Beaten, Seared, and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America

Sold by Clarkson Potter
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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.
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About the author

JONATHAN DIXON—a former inspector of nurses’ shoes, janitor in a coffin factory, messenger, nanny, newspaper book and music critic, staff writer at Martha Stewart Living, and creative writing instructor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York—received his culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America in 2010.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Clarkson Potter
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Published on
May 3, 2011
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780307953346
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Culinary
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Cooking / Essays & Narratives
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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George Stevens was the first to know - months before Frank D. Gilroy had even an inkling. As they scouted locations for The Only Game in Town in 1968, Stevens repeatedly handed Gilroy his viewfinder to consider possible scenes. Asked to explain why he was so insistent on this procedure, Stevens answered with certainty, "You're going to direct some day." Gilroy recalled Stevens' words two years later when, unhappy with the limited role of screenwriter, he optioned Desperate Characters by Paula Fox, determined not only to adapt her novel for the screen but to direct the film. Fortunately for film buffs, film historians, film students, and prospective independent film producers, Gilroy is a compulsive diarist who wrote I Wake Up Screening! while he made four independent feature films - each accorded three stars in Leonard Maltin's TV Movies and Video Guide - for a total investment of two million dollars (for all four films!). These intimate logs of the making of Desperate Characters, Once in Paris, The Gig, and The Luckiest Man in the World show clearly that a film school that doesn't include in its curriculum discussions of negotiating with the Teamsters and of raising money by independent producers is leaving out vital parts of the film-making process. Because Gilroy wrote the scripts, raised the money, assembled the production team, directed, opened each of the four films, and even ventured into the murky world of distribution, I Wake Up Screening! is a vast repository of information about film making in general and independent film making in particular. It is not recommended for anyone who wishes to preserve a fairy-tale notion about feature film making. When Gilroy first consideredpublishing these logs, his wife encouraged him. "Do it, " she said. "If it stops one person from following in your footsteps it will be worthwhile."
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