Keller

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Manton, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Keller is hilarious. I got his new ad hoc book for Christmas. This is supposed to be the "simple" book, geared to traditional home recipes. Right. Keller is constitutionally incapable of doing simple. The burger recipe, for instance, has you buy three different cuts of beef and grind it yourself. He says that to brown a prime rib you need to go to Home Depot and get a welder's blow torch. I am doing the short ribs recipe now, and it is more complicated than the one from Balthazar (which already has ten million steps).

    The Platonic ideal of a Keller recipe would, I think, begin by telling you the latitude and longitude of the farm you need to buy in order to grow the ingredients. It would proceed from there to tell you what type of grass to plant, and the breed of cow to raise.
     


  2. r...

    r... Senior member

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    Totally bro... Its like this keller guy, right, wants you do feel inadequate to post in a thread about burgers or something.
     


  3. bcx

    bcx Senior member

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    Try a Blumenthal and get back to us.
     


  4. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    The Platonic ideal of a Keller recipe would, I think, begin by telling you the latitude and longitude of the farm you need to buy in order to grow the ingredients. It would proceed from there to tell you what type of grass to plant, and the breed of cow to raise.

    [​IMG] Great description.

    This is why they are pros. Only a pro could grind three different meats for a burger and call it "simple"! However, even given my limited experimenting with charcuterie, that type of control certainly improves the product.
     


  5. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Try a Blumenthal and get back to us.

    yeah... if you think Keller or Ducasse complicates things...
     


  6. DNW

    DNW Senior member

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    [​IMG] Great description.

    This is why they are pros. Only a pro could grind three different meats for a burger and call it "simple"! However, even given my limited experimenting with charcuterie, that type of control certainly improves the product.


    They're pros because they have minions like Kyle running around and doing the prep work for them, not mentioning a fully equipped kitchen and a pantry stocked with ingredients even Whole Foods considers exotic. For a home cook, even a "simple" recipe takes 2-3 damn hours to prep.
     


  7. SField

    SField Senior member

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    They're pros because they have minions like Kyle running around and doing the prep work for them, not mentioning a fully equipped kitchen and a pantry stocked with ingredients even Whole Foods considers exotic. For a home cook, even a "simple" recipe takes 2-3 damn hours to prep.

    yes, many things that keller or someone of that level does would be almost impossible to do without a lot of prep for the mise.
     


  8. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    They're pros because they have minions like Kyle running around and doing the prep work for them, not mentioning a fully equipped kitchen and a pantry stocked with ingredients even Whole Foods considers exotic. For a home cook, even a "simple" recipe takes 2-3 damn hours to prep.

    yes, many things that keller or someone of that level does would be almost impossible to do without a lot of prep for the mise.

    Trust me, DnW, as I'm sure SField knows. Chef Doug or Chef Keller could do these things on their own. Chef Doug definitely does not need me. It is absolutely the other way around.
     


  9. robin

    robin Senior member

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    I thought the blowtorch recommendation was pretty good, plus they're much cooler than those wimpy torches they sell at kitchen boutique stores. I have not tried many of the meat recipes yet, but I've so far found most of the other recipes in the book to be easy.
    The Platonic ideal of a Keller recipe would, I think, begin by telling you the latitude and longitude of the farm you need to buy in order to grow the ingredients. It would proceed from there to tell you what type of grass to plant, and the breed of cow to raise.
    There are farms that he recommends in the back of the book...
     


  10. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    yes, many things that keller or someone of that level does would be almost impossible to do without a lot of prep for the mise.

    There was a really awesome thread on egullet wherein a guy decided to prepare a 5 course menu entirely from the french laundry cookbook. He began prepping for a meal for two on saturday, on Monday. He planned everything in advance and did what prep he could each night (this included the shopping for all the various ingredients). On saturday, he essentially spent the entire day in the kitchen. The point of the whole exercise was to ascertain the value of eating out vs. doing an equivalent meal yourself. Because he didn't get the same economies of scale as a restaurant would get out of the ingredients, even just that cost him over $100. Each person values their own time differently, but eating at TFL seemed like a positive bargain by the time the thread was finished.
     


  11. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Trust me, DnW, as I'm sure SField knows. Chef Doug or Chef Keller could do these things on their own. Chef Doug definitely does not need me. It is absolutely the other way around.

    No, your chef needs you because his job would be impossible without an effective line. A great chef is only as good as his bitches. Yes, a chef could handle a four top by himself if we're talking about them cooking at their A game. But not a full restaurant.
     


