Your Place or Mine? Cooking at Home with Restaurant Style Hardcover – 23 Oct 1998
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Celebrity chefs face a particular problem when they come to publish their recipes (and these days they always do). For they are giving instruction for the creation of dishes which are probably far beyond the technical resources of many of their readers. Most address this problem by toning down the complexity and producing domestic versions of their creations (although the photographs often give the game away). The ineffably glamorous Jean-Christophe Novelli, who runs a highly regarded string of restaurants named after himself, takes a different approach in his flirtatiously titled Your Place or Mine. He presents the dishes (mostly French in origin and grouped into the usual Fish, Poultry, Meat etc.) firstly in a relatively undeveloped, straightforward manner, then subjects it to the creative alchemy through which it is transmuted into a Michelin star winner. A plain Pot au Feu of pork hocks, cabbage and root vegetables becomes, Cinderella-like, a jellied terrine of the same ingredients. This is a fairly simple example: others are technically highly demanding and can tend to the farouche. Could anyone outside an expense-account restaurant seriously consider dressing up a simple little cylinder of tiramisu as a galleon with drawn caramel masts and tuile biscuit sails? But this is a fascinating book, not just for the recipes, valuable in themselves in both their forms, but for the insight it offers in the creative processes of an extravagantly gifted chef. --Robin Davidson
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Top Customer Reviews
The recipes are rarely quick affairs, they tend to require a lot of preparation, some of the components are often best prepared ahead of time. When you get the recipes right and everything comes together, these dishes are fantastic. I'm sure others were doing it before, and many since, but in my mind Jean-Christophe is the master of the reduction - sauces concentrated in flavour by evaporation. And he shows you how to make garnishes that are light years beyond edible - they add massively to the dish in taste, not just visual terms.
The liquid chocolate puddings are very good as is his caramel artwork which takes a bit of practise. I got a 10/10 for the banana tatin too.
Good photography, as you'd expect, including groups of shots showing various steps in the process.
Very much recommended for those times when you want to put the effort in, although as with most things, i would practise the dish once before letting it loose on the guests. They will be impressed, very impressed.
He since has opened a few more Restaurants, including "Novelli at the Ark" formerly know as the "Ark" where I used to work part-time 7 years ago.
In a very short space of time he has become very successful, I am not talking only about his cooking but also his business sense. In his book he expresses himself perfectly, his recipes are easy to follow although the final presentations need a great deal of skill to perform.
His food is elegant and earthy. Instead of cooking fashionable food, he concentrates on what he has a full understanding off. Uses some of the so called "cheap cuts", which seems to have been forgotten, emphasises in its flavours and archives great results.
His sweets are uncomplicated but perfect, yet his final touches are the ones that make all the difference.
I'm sure it's a great book if you are a professional chef or are really into dinner-party one-upmanship, but for an amateur, I can't help feeling you'd be so frazzled by the time you had done all the shopping, prepping and cooking for one of these dishes - let alone three courses - that you would struggle to relax and enjoy the meal itself.
So, impressive as it is, I shall be sticking with my trusty "Simple French Cookery" - thank you Raymond Blanc for making it so straightforward !
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Looks as new. Very useful book. So far, all the recepies worked to my satisfaction. I am glad having purchased from youPublished on 11 Jun. 2013 by Adrian Kï¿½nig
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This item came very quickly and was exactly as described and good quality i would use this member again to purchase itemsPublished on 21 Mar. 2012 by RachetDwane