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what great chef would you apprentice under

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Like everyone on here i love to cook, but i am a newbie, and im looking to learn, so i would like everyone to name drop

please list a few great chefs you would love to apprentice under if you could have this wish, or a few amazing cookbooks that taught you amazing technique, style, cultural flavors, or creativity-that has changed your view of food or your cooking style

for example i just learned of Julie Sahni's and i bought one of her cookbooks and it seems like a great intro into the world of indian cuisine, who has a favorite thai cookbook

a great chef in the making

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  1. I hopeless in oriental or Indian food, so I would live to work with a native of either of those cuisines.
    The chefs that I immediately thought of when I read the thread were Jacques Pepin, Jacques Torres, Roland Mesnier, Peter Reinhardt and Ewald Notter. I worked 3 years in a bakery during college, and Id love to work under the best in the business.

    1. keller comes to mind. batali, too. their cookbooks are always looking out the rear-view mirror (where they've been, not where they're going). i eat at both their shops and usually walk away pretty happy.

      1. It's not a cookbook, but I HIGHLY recommend Culinary Artistry. It's a must for every semi-serious cook, especially if you like to come up with your own dishes.


        1. A chef at a good Chinese restaurant. I've tried a number of recipes from authentic-sounding cookbooks, and without exception the dishes have had no resemblance whatsoever to the stuff at even budget strip-mall places.

          In modern times, of course, I'm sure those techniques would be useful in many types of cooking. I'd rather have a flavorful fried rice side than plain ol' mashed potaatoes.

          1. Thomas Keller or John Besh for me!

            1. If I had to recommend one wonderful cookbook, it would be Julia Child's THE WAY TO COOK. This is a cookbook that teaches how to cook almost everything.
              I am an excellent cook, and this is my look-up for almost everything. For Indian--Madhur Jaffrey's INVITATION TO INDIAN COOKING.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pepperqueen

                I would second The Way to Cook, and I feel that I did apprentice (along with many, many others) with Julia Child. My mother (who was already an amazing cook) and I used to watch the old black and white PBS shows, and we learned so much. I really feel as if she added to our joy and confidence in cooking really tasty food. Every time something went wrong in her dish (which I remember being almost every show) she would laugh and say "I'm glad that happened" and proceed to show you how to correct the mistake. She taught us to have no fear, it's only food, after all, not rocket science. Probably because of Julia, I went on to learn French and live in France for a year, truly a seminal experience for me.

              2. I would LOVE to apprentice under Ming Tsai. I've always thought he was one of the most thoughtful chefs around and his food seems amazing.