or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Student Books

Poll Results: Most effective for High School culinary students

 
  • 0% (0)
    Heat - Bill Buford
  • 80% (4)
    Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain
  • 0% (0)
    Nasty Bits - Anthony Bourdain
  • 0% (0)
    A Cook's Tour - Anthony Bourdain
  • 20% (1)
    Waiter Rant - Steve Dublanica
  • 0% (0)
    Cooking Dirty - Jason Sheehan
5 Total Votes  
post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So, I want to incorporate more reading/discussion in my (high school) culinary classes this year. From the list, are there any you would/wouldn't recommend? I have read them all and am aware of the language. Any that you would highly suggest? Others, that are not on the list, that you would suggest?
Thanks!

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow! Really?! No input?!

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply
post #3 of 9
You'd have to get parental sign-offs to get past the language barrier in a number of those.

I liked The Making of a Chef as it gave good perspective into professional education aspects. I don't recall the language of it though since its been some years since I read it.

I know the ones you listed only by reputation. I should read a number of those one of these days.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #4 of 9
Hmmmmmmm? You originally posted on 7-30, Jim. But this is the first time it's appeared in my index. Might account for some of the non-responsiveness?

Anyway, other than the language, I'd go with Kitchen Confidential for sure, as it's a perfect foil for the romanticized image of the business portrayed by all the TV chefs.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your thoughts. I figured I had to proactively address the language issue, keeping in mind that what is discussed really is industry-relevant. Thanks, again.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply
post #6 of 9
>>industry-relevant

that's a big issue in my mind. "TV" 'reality shows' are hopefully not industry relevant - at least that seems to be the common sentiment around this Forum....within this group of real, not 'reality,' professionals. that is my impression - when I expressed disdain at patronizing anything screaming&demeaning ala' Gordon I got told what a real sweetheart he is.

I've taken the position before, and repeat it - what "real" food service organization expects a chef/cook/kitchen to produce a dish from "mystery" ingredients on a whims notice with virtually no prior testing / experimenting / tasting? all language aside....
it's not a contest of skill, it's a crap-shoot of blind luck - absence some (serious) previous experience with the mystery box contents.

TV reality cooking shows and Top Chef similar reality chefs are hopefully not representative of the real world. nor by association, their cook books. perhaps written/published with a more calm state of mind, but it sure raises really big issues in my mind.

an Anthony Bourdain recipe for grilled forest lizard that exists only in 50 square miles of some exotic rain forest accessible only by forty inoculation injections, fifty visa permits, a support crew of thousands, and a dugout canoe is hardly a 'doable dish' for the average world. he is entertaining, he is not non-TV reality.

whilst of late in London, I decided - based on comments made here - to give Gordon Ramsay's establishment(s) a shot at my credit card. against my better judgment, but I don't do London every week, so ,,,, what the heck - I figger I'll eat again, and it's only money.....

on return I find Gordon & company satellites are doing boil-in-bag meals. now.....
quite frankly I have a couple of dishes that do "better the second day" - so "leftovers / reheated stuff is not a really big hangup. but at his prices? couldn't get in, not a problem to me; believe me, on my next sojourn, Gordon's joints won't even make the 'mebbe' list.

by the way, on the last published student 'raise some cash' bash down your way I made a real attempt to come, participate and support the cause. regrets to say, the shabby web sites referenced just did not provide sufficient info to make that happen. since I'm (no longer) in Port Penn, I need dates, times, locations and gosh a map would be nice. fwiw., I mean Delaware isn't that big, it's not really all that difficult to support <g>
post #7 of 9
I don't know Jim, I'm torn. I love Kitchen Confidential and have read very few books that give the true unglamorous story of cooking in restaurants, but it does kind of glamorize that whole "chef as rock star" attitude. I don't know if that is the message you want to get across. I think if you used that as a counterpoint to another chefly bio then it would work.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Here is what I have put together for my school proposal, thus far (lengthy post):

Overview
Career Literacy: Engaging All Readers (CLEAR)

Making reading and applied literacy come to life for technical students is an important, yet often dismissed facet of effective learning. The correlation between reading and achievement simply cannot be denied. Students dismiss reading as “boring,” “not important,” “waste of time,” and “too slow” because students consider themselves “not good at it,” “too busy,” “not good at finding something interesting [to read].” Technical education students have the opportunity to bridge the literacy gap as well as enhance their understanding of the career area in which they are enrolled by exploring reading opportunities related to their industry. Reading material grounded in the career area benefits the students through further engagement in their chosen field by exploring the perspective from beyond the confines of their classroom. Further, the connection between what is ‘out there’ can be made real by engaging the students in reading material suited for members of their industry. The practice of reading and applying comprehension practices directly benefits the students’ command in both the act of becoming an effective reader as well as gleaning the knowledge intended by author of whichever piece is being explored. So, what to do? How can students realize the benefit of reading? What voice can be used to speak directly to career and technical students that would further enhance their achievement, both in terms of measurable growth in comprehension while simultaneously stirring their interest in their chosen career field?

Objectives

In a career area representing a typical cross-section of technical education students, the CLEAR program will structure a literacy program to engage the students in routine reading that:

•Enhances reading comprehension
•Further cements an interest in the career area
•Stimulates an interest in leisure reading beyond the confines of the classroom
•Generates a dialog relating to the career area, beyond the construct

Method


Media

Through input from industry members, a book will be selected that is grounded in the respective industry of the career area. The scope of the book will be anecdotal, reflective and memoir-style versus a technical textbook. Members of the advisory board for respective career areas, members of industry, classroom visitors/guest presenters and other industry members from professional organizations, associations and websites can all be polled to offer opinion as to the appropriateness and relevancy of the selection.

