Must Read: Beaten, Seared and Sauced

Beaten, Seared, and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America
If you’ve every toyed with the idea of attending culinary school, or are curious to learn what cooking school is really all about, then Beaten, Seared, and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America is a must read.

Jonathan Dixon details all the ups and downs of learning to cook at the Culinary Institute of America. As a “career changer” his insight and humor paints a vivid picture of the experience. From trying to mesh with his much younger classmates, to balancing school demands with his personal relationships, to his honest disclosure of his own self-doubt and insecurities Dixon offers up a witty, thought-provoking and often gritty story straight from the hallowed halls of the CIA.
He covers all the culinary school experiences and I felt I was right there with him through all the classes, humiliating tongue lashings from the chef-instructors, exhausting externships and poignant moments that highlight why, for some of us, food is so important and meaningful.

I so enjoyed this book and Dixon’s writing that I spent some time looking for other things he’s written. He has a blog ( that he updates periodically, which basically picks up where the book ended. I was happy to find it because, after finishing the book, I was really curious to see what he went on to do after culinary school.

Happy Reading,

One Comment

  1. Been there and wrote that. Actually, wrote two books after my time as a culinary school student: “Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood” at and the survival guide “Culinary School: 101 Things Every Culinary Student Should Know Before They Go” Both are on Amazon Kindle (which means they can be sold for a lot less than his paper-based book!).

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