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The French Laundry Cookbook

A recipe book by Thomas Keller

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COOKBOOKS!COOKBOOKS!COOKBOOKS!COOKBOOKS!

  • Oct 18, 2009
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Rating:
+5
Acting on the premise that one can never own enough cookbooks (the forty or fifty we own makes only a modest cooking library), we added three new cookbooks this year. All are excellent. And the year before, our son gave me a fourth cookbook that's also excellent.

Let's start with the classiest. Thomas Keller owns and operates The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California. "Cooking is not about convenience, and it's not about shortcuts. Take your time. Move slowly and deliberately, and with great attention," writes Keller in The French Laundry Cookbook, co-authored with food writer Michael Ruhlman (Ruhlman's The Soul of a Chef, 2001, is a really good book about what drives professional chefs to seek perfection). Food writers pretty much agree The French Laundry is either the best restaurant in the world, not just America, or if not Number One in the World, then Number Two or Three. If you want to eat there (as we do some day), you must call for a reservation two months ahead of time on the morning of the first day of the month. Call any later and the restaurant bookings for that coming month are all filled.

Keller's inventiveness with foods and his meticulous attention to detail are legendary. They are well documented in this fantastically beautiful book. It includes Keller's recipe for his signature appetizer, Pearls and Oyster, which marries caviar and oysters in a bed of creamy pearl tapioca. There a few -very few- of the 150 recipes in this book that an adventurous chef might try at home -there is an intriguing recipe for gazpacho and one for a lasagne that Keller cooks for the staff meal before the restaurant opens to the public--but most of the recipes are way beyond the capabilities of even the most advance home chef and require expensive, sometimes exotic ingredients. (Keller does a lot with caviar, lobster and foie gras, and where in Modesto do you purchase a pig's head or fresh killed squab?) The desserts sound heavenly but are complicated to make as well. (Doesn't fresh-made banana ice cream with chocolate-banana crepes and chocolate sauce sound good?) But then, The French Laundry Cookbook isn't so much a book to cook from as an inspiration, a work of art, a rollercoaster read. I'm glad we own it but I don't see myself cooking anything from it in the near future ... although there is a recipe involving artichokes that looks good.

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review by . October 18, 2009
Acting on the premise that one can never own enough cookbooks (the forty or fifty we own makes only a modest cooking library), we added three new cookbooks this year. All are excellent. And the year before, our son gave me a fourth cookbook that's also excellent.     Let's start with the classiest. Thomas Keller owns and operates The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California. "Cooking is not about convenience, and it's not about shortcuts. Take your time. Move slowly …
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David Keymer ()
I taught full time in grade school (1 year), high school (8 years) and college (7 years) --first Spanish, then social studies, then history. After I earned my PhD (in history) at Yale, I moved into administration. … more
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About this book

Wiki

To eat at Thomas Keller's Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry, is to experience a peak culinary experience. InThe French Laundry Cookbook, Keller articulates his passions and offers home cooks a means to duplicate the level of perfection that makes him one of the best chefs in the U.S. and, arguably, the world.

This cookbook provides 150 recipes exactly as they are used at Keller's restaurant. It is also his culinary manifesto, in which he shares the unique creative processes that led him to invent Peas and Carrots--a succulent pillow of a lobster paired with pea shoots and creamy ginger-carrot sauce--and other high-wire culinary acts. It offers unimagined experiences, from extracting chlorophyll to use in coloring sauces to a recipe for chocolate cake accompanied by red beet ice cream and a walnut sauce. You are urged to follow Keller's recipes precisely and also to view them as blueprints. To keep them alive, they must be infused with your own commitment to perfection and pleasure, as you define those terms.

Keller's story, shared through the writing of Michael Ruhlman, shows how this chef was both born and made. After winning rave reviews when he was still in his 20s, it took a more experienced chef throwing a knife at him because he did not know how to truss a chicken to open his eyes to the importance of the discipline and techniques of classical French cooking. To acquire these fundamental skills, he apprenticed at eight of the finest ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 1579651267
ISBN-13: 978-1579651268
Author: Thomas Keller
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine
Publisher: Artisan
First to Review
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