Wednesday, November 14, 2007
"Veal Stock ... "
The author and television figure Michael Ruhlman came to my work last night to promote his new book and talk with students. It was quite exciting as we are a small culinary school and rarely have guests- and never someone of his star power.
His talk was excellent. He told his life story and talked about his previous books, his experience with cooking.
He was highly motivational. He told the story about the cook at the French Laundry having to throw out a whole bucket of fava beans he had just spent all morning cleaning, simply because he had not blanched them to Keller's standards; he told the one about Chef Pardus at the CIA admonishing him for not wanting to drive 30 miles through a snowstorm to come to school and make bechamel sauce- this being the epiphanous moment when he realized good cooks have high standards- that good cooks always find a way to "get there".
He told stories that should inspire students, and for this I am grateful!
He stressed the fundamentals of cooking.
He read a passage from his new book about finesse: finesse in cooking includes paying attention to every step of a dish, not just when it goes on the plate.
He took questions from students and wrote personal comments in their books.
He told jokes and was funny.
He was enthusiastic about cooking, and, yes, about veal stock.