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Best Chef's Cookbook?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mm84321, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    Wouldn't recommend it unless you are extremely well set up and have some pretty serious chops.

    +1

    TFL is interesting, but it's a pain to cook out of on any sort of regular basis. Bouchon is great though, and i use it quite often.
     
  2. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    Depending on your level of comfort in the kitchen, Ina Garten's books are generally quite good.

    http://www.amazon.com/Barefoot-Conte...4453366&sr=8-2

    This one has a bunch of easy, solid recipes for the medium-level cook. It's not Thomas Keller but it is a book full of recipes you'll be able to make and generally wow guests with.


    Ina Garten's books are the ones I recommend to people who ask my opinion of a good cook book. The best part is that the recipes actually work as written. In other words, they are tested recipes. I'm a chef turned chef-instructor and I can't recommend her books enough for home cooks. I've yet to make a dish out of her books that wasn't really good. Certainly not advanced recipes, but very solid.
     
  3. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    It's interesting, for sure, but if you want to cook anything from it you will need to fill your cabinets with various cooking chemicals that are, in the long run, pretty useless at home and some odd equipment that is hard to find. It's not really meant to be used as a cookbook for home.

    I don't have a kitchen big enough to even worry about attempting this stuff... [​IMG] the books are nice brain food though.

    A read of the Fat Duck book and you can probably surmise that Blumenthal regularly jerks off in the front of the mirror, though.
     
  4. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't have a kitchen big enough to even worry about attempting this stuff... [​IMG] the books are nice brain food though.

    A read of the Fat Duck book and you can probably surmise that Blumenthal regularly jerks off in the front of the mirror, though.

    You say that like it isn't normal.
     
  5. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Senior member

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    You say that like it isn't normal.

    I usually have to use the mirror to find it, but once found, I don't need the mirror to help me finish the job.
     
  6. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    Lidia Bastianich Ive heard marc vetri has a good cookbook but yet to get it.
    Vetri is an awesome restaurant, as is its sister restaurant, Osteria. Nice guy, too. I've heard his book is good, but not great - hard to make a lot of the recipes and they don't always come out. For the curious: http://www.amazon.com/II-Viaggio-Vet.../dp/1580088880
     
  7. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    A read of the Fat Duck book and you can probably surmise that Blumenthal regularly jerks off in the front of the mirror, though.


    yet that stuff, when done correctly (not that I ever have myself), is incredibly awesome. Snail porridge was easily one of the single greatest dishes I've ever had at any restaurant.
     
  8. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    yet that stuff, when done correctly (not that I ever have myself), is incredibly awesome. Snail porridge was easily one of the single greatest dishes I've ever had at any restaurant.
    I don't think he jerked off into the porridge.
     
  9. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    I don't think he jerked off into the porridge.

    if he did I'd still try to re-create it [​IMG]
     
  10. haganah

    haganah Senior member

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    So if one admittedly has little experience cooking, I'm assuming none of these books make any sense, right?
     
  11. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Senior member

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    pepin's complete techniques.

    Depending on your level of comfort in the kitchen, Ina Garten's books are generally quite good.

    Lidia Bastianich
    Ive heard marc vetri has a good cookbook but yet to get it.


    +100 for Simply French. For Italian cooking, I favor Marcella Hazan.


    The bolded are all simple anddon't requiremuch in the way of technique.
    So if one admittedly has little experience cooking, I'm assuming none of these books make any sense, right?
     
  12. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    no. cookbooks are pretty useful for ppl with no experience too.
     
  13. binge

    binge Senior member

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    I don't think he jerked off into the porridge.

    Not salty enough?
     
  14. jobro

    jobro Senior member

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    +1
     
  15. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    So if one admittedly has little experience cooking, I'm assuming none of these books make any sense, right?

    The one by Ina Garten that I mentioned is fine for new cooks. Her recipes are easy to follow and turn out well almost every time. The majority are for cooking levels I doubt anyone in the thread has the ability to replicate successfully. They tend to be shelf decor that they can use to show guests how sophisticated they are.

    If anyone in this thread has experience with creating foams, using liquid nitrogen, and successfully experimenting with molecular gastronomy feel free to tell me I'm an idiot. I'm no genius chef, but I consider myself highly competent in the kitchen, and I get little to no use out of the books of Keller, Blumenthal, or Adria.
     
  16. SField

    SField Senior member

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    The one by Ina Garten that I mentioned is fine for new cooks. Her recipes are easy to follow and turn out well almost every time. The majority are for cooking levels I doubt anyone in the thread has the ability to replicate successfully. They tend to be shelf decor that they can use to show guests how sophisticated they are.

    If anyone in this thread has experience with creating foams, using liquid nitrogen, and successfully experimenting with molecular gastronomy feel free to tell me I'm an idiot. I'm no genius chef, but I consider myself highly competent in the kitchen, and I get little to no use out of the books of Keller, Blumenthal, or Adria.


