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Sous vide is the culinary innovation that has everyone in the food world talking. In this revolutionary new cookbook, Thomas Keller, America's most respected chef, explains why this foolproof technique, which involves cooking at precise temperatures below simmering, yields results that other culinary methods cannot. For the first time, one can achieve short ribs that are meltingly tender even when cooked medium rare. Fish, which has a small window of doneness, is easier to finesse, and shellfish stays succulent no matter how long it's been on the stove. Fruit and vegetables benefit, too, retaining color and flavor while undergoing remarkable transformations in texture.
The secret to sous vide is in discovering the precise amount of heat required to achieve the most sublime results. Through years of trial and error, Keller and his chefs de cuisine have blazed the trail to perfection—and they show the way in this collection of never-before-published recipes from his landmark restaurants—The French Laundry in Napa Valley and per se in New York. With an introduction by the eminent food-science writer Harold McGee, and artful photography by Deborah Jones, who photographed Keller's best-selling The French Laundry Cookbook, this book will be a must for every culinary professional and anyone who wants to up the ante and experience food at the highest level.
2019 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the acclaimed French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley—“the most exciting place to eat in the United States” (The New York Times). The most transformative cookbook of the century celebrates this milestone by showcasing the genius of chef/proprietor Thomas Keller himself. Keller is a wizard, a purist, a man obsessed with getting it right. And this, his first cookbook, is every bit as satisfying as a French Laundry meal itself: a series of small, impeccable, highly refined, intensely focused courses.
Most dazzling is how simple Keller's methods are: squeegeeing the moisture from the skin on fish so it sautées beautifully; poaching eggs in a deep pot of water for perfect shape; the initial steeping in the shell that makes cooking raw lobster out of the shell a cinch; using vinegar as a flavor enhancer; the repeated washing of bones for stock for the cleanest, clearest tastes.
From innovative soup techniques, to the proper way to cook green vegetables, to secrets of great fish cookery, to the creation of breathtaking desserts; from beurre monté to foie gras au torchon, to a wild and thoroughly unexpected take on coffee and doughnuts, The French Laundry Cookbook captures, through recipes, essays, profiles, and extraordinary photography, one of America's great restaurants, its great chef, and the food that makes both unique.
One hundred and fifty superlative recipes are exact recipes from the French Laundry kitchen—no shortcuts have been taken, no critical steps ignored, all have been thoroughly tested in home kitchens. If you can't get to the French Laundry, you can now re-create at home the very experience Wine Spectator described as “as close to dining perfection as it gets.”
Named a Best Cookbook of 2020 by Amazon and Barnes & Noble
“Every elegant page projects Keller’s high standard of ‘perfect culinary execution’. . . . This superb work is as much philosophical treatise as gorgeous cookbook.”
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
Bound by a common philosophy, linked by live video, staffed by a cadre of inventive and skilled chefs, the kitchens of Thomas Keller’s celebrated restaurants—The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and per se, in New York City—are in a relationship unique in the world of fine dining. Ideas bounce back and forth in a dance of creativity, knowledge, innovation, and excellence. It’s a relationship that’s the very embodiment of collaboration, and of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. And all of it is captured in The French Laundry, Per Se, with meticulously detailed recipes for 70 beloved dishes, including Smoked Sturgeon Rillettes on an Everything Bagel, “The Whole Bird,” Tomato Consommé, Celery Root Pastrami, Steak and Potatoes, Peaches ’n’ Cream.
Just reading these recipes is a master class in the state of the art of cooking today. We learn to use a dehydrator to intensify the flavor and texture of fruits and vegetables. To make the crunchiest coating with a cornstarch–egg white paste and potato flakes. To limit waste in the kitchen by fermenting vegetable trimmings for sauces with an unexpected depth of flavor. And that essential Keller trait, to take a classic and reinvent it: like the French onion soup, with a mushroom essence stock and garnish of braised beef cheeks and Comté mousse, or a classic crème brûlée reimagined as a rich, creamy ice cream with a crispy sugar tuile to mimic the caramelized coating.
Throughout, there are 40 recipes for the basics to elevate our home cooking. Some are old standbys, like the best versions of beurre manié and béchamel, others more unusual, including a ramen broth (aka the Super Stock) and a Blue-Ribbon Pickle.
And with its notes on technique, stories about farmers and purveyors, and revelatory essays from Thomas Keller—“The Lessons of a Dishwasher,” “Inspiration Versus Influence,” “Patience and Persistence”—The French Laundry, Per Se will change how young chefs, determined home cooks, and dedicated food lovers understand and approach their cooking.
