Sizzling sauté pans. Screaming spectators. \r\n\r\nTelevision cameras. A ticking clock. \r\n\r\nFasten your seatbelt for the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most challenging and prestigious cooking competition, where the pressure and the stakes could not be higher. At this real-life Top Chef,twenty-four culinary teams, each representing its home nation, cook for five and a half grueling hours. There are no elimination rounds—the teams have only this chance to cook two spectacular platters of food to be judged by a jury of chefs. Prize money, international acclaim, and national pride are on the line. \r\n\r\nKnives at Dawnis the dramatic story of the selection and training of the 2009 American team, overseen by a triumvirate of revered culinary figures, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérôme Bocuse, icons portrayed here in intimate detail that only the author’s unparalleled behind-the-scenes access could yield. The stars of this chefs-as-athletes story, Timothy Hollingsworth and his assistant, or commis, Adina Guest, both from the celebrated The French Laundry in Yountville, California, are up against a determined, colorful cast of international competitors. All the hopefuls meet in an arena in Lyon, France, for the ultimate competition, where technical and mental fortitude and split-second decisions can make all the difference in the world. With its riveting details and revelatory depictions of chefs in action, Knives at Dawndelivers fascinating insights into what drives chefs in their pursuit of excellence and perfection.