Author:†Bob Foulkes (Graduate of Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts)
Name of the book:†Adventures with Knives: Surviving 1,000 Hours of Culinary School
Publisher:†French Apple Press
Whatís the book about?
About the time I turned 60, I decided I wanted to have a grand adventure; I wanted to learn to cook like a real chef. So, I dropped out of my regular routine and enrolled in the culinary program at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts on Granville Island. It was a gruelling and intensive 10-hours-a-day, six-month program that taught me everything I needed to know to take a job in a restaurant kitchen. It was also an incredible adventure involving 1,000 hours in the kitchen learning everything from their great chef instructors. The book is about my experience in that course. The book is also about having adventures; itís about getting up off the couch, going out the door and doing something ó anything. Itís about having fun and scaring ourselves.
When did you get the idea for the book?
While I was at culinary school, I was learning so much so fast. To remember what I was learning, I started to write about what I did every day. I sent little stories to friends about my adventures and when culinary school ended, I decided to share it, especially with anyone who might need a bit of encouragement to shake up their own lives.
What was the biggest challenge in putting the book together?
Writing is like life ó itís mostly hard work. I spent long hours at Delaneyís on Denman editing and re-editing over cups of very strong coffee. I had trouble finding a way to get the book published until I found Barbara Jo McIntosh at Books to Cooks on West 2nd. She has a fabulous bookstore, knows the business, used to be a chef and had run her own restaurant for years on Cambie. She had just published her own book and had set up a publishing company. After many long talks, she agreed to publish my book and helped me make it happen.†
Do you consider yourself to be a chef now?
I am not a chef. Iím a pretty good cook now but Iíll never be a chef. The program taught me to respect and admire the people in the industry ó the chefs and the servers. A chef is an artist with a profound work ethic. They work magic in small cramped spaces and deliver great food from a wide menu selection ó and they do it seven nights a week. They donít get paid much and they take incredible risks if they run their own restaurants. I do two things now. I tip more, and when I have a good meal at a restaurant, I ask to speak to the chef so I can personally thank him or her for the experience. Try it, it works.
Where do we find your book and how much does it cost?
Barbara Joís Books to Cooks, 1740 West 2nd, BooksToCooks.com. The book is $21.95 and makes a perfect gift for the man in your life who is looking around for something to do, is getting in your way, or needs a boot in the ass and a push out the door.