Beaten, Seared, and Sauced
On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
Millions of people fantasize about leaving their old lives behind, enrolling in cooking school, and training to become a chef. But for those who make the decision, the difference between the dream and reality can be gigantic—especially at the top cooking school in the country. For the first time in the Culinary Institute of America’s history, a book will give readers the firsthand experience of being a full-time student facing all of the challenges of the legendary course in its entirety.
On the eve of his thirty-eighth birthday and after shuffling through a series of unsatisfying jobs, Jonathan Dixon enrolled in the CIA (on a scholarship) to pursue his passion for cooking. In Beaten, Seared, and Sauced he tells hilarious and harrowing stories of life at the CIA as he and his classmates navigate the institution’s many rules and customs under the watchful and critical eyes of their instructors. Each part of the curriculum is covered, from knife skills and stock making to the high-pressure cooking tests and the daunting wine course (the undoing of many a student). Dixon also details his externship in the kitchen of Danny Meyer’s Tabla, giving readers a look into the inner workings of a celebrated New York City restaurant.
With the benefit of his age to give perspective to his experience, Dixon delivers a gripping day-to-day chronicle of his transformation from amateur to professional. From the daily tongue-lashings in class to learning the ropes—fast—at a top NYC kitchen, Beaten, Seared, and Sauced is a fascinating and intimate first-person view of one of America’s most famous culinary institutions and one of the world’s most coveted jobs.
From the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Hard to put down
This book is exceptional from the standpoint of being from a cook who can truly write or, perhaps, a writer who can cook. The reader is taken on a journey, somewhat atypical for the age of the author, through the process of studying at the Culinary Institute of America. What is surprising here is how the author, although more mature than most students, was unprepared for the rigors of cooking in an on-demand environment. This is surprising in view of the fact that he had been a writer and obviously has experienced deadlines in the past.
Nonetheless, this is a great read. Very good storytelling throughout and very captivating. One wishes it were longer and had an epilogue with some information about what the author currently does.
As a foodie, former hack of a chef, and small time food blogger, I really enjoyed the writing and story telling. The writing is from that of a person perspective and so you get a real feeling of being there and what it's like to tackle culinary school at age 40. Cool book.
Made me want to get in the kitchen
Very sincere, heartfelt and vivid. A great vicarious jaunt through the CIA and peek behind the pass into some of the worlds best kitchens and I learned a culinary tip or two along the way.