Books for aspiring kitchen wizards (by Tim Pawsey, for the Courier)

Bob Foulkes is a different kind of kitchen wizard, although there were moments in the last few years when he would have happily traded chefs' whites for Harry's wand.

One of the more senior folks to have graduated from Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts' six-month diploma program, the 60-plus-year-old Foulkes wrote Adventures with Knives: Surviving 1,000 Hours of Culinary School. It's a well written, candid and entertaining account of his experiences from the first day he set foot in the door to the moment he walked out-with no firm plans for his newly honed skills other than to cook for friends and (as it turns out) do some worthy charity work. The book also gives credit where credit is due to PICA's team of talented senior chef-instructors, a few of whom (such as Julian Bond, Patrice Suhner and Tim Ellison) have been fixtures on Vancouver's restaurant scene over the years.

Foulkes' story adds up to an invaluable diary, especially if you're an aspiring culinary student-of any age. Even if you're not, you'll find this account of one man's search for "what's next?" in life an inspiring read. Available at Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks and PICA.



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