  12. SField

    SField Senior member

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    There was a really awesome thread on egullet wherein a guy decided to prepare a 5 course menu entirely from the french laundry cookbook. He began prepping for a meal for two on saturday, on Monday. He planned everything in advance and did what prep he could each night (this included the shopping for all the various ingredients). On saturday, he essentially spent the entire day in the kitchen. The point of the whole exercise was to ascertain the value of eating out vs. doing an equivalent meal yourself. Because he didn't get the same economies of scale as a restaurant would get out of the ingredients, even just that cost him over $100. Each person values their own time differently, but eating at TFL seemed like a positive bargain by the time the thread was finished.

    Well a good home cook can eat better than at 99% of restaurants in America. I think in other countries in the world, this is a little different since chains are less prevalent and people are a tiny bit more discerning. But, when you're talking about FL, unless you extremely skilled, highly equipped and can source great ingredients, you are kind of an idiot to try and recreate it unless in fact you really want to do it for the fun of it.
     


  13. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    Well a good home cook can eat better than at 99% of restaurants in America. I think in other countries in the world, this is a little different since chains are less prevalent and people are a tiny bit more discerning. But, when you're talking about FL, unless you extremely skilled, highly equipped and can source great ingredients, you are kind of an idiot to try and recreate it unless in fact you really want to do it for the fun of it.
    The problem lies in the fact that most people these days don't know how to cook. I hate the way this sounds but most people just don't understand what good food is and what makes a dish good. Thus, anything that a restaurant makes is basically good to these people. If I get a chicken dish, I want to taste chicken, if I order a beef dish, I want to taste beef. Whatever the main ingredient is is what I want to taste. Everything else should either support it or complement it, not overtake it. Especially here in NYC, it's amazing how many restaurants that serve basically crap can get away with it. Almost all those reviews on menupages are useless, yelp less so and chowhound close behind. Restaurants that get less press, less online exposure, the better. I had really great meals in restaurants that were on side streets, hole in the wall places and not talked about neighborhood joints. Places with publicity, crazy decor, and "branding" get all the sheep in this world thus supporting even more crap/mediocre food or some over-stylized fusion turd that keeps popping up. OK, getting back to the subject, I think it is not impossible to replicate restaurant cooking. But there is definitely no way you can get the stuff that great restaurants get. These restaurants have relationships/connections with many farmers, ranchers, distributors, fisherman, etc so they can get the best of the best. Not to mention exotic ingredients that a even specialty store wouldn't sell because 1) they are expensive so not too many people would buy it and 2) a lot of these exotic ingredients since they need to be fresh, lose a lot of their flavor fast and rot before some crazy home cook would buy them. One way I know that may work is form a close relationship with a good vendor at a farmer's market so you can request hard to find produce. However this is getting to be tough because a lot these vendors at these farmer's market are not the mom and pop farmers one imagines. The techniques that restaurants use can be learned and probably be applied even better at home since time is not as much as a constraint as in a restaurant environment. I do have to say Keller really scares a lot of people so it makes cooking even more imposing. I really would recommend getting books on technique and less on recipes per se at least in the beginning. For example, to learn to make a great consomme, it can lead to making better soups, richer stocks thus better gravies and sauces. Without this foundation, I don't know how a person can come close to producing what even a good restaurant can produce. Also have one helping hand in the kitchen really helps but make sure this person cares about details even though it may not about food. Prep is the time killer, not the cooking part.
     


  14. MarquisMagic

    MarquisMagic Senior member

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    They're pros because they have minions like Kyle running around and doing the prep work for them, not mentioning a fully equipped kitchen and a pantry stocked with ingredients even Whole Foods considers exotic. For a home cook, even a "simple" recipe takes 2-3 damn hours to prep.


    It may be possible to "replicate" great food from great recipes, but not the dining experience.
     


  15. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    Well a good home cook can eat better than at 99% of restaurants in America. I think in other countries in the world, this is a little different since chains are less prevalent and people are a tiny bit more discerning. But, when you're talking about FL, unless you extremely skilled, highly equipped and can source great ingredients, you are kind of an idiot to try and recreate it unless in fact you really want to do it for the fun of it.

    That's why I decided to learn to cook. I enjoy eating and i especially enjoy eating out. I like going to high-end restaurants where the food is put first, before any other considerations. However, I quickly realized that when you spent in the more regularly affordable range (for smalltimers) of $100-150, the food was generally mediocre, and I started asking myself why I was paying that much for something I could do at home. And at home you don't pay the mark-up on the accompanying wine either, so you can drink better stuff when the mood suits you.
     


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