Kitchen
The acclaimed author of The Soul of a Chef explores the allure of the celebrity chef in modern America
Michael Ruhlman has enjoyed a long love affair with cooking and food. His explorations of kitchens and the professionals who call them home led Anthony Bourdain to call him “the greatest living writer on the subject of chefs—and on the business of preparing food.” But even his vast experience couldn’t have prepared him for the profound shift that has occurred in the chef’s place in society.
Beginning at Per Se, the newest and most expensive of Manhattan’s four-star restaurants, Ruhlman takes readers into some of America’s most illustrious—and most innovative—kitchens. Throughout his travels, he seeks new trends and phenomena, like Las Vegas’s recent elevation to the country’s food Gomorrah with the addition of Picasso and Aureole to the Strip’s already formidable selection, and returns to legendary haunts like The French Laundry, Le Bernardin, and Café Gray to see what’s changed. A dispatch from a new world where chefs are celebrities and culinary school classes are burgeoning, The Reach of a Chef looks at the state of professional cooking in the post-Child, Food Network era. In the end, an audience who loves to talk about, read about, and dine in the finest restaurants in America gets an in-the-trenches look at the professionals whose very life’s work is to feed us.