Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: "Beaten, Seared, and Sauced"

I recently read a new culinary literary book, “Beaten, Seared and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America” by Jonathan Dixon.

The book is a self-narrated look at the author’s journey through the 2-year associates degree at the Culinary Institute of America, taking the reader into the kitchens and classrooms, behind the scenes, and naming names. The book is an easy read, has a good pace, and provides lots of insight into the school’s methodology, all through the eyes of a mid-life career-changer – right up my alley.

Overall, it was a great book. I really liked reading about the day-to-day interactions of students, chefs, and the public, the joys of success, the tears of failure, and the author’s take on how to overcome them. After reading, I really felt like I knew some of the teachers, and it completely renewed my desire to attend the CIA. In fact, I think I am going to stop there when I am on vacation this summer – I’m pretty sure the school will be on summer break, but hopefully, I will be able to get on campus to walk around, take some pics, and daydream for a bit.

I have to be honest, though, I was a bit disappointed with the ending… maybe because it didn’t truly have one. The author graduates, and the book just stops… I felt that there were some unresolved conflicts going on, some unanswered questions, and while I didn’t quite expect a fairy tale ending, I would have liked some of these conflicts to be resolved. But maybe that’s just me…

That said, I would highly recommend this book, especially for someone thinking of attending the CIA. It’s a quick read, and won’t disappoint.