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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its just so eloquent & precise;, 7 Feb 2014
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This review is from: To the Bone (Hardcover)
Now I have heard the name Paul Liebrandt many times over the years from good friends & Ex colleagues who have been in the same kitchens and at last he has released his first publication;

It is part biography, part cookbook. It tells of his journey through some of the most notable kitchens in the UK of the past 20 years, with such legends as:

Marco Pierre White (The Restaurant, 3 star Michelin)
Richard Neat (Pied a Terre, 2 star Michelin)
Raymond Blanc (Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, 2 star Michelin)
Jean George Vongerichten (Vong)
Gary Hollihead & David Cavalier (L'Escargot, 1 star Michelin)

Then onto kitchens in France (Pierre Gagnaire) & NYC. Liebrandt, and co-author, Andrew Friedman, lay down what it is really like to work for exacting chefs such as Neat & MPW.

The romance that surrounds the cheffing world is about as far removed from reality, as Heston Blumenthal is self taught. Incidentally, Blumenthal pens the forward for `To the bone', likening Liebrandt to:

"A kindred spirit - someone who,culinary speaking, speaks my language"

Personally having read `To the bone' and several of Blumenthal's books, along with having eaten at The Fat Duck, I fail to see the similarities.
Hestons Blumenthal's food is about extremes, he does things because it can be done, and yes he's an innovator in those sorts of terms.

But I have to say that Chef Liebrandt is more subtle than that. In an early chapter he recounts spending his only day off (Sunday) from Marcos The Restaurant -. He links this story with `girl-watching' at the pub, with a dish called `Summer crab composition', saying:

"The focal point for me , though, is the gelée, shaped like a summer dress and fashioned, appropriately enough, from Asian white beer" that I may say is from a fantastic observation & Mind set.

If you are going to buy `To the bone' for the recipes, I personally think you'll be disappointed.
In a 272 page tome, only 40 of them are devoted to the recipes of dishes which illustrate the book.

But as a book, by a chef, then it is probably one of the most engaging that I've read; the way that chapters are interspersed with splashes of food pornography, beautifully shot by Evan Sung.

It's no wonder such chef luminaries as Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz & Daniel Boulud penned reviews for the back cover.

The deeper you delve into this book, the more you want it to be a coffee table version. It deserved to be more!

Please don't get me wrong, what the Chef & the people around him have produced is an excellent book.
l
Liebrandt's writing reminded me of when I first read Richard Neat's 5 Questions, so eloquent & precise; `To the bone' has the possibility of being this generations `White Heat'.

Yes, I know that is a bold statement, but the sad realization is that it probably won't be.

For all the food porn in `To the bone', I just get the feeling that younger chefs will fail to read the early parts of the book, and unfortunately this is all to indicative of today's young chefs; style over substance,

Where as Chef Paul Liebrandt, is anything but having given the early part of his life to his love & passion....
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