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One Wonderful response to “Ruhlman in Chicago”

  • Monya Maynard

    More than an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment, a Life-Changing Meal
    Several years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Napa and drove through Yountville. We had never been before and were drawn into Bouchon because the tables were set with proper tablecloths so we expected we could get a good meal inside. (I had never heard the name, Thomas Keller.) I ordered Duck Confit which arrived nested in Beet Risotto. I never knew anything in this world could taste so sublime! Later in the week, we visited the CIA in St. Helena where I had signed up to watch a demo; my husband wandered the retail store, bought your book, ‘The Soul of a Chef’, because ‘it sounded good’ and gave it to me as a gift when we left.
    That was my first real exposure to the amazing environment of professional cooking. The stories of individuals fueled by an inexplicable passion to persevere and fulfill their dreams were incredibly inspiring. Within two years, I had taken every recreational class I could get into and finally made the decision to enter professional culinary school at the age of 47. Completing the year-long program was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life; the six-month externship took me to the edge of insanity. BUT, I made it through and graduated First In Class. I do not work in a restaurant kitchen; Anthony Bourdain is right, I am just too old. I am now a Culinary Instructor and I teach recreational classes to home cooks who want to improve their skills and prepare delicious meals at home, my copy of ‘The Soul of a Chef’ was given to a fellow student. I have not read Ruhlman’s Twenty and cannot imagine what you would have left out but one of the things I always tell my students is to cook with all Five Senses. No matter where you are in the kitchen, you know what is going on with your food if you are tuned in. Many thanks for all you have written to give us a window into another world and all you have done to make that world more accessible. mkm