IACP Award Winner
Thomas Keller, chef/proprieter of Napa Valley's French Laundry, is passionate about bistro cooking. He believes fervently that the real art of cooking lies in elevating to excellence the simplest ingredients; that bistro cooking embodies at once a culinary ethos of generosity, economy, and simplicity; that the techniques at its foundation are profound, and the recipes at its heart have a powerful ability to nourish and please.
So enamored is he of this older, more casual type of cooking that he opened the restaurant Bouchon, right next door to the French Laundry, so he could satisfy a craving for a perfectly made quiche, or a gratinéed onion soup, or a simple but irresistible roasted chicken. Now Bouchon, the cookbook, embodies this cuisine in all its sublime simplicity.
But let's begin at the real beginning. For Keller, great cooking is all about the virtue of process and attention to detail. Even in the humblest dish, the extra thought is evident, which is why this food tastes so amazing: The onions for the onion soup are caramelized for five hours; lamb cheeks are used for the navarin; basic but essential refinements every step of the way make for the cleanest flavors, the brightest vegetables, the perfect balance—whether of fat to acid for a vinaigrette, of egg to liquid for a custard, of salt to meat for a duck confit.
Because versatility as a cook is achieved through learning foundations, Keller and Bouchon executive chef Jeff Cerciello illuminate all the key points of technique along the way: how a two-inch ring makes for a perfect quiche; how to recognize the right hazelnut brown for a brown butter sauce; how far to caramelize sugar for different uses.
But learning and refinement aside—oh those recipes! Steamed mussels with saffron, bourride, trout grenobloise with its parsley, lemon, and croutons; steak frites, beef bourguignon, chicken in the pot—all exquisitely crafted. And those immortal desserts: the tarte Tatin, the chocolate mousse, the lemon tart, the profiteroles with chocolate sauce. In Bouchon, you get to experience them in impeccably realized form.
This is a book to cherish, with its alluring mix of recipes and the author's knowledge, warmth, and wit: "I find this a hopeful time for the pig," says Keller about our yearning for the flavor that has been bred out of pork. So let your imagination transport you back to the burnished warmth of an old-fashioned French bistro, pull up a stool to the zinc bar or slide into a banquette, and treat yourself to truly great preparations that have not just withstood the vagaries of fashion, but have improved with time. Welcome to Bouchon.
IACP and James Beard Award Winner
“Spectacular is the word for Keller’s latest . . . don’t miss it.”
“A book of approachable dishes made really, really well.”
—The New York Times
Thomas Keller shares family-style recipes that you can make any or every day. In the book every home cook has been waiting for, the revered Thomas Keller turns his imagination to the American comfort foods closest to his heart—flaky biscuits, chicken pot pies, New England clam bakes, and cherry pies so delicious and redolent of childhood that they give Proust's madeleines a run for their money. Keller, whose restaurants The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Per Se in New York have revolutionized American haute cuisine, is equally adept at turning out simpler fare.
In Ad Hoc at Home—a cookbook inspired by the menu of his casual restaurant Ad Hoc in Yountville—he showcases more than 200 recipes for family-style meals. This is Keller at his most playful, serving up such truck-stop classics as Potato Hash with Bacon and Melted Onions and grilled-cheese sandwiches, and heartier fare including beef Stroganoff and roasted spring leg of lamb. In fun, full-color photographs, the great chef gives step-by-step lessons in kitchen basics— here is Keller teaching how to perfectly shape a basic hamburger, truss a chicken, or dress a salad. Best of all, where Keller’s previous best-selling cookbooks were for the ambitious advanced cook, Ad Hoc at Home is filled with quicker and easier recipes that will be embraced by both kitchen novices and more experienced cooks who want the ultimate recipes for American comfort-food classics.
#1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner, IACP Cookbook Award for Food Photography & Styling (2013)
Baked goods that are marvels of ingenuity and simplicity from the famed Bouchon Bakery
The tastes of childhood have always been a touchstone for Thomas Keller, and in this dazzling amalgam of American and French baked goods, you'll find recipes for the beloved TKOs and Oh Ohs (Keller's takes on Oreos and Hostess's Ho Hos) and all the French classics he fell in love with as a young chef apprenticing in Paris: the baguettes, the macarons, the mille-feuilles, the tartes aux fruits.
Co-author Sebastien Rouxel, executive pastry chef for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, has spent years refining techniques through trial and error, and every page offers a new lesson: a trick that assures uniformity, a subtlety that makes for a professional finish, a flash of brilliance that heightens flavor and enhances texture. The deft twists, perfectly written recipes, and dazzling photographs make perfection inevitable.