Structure

As career areas’ scope of their daily responsibilities greatly vary, the method for implementation will, too, vary. Will students read on a nightly basis a set number of pages? Will students read independently and explore questions and comments in a more ‘free form’ manner? Will the instructor periodically read to the class to highlight particularly valuable selections? Will students reflect on their reading through paper-and-pencil journaling or integrate technology by creating a Blog or Wiki? The collaborative aspect of implementing the CLEAR program can vary with, again, the structure of the respective career area. The instructor can elect to have students read in a jig-saw strategy, however the full impact of the reading will be best accomplished through independent reading. The fundamental core concept of CLEAR is to get a book in the hands of each student that is directly tied to the career area in which the student is enrolled to more actively cultivate an interest in both the career and reading.

Optimally, students should read with some relationship with time. Clearly stated starting and stopping points, perhaps spread over a week’s time frame, for instance, versus the pressure of nightly assignments that feel too much like homework. Also, some form of reflection to measure student interest and comprehension is compulsory. One of the objectives of CLEAR is to create a dialog, both about the book as well as the career area to which it relates. Again, the mode of reflection should culminate in various venues, not limited to blogging, written journal and class time discussion. Further, there should not be a formative or summative assessment beyond the reflection; this is not a forum to pull a grade or sink a non-reader.

Introduction of the book should start with a ‘before reading’ activity to pique the interest of the readers as well as make the book more approachable. To further enhance the experience, an English teacher can be tapped as a resource partner to more effectively explore worthwhile before-during-after reading activities, of which the career area instructor may or may not be familiar. The incorporation of a partner to usher the program should help meet the CLEAR objectives as well as minimize the amount of time that impedes on the classroom.

Anticipated Outcomes & Capstone

With effective implementation, the CLEAR program should generate stimulating conversation about relevant career area issues and topics. Additionally, with resources made available, students desire to read career-related material outside of requisite classroom reading should measurably increase. Ultimately, however, the students should be able to clearly articulate the premise with which the book was written and demonstrate connections to the content and the students’ career area.

To conclude the book, a student-created capstone can be created to reflect on the book, in its entirety. The capstone can look like a group developed journal; a collaborative Wiki; a photo montage of connections from the book with the class; or a discussion with the author. The capstone should not carry a grade; the driving force behind CLEAR is to cultivate an interest in reading and not to establish grades for that reading. The incentive to complete the book is purely grounded in the instructors’ desire to get students reading about important and interesting, career-related concepts outside of the classroom. “Buy in” is a magnanimous contributor to the success of the program and must be articulated by the instructor.

Pilot

With a control group of 24 culinary students, the CLEAR program can be piloted to effectively measure success within the guidelines stated above.

In a survey of culinary professionals in varying degrees of employ, the question was asked: From the list noted below, are there any you would/would not recommend [as effective for High School culinary students]?
Heat – Bill Buford
Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
Nasty Bits – Anthony Bourdain
A Cook’s Tour – Anthony Bourdain
Waiter Rant – Seve Dublanica
Cooking Dirty – Jason Sheehan

The majority respondents opted for Kitchen Confidential, with a preemptive caveat about the language contained therein. The scope of the book is a tell-all of the behind-the-scenes in an upper scale restaurant that bares very little resemblance to what is found on ‘reality’ shows or conjured by people not in the industry.
-Amazon.com review

This selection speaks to the type of book that is best suited for the Culinary Arts audience; it is riveting, somewhat shocking, melodramatic and written by a member of industry. This particular choice meets the criteria of CLEAR. It will not, however, be applicable to students just entering the field. Rather, it is more relevant for students with at least a year of experience in the classroom-kitchen and some part-time experience, either in the scope of co-operative employment or extracurricular events that mimic industry experiences.

The structure of the pilot would include introducing the book with an English instructor to complete before-reading activities and identify key concepts for effectively reading for comprehension. Additionally, a ‘during reading’ activity using a web-based platform will be utilized to raise questions, identify career-specific vernacular and accentuate meaningful ideas. Some selections of the book will be read in class so that some components can be discussed. Additionally, the timeline of the book will be spread over the course of ten weeks, to allow for adequate time to complete the book without targeting slower readers.

Ultimately, the capstone project will include a discussion with the author in person or in a web-based forum, if possible. Alternatively, some student originated capstone will be employed to measure comprehension.

Beyond just reading a book for the sake of reading a book, another selection will voluntarily be made available to continue to cultivate the students’ interest in reading as well as a follow-up poll to measure the students’ wanton desire to continue reading industry-related material outside of class.

Summary

The most intelligent people are great readers. Great readers are the most intelligent people. There is no separating the two. There is nothing magical about reading a book in or for class. What CLEAR looks to do, is fill the void between reading for class and having an interest in a career area. The use of reading a non-technical book with a class will help cultivate the interest of the students reading beyond the confines of the classroom while playing off of the interest of the content of the career. And, with the success of the program, stimulating the interest of students to read beyond what is required is the ultimate measure.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply
post #9 of 9
Hi Jim. To begin with, your proposal is absolutely terrific! Really first rate. They sure are lucky to have someone like you teaching there and creating classes.

I agree that Kitchen Confidential is a great choice. But I have one concern and it isn't the language. I heard a radio interview with Bourdain some time back where a female caller said that although she enjoyed his book she was changing her focus to the cold side because she didn't think she could be as macho as the women in his books. Bourdain quickly and quite passionately tried to dissuade her, saying that his book was filled with "old-school" characters and that more women in professional kitchens and more mature men were changing the atmosphere for the better. In other words, his book is, for many situations, a little outdated. So maybe you could supplement with something that reflects more of the diversity of styles in restaurant kitchens?
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
Reply
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cookbook Reviews