    I think most people buying those books do it for the edification that comes from seeing something that is far beyond their concept of food and skill level broken down by someone who is an expert at what they do. It can be inspirational and the level of detail that they dedicate themselves to in their work can illuminate some basic principles of cooking. To do exactly what they do is pretty much impossible. The cost and hours it would take would make most of what they do nearly impossible, but I would find it hard to believe that most cooks would have no use for it at all.

    Cooking is as much about inspiration as it is about practical processes. Technique is completely finite at the moment that you must complete a task but a human's capacity to be inspired is infinite. So, I wouldn't throw them out as not being useful. Use them for what they are and they're great. But to cook from, something like Simply French would work well. Cooking out of Ad Hoc would build some chops too.
     
  17. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  18. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The one by Ina Garten that I mentioned is fine for new cooks. Her recipes are easy to follow and turn out well almost every time. The majority are for cooking levels I doubt anyone in the thread has the ability to replicate successfully. They tend to be shelf decor that they can use to show guests how sophisticated they are.

    If anyone in this thread has experience with creating foams, using liquid nitrogen, and successfully experimenting with molecular gastronomy feel free to tell me I'm an idiot. I'm no genius chef, but I consider myself highly competent in the kitchen, and I get little to no use out of the books of Keller, Blumenthal, or Adria.


    I think most people buying those books do it for the edification that comes from seeing something that is far beyond their concept of food and skill level broken down by someone who is an expert at what they do. It can be inspirational and the level of detail that they dedicate themselves to in their work can illuminate some basic principles of cooking. To do exactly what they do is pretty much impossible. The cost and hours it would take would make most of what they do nearly impossible, but I would find it hard to believe that most cooks would have no use for it at all.

    Cooking is as much about inspiration as it is about practical processes. Technique is completely finite at the moment that you must complete a task but a human's capacity to be inspired is infinite. So, I wouldn't throw them out as not being useful. Use them for what they are and they're great. But to cook from, something like Simply French would work well. Cooking out of Ad Hoc would build some chops too.


    Well, everybody thinks they have perfect technique, and most self proclaimed good cooks I see work at about one mile an hour. I generally agree with what sfield says here, though really, if you want to make a single dish from any of these books at a time, and assuming they don't require things, like liquid nitrogen which are truly dangerous, none of them should be that difficult. Look at that woman with the terrible skills who got herself all the way through the French Laundry cookbook. If she can do it, then anybody with super-internet cooking skills can. Blumenthal and Adria are more difficult because of equipment, but very few techniques are difficult to learn if you practice a little. It isn't like hitting a curveball, or consistently driving the ball 265 and straight (I know e-gods hit it 3-hundy minimum) in that it is physically difficult.
     
  19. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Well, everybody thinks they have perfect technique, and most self proclaimed good cooks I see work at about one mile an hour. I generally agree with what sfield says here, though really, if you want to make a single dish from any of these books at a time, and assuming they don't require things, like liquid nitrogen which are truly dangerous, none of them should be that difficult. Look at that woman with the terrible skills who got herself all the way through the French Laundry cookbook. If she can do it, then anybody with super-internet cooking skills can. Blumenthal and Adria are more difficult because of equipment, but very few techniques are difficult to learn if you practice a little. It isn't like hitting a curveball, or consistently driving the ball 265 and straight (I know e-gods hit it 3-hundy minimum) in that it is physically difficult.
    I mean, cooking technique is difficult if you add the need to be efficient (not wasteful), rather quick, and are cooking within very low tolerances for poor execution. But no, in and of itself, it isn't like hitting a fastball. But, to cook out of these books, most people will fail because even to do a good mise would take them forever and it would still probably be uneven, and half of it wilting by the time they're done. The average person wouldn't be able to cook a scallop or sear a piece of meat as well as someone who knows what they're doing either. So yes, anyone can get through this book provided they are stupid enough, but I'd rather use the difficult books as a source for inspiration and greater perspective. Because you just aren't going to arrive at something from TFL by yourself. I don't think people realize that many dishes like that take at least 2 skilled people to prepare at the restaurant level. Quite a few people have touched your dish between raw, untouched product and plated dish waiting at the pass.
     
  20. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I mean, cooking technique is difficult if you add the need to be efficient (not wasteful), rather quick, and are cooking within very low tolerances for poor execution. But no, in and of itself, it isn't like hitting a fastball. But, to cook out of these books, most people will fail because even to do a good mise would take them forever and it would still probably be uneven, and half of it wilting by the time they're done. The average person wouldn't be able to cook a scallop or sear a piece of meat as well as someone who knows what they're doing either. So yes, anyone can get through this book provided they are stupid enough, but I'd rather use the difficult books as a source for inspiration and greater perspective. Because you just aren't going to arrive at something from TFL by yourself. I don't think people realize that many dishes like that take at least 2 skilled people to prepare at the restaurant level. Quite a few people have touched your dish between raw, untouched product and plated dish waiting at the pass.
    I don't really disagree with any of this, but I didn't argue with it before.
     

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