Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cookbook Review: French Laundry Cookbook Thomas Keller

Miranda and I agree Thomas Keller is not only the greatest working Chef, of 2 (per se and French Laundry) of the best restaurants in the world, he also has the best cookbooks in the world for serious chefs.

His restaurants and his cookbooks are so good because he uses the best ingredients and the most exacting, most precise, best explained well thought-out techniques to each and every thing he presents.
Take advantage of his years of experience and his flawless techniques and your cooking will move to a whole new level. The techniques and sub-recipes he spells out in this book and in his Bouchon cookbook are world changing for the home chef.

In cooking classes and foodie get-togethers many folks have told me that they bought this book but never cook out of it because it is far to advanced, time consuming, and complex for them. My response is to just go back and read a few of the technique sections such as Big Pot Blanching, Tools of Refinement - the Chinois and Tamis, Salt, pepper, and Vinegar, Stocks and Sauces,and of course, The Importance of France!. What you will learn in these few pages will DRAMATICALLY improve your cooking. Then I advise reading the recipes for the TECHNIQUES he describes in detail as well as the many wonderful simple sub- recipes for everything from tempura batter to tomato tartare. The only great cooking is cooking from scratch in my opinion and knowing the simple sub recipes for things you might ordinarily buy will improve your results, save you money and help you avoid many nasty food additives that are in almost all commercial prepared ingredients and products.

I personally refer to this book by far more than any other cookbook I own. I totally recommend it. It is also beautiful and makes a great gift at around $30 from Amazon online. I also recommend his Bouchon Cookbook (see Miranda's review below).

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