Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood

Written by S.J. Sebellin-Ross

“I was moved by the book — a good step up from enjoying it, although I did that too.”
~ John Thorne
James Beard Award-winning author of “Outlaw Cook” and “Pot on the Fire”

with foreword by John Thorne

From the menopausal chef who called students assholes to the bitter chef who made them get on their hands and knees to scrub the kitchen as punishment to the horde of frequently tattooed, usually foul-mouthed, sometimes bigoted, and occasionally sweet students, this is not the sanitized look at school spoon fed to us by the likes of The Food Network. No. Written by a culinary school student, “Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood” is the searingly honest story of what really goes on behind closed culinary school doors from slipping on the crisp white chefs coat for the first time through the horror of slaughtering and cooking lunch through the overwhelming number of cuts and burns and bruises to working on the line in the searing hurry, hurry heat of the school bistro.

More than ten years ago we were introduced to culinary school by Anthony Bourdain, Culinary Institute of America graduate in “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.” In “The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America,” Michael Ruhlman expanded this introduction by visiting classes at the CIA. And today, more than a decade later, “Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood” completes the circle with a real life account of what it is like to be a full-time culinary school student.

Noted restaurant critic, food journalist, and cookbook author, S.J. Sebellin-Ross ( is a top-selling writer whose books include “Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood,” the bestselling memoir of her time as a culinary school student; “Culinary School: 101 Things Every Culinary Student Should Know Before They Go,” considered the must-read book for anyone interested in culinary school and food; and “How to Write about Food: How to Become a Published Restaurant Critic, Food Journalist, Cookbook Author, and Food Blogger,” the definitive guide to breaking in and making money as a published food writer.

Sebellin-Ross, who has more than a decade of experience writing for publications including “The Washington Post,” “Parenting,” and the “New York Times,” and is invited to speak at events including the BlogHer Food Conference, previously wrote for clients such as DreamWorks and HBO and taught public relations for schools such as Mediabistro and UC Berkeley. To see all the popular Sebellin-Ross titles, click the author name, above.


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