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Download Knives at Dawn: America’s Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d’Or Competition Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Knives at Dawn: America’s Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d’Or Competition Audiobook, by Andrew Friedman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.14 out of 53.14 out of 53.14 out of 53.14 out of 53.14 out of 5 3.14 (28 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Andrew Friedman Narrator: Sean Runnette Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9781400185092
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The Bocuse d’Or is the real-life Top Chef, a biannual cooking competition in France featuring teams from twenty-four countries vying for the top honors. Named after Paul Bocuse, one of the greatest, most influential living chefs, the Bocuse d’Or has become the most sophisticated and closely watched cook-off in the world. Ironically, though American cuisine now rates among the best in the world, a US team has never placed among the top three in the competition. In 2008, under the auspices of renowned chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, the two-person US team of Timothy Hollingsworth and Adina Guest trained in a specially outfitted facility in preparation for the 2009 competition with the goal of a best-ever showing for the United States.

With unparalleled behind-the-scenes access, Andrew Friedman follows the American contestants and other hopefuls as they spend months training to cook and serve their dishes just once, over the course of five and a half tense hours, in an arena filled with a thousand screaming spectators. Along the way, he paints intimate portraits of Boulud and Keller, two of the leading culinary figures of their generation, revealing their hopes and aspirations for their protégés as well as for American cuisine. Through this compelling sports-meets-cooking story, Friedman explores the clash of culinary titans and cultures in a real-world kitchen stadium and ratchets up the suspense of who will reign supreme.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 R | 2/18/2014

    " Detailed account of the Bocuse d'Or Culinary competition. Learned a great deal about completing at this level, and after reading this book, know that I would never be interested (even if capable)of pursuing this as a goal. I'm delighted to occasionally produce a great recipe or two, but the food created at the Bocuse d'Or is more objects d'art than something to eat. However, I can admire the skill it takes to get to this level of cooking. TEAM USA has never one a medal since the beginning of the competition in 1987. Did they finally appear on the podium for 2009? I'll leave you dangling on that one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Turi | 2/14/2014

    " A very interesting glimpse into the world of international cooking contests, Knives at Dawn tracks the U.S. entrants in the 2009 Bocuse d'Or competition. Captivating story, but it was muted by some of the author's writing - the descriptions of the contestants and coaches felt condescending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen Dunn | 2/11/2014

    " Awesome book if you like Cooking enough to understand all of the technical terms and to understand who all the big name chefs are. If you understand the playing field it's really enjoyable. be sure to check out the Bocuse d'Or website to see photos of the platters to help you appreciate the techniques and presentation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 boyoung | 1/26/2014

    " More of an ode to the pursuit of excellence than a foodie account of the most prestigious culinary competition in the world (it's too precise and scientific to be the latter), knives at dawn is interesting, if not exactly what I expected. I would've appreciated the book more had I already had a deep understanding of culinary competitions before this read. Admirable in content and writing, nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 1/26/2014

    " serious foodie reading. Like anything at a highly competitive level, the behind the scenes look at this food competition is eyeopening. The time, practice, thought and frankly waste of food is stunning. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 1/18/2014

    " Kind of a slow read.But interesting.My first chef-instructor at Johnson & Wales was on the USA Culinary Olympic Team.Very serious guy.With a sense of humour .Read this,it's different. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandi | 11/24/2013

    " Follows the American team's preparation and outcome at the famous food competition held in France. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Malcolm | 11/19/2013

    " Once I started skimming the elaborate descriptions of test dishes and cooking techniques, I enjoyed it. This competition sounds to be extremely taxing for the participants. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 9/3/2013

    " Tons of fun for kitchen nerds. I especially loved the 3-page email of food critique from Daniel Boulud, reproduced in full. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jabbara | 7/24/2013

    " Considering I got it at the dollar store and that I'd never heard of the cooking competition I enjoyed much of it. I'm not a fan of contrived food. Meat glue???? Yuck. The process of preparation was interesting though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cory | 5/19/2013

