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The Sorcerer's Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià's… (2011)

av Lisa Abend

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1448145,707 (3.83)4
"Kitchen Confidential" meets "Heat" in the first behind-the-scenes portrait of the world's best restaurant and the aspiring chefs who toil to make it so exceptional. Elected best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine an unprecedented five times, El Bulli is the laboratory of Ferran Adria, the maverick creator of molecular gastronomy. Behind each of the thirty or more courses that make up a meal at El Bulli is a small army of young cooks who do the work of executing Adria's vision in exchange for nothing more than the chance to learn at his hands. Granted unprecedented access to this guild system, Lisa Abend follows the thirty-five stagiaries of the 2009 season as they struggle to master the grueling hours, cutting-edge techniques, and interpersonal tensions that come with working at the most revered restaurant on earth.… (mer)
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» Se även 4 omnämnanden

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I will begin by saying that if you are a foodie reader, you enjoy shows like Bourdain's No Reservations, then you will likely enjoy this book. The only reason I did not rate it higher is that it can get a bit technical at times in terms of the food preparation descriptions. However, what I found a bit heavy at times may actually be a strength for other readers. The book documents the 2009 season at El Bulli. We get both the story of the famous restaurant, its genius chef Ferran Adrià, and the tales of trials and sacrifices of the stagiaires (the apprentices) who work for no pay and come to work there at their own expense. We get to see not only how the restaurant works but also the inner workings. Overall, the book is an interesting read. Personally, I wanted to read it after Bourdain featured it in his show, dining with the great master chef.

Similar reads would be other epicurean interest books and those books one could label as "stunt books" (ones where the author either does or documents some kind of "stunt" for a fixed amount of time). Books I've read that may have similar appeal factor include:

*Josh Peter, Fried Twinkies, Buckle Bunnies, & Bull Riders. This is another book documenting a season within a subculture.
*Pat Willard, America Eats!. Food travel, plus American history.
*Kyle Jarrard, Cognac.

( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
Well written and interesting.
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Engaging behind-the-scenes book about El Bulli, the Spanish restaurant that was one of the centers of avant-garde cuisine until its closing in 2011. Rather than provide yet another biography of the chef Ferran Adria, Abend concentrates on the stagiares: the culinary version of unpaid interns, found at many restaurants but a highly sought-after position at El Bulli (3,000 applicants every year for about 30 openings!). As she chronicles their daily routines (I never knew just how many hours of tedious tasks went into supporting Adria's creativity) and profiles several of the stagiares in depth, Abend perfectly captures their hopes, frustrations, disappointments and successes. While I came out of the book feeling like I wouldn't have found the food all that satisfying, and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to work for Adriai, I do have a better understanding of the stagiares' desire for learning, inspiration and validation -- and hope they found it, either there or somewhere else. ( )
  bostonian71 | Nov 17, 2014 |
I know I've only got 100 pages left, but I just don't care any more. I love food, and I love reading about it, but there's nothing in here that really gets me excited or wanting to to taste anything I read about. I respect the skills and ingenuity, but I'm just not having enough of a visceral reaction to keep reading.
  liz.mabry | Sep 11, 2013 |
I'd never heard of elBulli before reading this book. It didn't make me want to take the next plane to Spain so I could eat there. I can kinda understand the motivation to work somewhere free for 6 months, but I couldn't get into the feeling here. It seemed too precious, too twee (the restaurant, not the book). The book had a solidly journalistic feel, and was well done, but I just couldn't get interested in the story because the food didn't sound good. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
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"Kitchen Confidential" meets "Heat" in the first behind-the-scenes portrait of the world's best restaurant and the aspiring chefs who toil to make it so exceptional. Elected best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine an unprecedented five times, El Bulli is the laboratory of Ferran Adria, the maverick creator of molecular gastronomy. Behind each of the thirty or more courses that make up a meal at El Bulli is a small army of young cooks who do the work of executing Adria's vision in exchange for nothing more than the chance to learn at his hands. Granted unprecedented access to this guild system, Lisa Abend follows the thirty-five stagiaries of the 2009 season as they struggle to master the grueling hours, cutting-edge techniques, and interpersonal tensions that come with working at the most revered restaurant on earth.

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