Monday, December 31, 2012

Book 38: The Saucier’s Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip Through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe by Bob Spitz

As much as I love to eat, I don’t really go for TV shows or books about food and cooking.  It just isn’t interesting to me when I don’t get to eat what they are talking about.  So I was not really eager to read this one, but I heard it was funny and that gave me enough of an excuse to try it out.

Spitz was going through a rough time—recovering from a long writing project, a divorce, and his first rebound relationship—and decided to go on a trip to Europe to learn how to really cook.  After considering his options, he settles on studying in France and Italy and books lessons with various chefs all over these countries.  He intersperses his stories of his adventures with the recipes that he liked the most.  If I were a more adventurous cook, I would try them out. 

Overall, it is pretty funny even though Spitz is an ass.  He even admits as much on a few occasions.  But the stories were interesting—he definitely had a wide range of experiences.  Some chefs just pushed him off to the side, treated him like he was incompetent, or were terrible cooks themselves.  Other chefs treated him like family and really made him connect with the food.  He really had an incredible experience that I’m not sure he appreciated until he was putting this book together.  

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