Thomas Keller Bobby Flay
Emeril, Rachel and Bobby! Does Food Network come to mind? Ok, how about Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters? Maybe, no? Well, for those of you who don’t recognize the second group of names we have some talking to do. A lot of kids who are interested in cooking know Emeril Lagasse if not Rachel Ray and her 30-minute meals. The reason I bring this up is because there is so much more than just the Food Network and its stars. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Food Network, in fact it’s the reason I started getting interested in cooking. However, great Chefs, cooking, and “foodies” did not just start 20 years ago with the premier of the Food Network; it really began more than 3 centuries ago. I mean food and cooking have always been around (heck! The cavemen didn’t eat their meat raw after the discovery of fire!). I’m talking chef, a whole staff, with lavish banquets and extremely detailed food. Here’s a little history, (hold on!! don’t change websites so fast, if you like to cook or want to be a chef I suggest you know this, BIG TIME) it started out with Marie-Antoine Careme (the first real celebrity chef). Careme was around in the 18th century; he created what chefs call Haute Cuisine, which is an elaborate meal of food (I wouldn’t even call it just food, it was art). Then came Auguste Escoffier, who was the creator of both Grande Cuisine (the refined haute cuisine) and the Kitchen Brigade System (the way in which the kitchen is set up and works).
Auguste Escoffier Emeril Lagasse
Next was James Beard (have you ever heard of the James Beard Awards?) who really defined American cooking. Soon after, the famed Julia Child came into the picture. Julia taught America that French cooking can even be done by the average Joe. (if you want to learn more about Julia Child, read the book and/or see the upcoming movie, “Julie and Julia”) Those were the big names of the past and are still influential today.
Julia Child Rachel Ray
Some of today’s big name chefs are Thomas Keller who is the owner and chef of the French Laundry (in Napa, Ca) and Per Se (in NY), which can take up to a year for a reservation. There’s also Daniel Boullud who is the owner and chef of Café Boullud, Daniel’s and other various restaurants. Alice Waters is the owner and chef of Chez Panisse. Alice has also been fighting to bring back local and fresh foods to the table. These are just some of the hundreds of chefs that are out there today that are beyond the Food Network. There’s a whole world of culinary out there just waiting for you to explore. You can Google any of the above mentioned Chef’s to learn more about them. I have listed some books in the Amazon Widget next to this blog. You can also check out www.ACFchefs.com for more information about culinary events that take place in your community.