    " I didn't actually finish this one, as the style just didn't engage me. It would appear that I like my cooking contests in a more visual format, or else I just can't follow along. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason Payne | 3/11/2013

    " Poorly-written food pr0n about a competition in which the US comes in sixth. WTF? Still interesting for those deeply passionate about any printed text about Thomas Keller et al. Like me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terree Rola | 1/15/2013

    " Absolutely loved it! It captured the hours dedicated to training, the behind the scenes look into the personalities of the mentors, and intensity of the competition. A must read for anyone who is passionate about cooking and the culinary arts! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 12/30/2012

    " Interesting, but the writing was so dry and plodding that I had to pull myself through what should have been a really good book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paddy | 10/13/2012

    " In the category I Read It Because There Are So Few Recorded Books in My Library, I enjoyed more than I anticipated. As a semi-foodie, the preciousness of all the food even got to me. Would I want to go to the French Laundry after this? Less so. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelasher | 8/16/2012

    " I learned from this book that I want to eat at the French Laundry. Now I have to learn how to have enough money to make my dream come true. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 5/17/2012

    " My review at the A.V. Club "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 5/5/2012

    " Quick read. Although I'm a foodie, there were still several terms I was unfamiliar with. Perhaps I read it too fast, but I kept losing track of the characters, but luckily this didn't impact the story line arc for me. This book did inspire me to make pommes dauphinoise one night mid-read though! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennie | 4/15/2012

    " I wouldn't recommend reading this if you know the results of the competition. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barry Morris | 1/20/2012

    " I can't believe how much I liked this book. Couldn't put it down - and it's about an international cooking competition, for cryin' out loud. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 6/23/2011

    " Kind of a slow read.But interesting.My first chef-instructor at Johnson & Wales was on the USA Culinary Olympic Team.Very serious guy.With a sense of humour .Read this,it's different. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karis | 2/23/2011

    " Interesting background, not enough about the cooking, and kind of scattered. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Malcolm | 1/23/2011

    " Once I started skimming the elaborate descriptions of test dishes and cooking techniques, I enjoyed it. This competition sounds to be extremely taxing for the participants. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 1/13/2011

    " Great book! I've only just recently learned about the Bocuse D'Or and this is a nice tour both through the world of chefs and the process of and strain of preparing and then participating in a competition of this nature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barry | 9/14/2010

    " I can't believe how much I liked this book. Couldn't put it down - and it's about an international cooking competition, for cryin' out loud. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cory | 8/28/2010

    " I didn't actually finish this one, as the style just didn't engage me. It would appear that I like my cooking contests in a more visual format, or else I just can't follow along. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tom | 6/7/2010

    " i am in the food business and some things in book were a bit over the top. they didnt do a good job explaining some of the French technique that is what this books about "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paddy | 5/21/2010

    " In the category I Read It Because There Are So Few Recorded Books in My Library, I enjoyed more than I anticipated. As a semi-foodie, the preciousness of all the food even got to me. Would I want to go to the French Laundry after this? Less so. "

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About the Author

Andrew Friedman has made a career of getting to know the heads and hearts of professional cooks and athletes. For more than ten years, Friedman has collaborated with many of the nation’s best and most revered chefs on cookbooks and other writing projects. His writing career began in 1997, when Alfred Portale asked him to collaborate on the Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook. The book received wide acclaim and since then he has worked as a cookbook collaborator on more than twenty projects, helping a number of the nation’s best chefs (Alfred Portale, David Waltuck, Tom Valenti, and many others) share their unique culinary viewpoints with readers. He lives in New York City with his family.

About the Narrator

Sean Runnette, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has also directed and produced more than two hundred audiobooks, including several Audie Award winners. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured the United States and internationally with ART and Mabou Mines. His television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Cop Land, Sex and the City, Law & Order, the award-winning film Easter, and numerous commercials.