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Danny Marbella (Abu Dhabi)

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elBulli 2005-2011 (/)
elBulli 2005-2011 (/)
by Albert Adria
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £382.50

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it Great? Hell Yes and I have only browsed.....So Far , I promise Updates will follow, 11 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: elBulli 2005-2011 (/) (Hardcover)
After waiting what seems a life time for the next installment (not the home cooking/A day in the life etc etc) I am thrilled to say that it has been well worth the wait...

It would be very hard to describe to someone who doesn't know, just what this "elBulli". Global phenomenon is all about and no its not the French Bull Dog fashion that swept Europe a few years back...

For years the boys from the bay of Roses have been changing not just the way we prepare food, but the way we think of it. The Brothers Adria, have been showing us that we could use food as creatively and intelligently the Roca bothers have now eclipsed them but hey these boys really did raise the Bar and the food direction of the early 21st Century and who know maybe far beyond?.

All the previous books to come out of the creative team in Catalonia like A Day at elBulli and A Family Meal Are OK, the 1st a examination of the entire creative process and a book I recommend to artists and the latter an actual applicable cookbook that allows you to bring a taste of the greatest chef in the world into your own home.

Foodies around the Globe that have followed the "elBulli", Cookery Publications or releases like The Sorcerer's Apprentices, a good book about working there, or in the various TV shows and specials Adria appeared in, know there was to be another book released.( I was fortunate enough to be living and working in Spain at this time) for over 6 years, like a scientist in a lab or an obsessive writer at her journal, Adria painstakingly recorded has every single recipe they ever made.

This Tomb consists of a mind blowing 2,720 pages spread over 7 Gigantic volumes with 1,400 awesome detailed pictures.

The first six volumes record the recipes of each of the six years organized into six sections: Cocktails, Snacks, Tapas, Pre desserts, Desserts, and Morphing's.

Then in Volume 7 titled "Evolutionary Analysis," and charts the philosophy, experiments, styles, and ingredients chronicled in the preceding volumes. Now that the publication has been released I think it's safe to say that it is the most important or very nearly "cookbook/encyclopedia" of the 21st century to date.

You could probably read it as you would an art catalog or even an epic poem told in food you imagine.
At over 400 Pounds Stirling it is a huge commitment, But just as Modernist Cuisine is they are just some of the cornerstones of the Industry in the 21st Century ,
Remember there are seven Publications, in hardcover, with a slipcase and so many pictures, weighing a colossal 20 KG this book will flatten your coffee table. It will not be for everybody,. But Collectors and serious Foodies will just be bowled over this publication is amazing....Enjoy
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 29, 2015 11:41 AM BST


Cook it Raw
Cook it Raw
by Andrea Petrini
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everybody but its a vital culinary moment..., 11 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Cook it Raw (Hardcover)
This book is not just for Chefs but also people who have a feeling and understanding or are looking for a deeper insight into the current and future of cuisine will very well be interested in this book.
Please let me say this very important fact that this is far less of a cookbook, it details out the ideas of the "Cook It Raw" ,(annual gathering of the world's most avant-garde chefs) held in different countries and locales each year.
The participating chefs are a rogues' gallery of the best and brightest the industry currently offers from around the globe:
At this time they are Rene Redzepi,David Chang, Albert Adria, Alex Atala, Magnus Nilsson, Ben Shewry, Daniel Patterson & Sean Brock
This publication goes into detail of how the chefs meet each year, immersing themselves in the surroundings and culture, then cooking a series of dinners based on and harvested/foraged from the direct area.
The great thing is that they detail how they can achieve greatness, and at other times they simply fail, but that's what make this so good that the chefs can experiment and will not be held to ransom as if they had produced these items in their own emporiums..
As a chef, this is exactly the kind of relevant, current discussion that are necessary its vital.
And the man behind all this has been hard at work for nearly 30 years with the project the genius that is Alessandro Porcelli and he is the Founder and Director of Cook it Raw... Big respect...
The book has a fantastic contemporary production value, outstanding high gloss photography and is exactly what you need as a chef, eater or food advocate to get your juices flowing.

I'm not saying that this will become the main stream approach but hey hopefully another direction.

These guys are from a wide background of different food cultures, giving us their point of view and hey its great.
This is a real gem of a book well worth purchasing even if only to get an insight into a fantastic approach to the industry .


Alex Atala: D.O.M
Alex Atala: D.O.M
by Alex Atala
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Techniques you’ll never find in the "Joy of Cooking.", 9 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Alex Atala: D.O.M (Hardcover)
The Publication of “D.O.M: Rediscovering Brazilian ingredients,” is one of this year’s most talked-about cookbooks,

Chef Alex Atala is doing the same thing in South America as most of the other high profile chefs of a certain ilk and trend are doing in the current times "exploring hyper-local cooking, using wild ingredients found by foragers and pushing the limits of exoticism beyond the point even the most ambitious of us could dream of doing."

He is using fish and shellfish you’ve never heard of, like filhote and Brazilian sea snails. Vividly colored tropical fruits. Of course, the whole panoply of South American tubers -- true yams, baroa potatoes and mangaritos.

Being a modern chef, Atala prepares these foodstuffs using techniques you’ll never find in the "Joy of Cooking."

He roasts fresh herbs until they’re blackened and charred.
He fries fish scales to add crunch. He even grinds those ants with seaweed and black salt to make a garnishing powder.

The effect is at the same time beautiful and oddly disconcerting.
But they are also so gorgeous you can only marvel mouth wise open.

“D.O.M.” is a book that takes you outside of any relatable frame of reference and forces you to accept the dishes on their own terms. In that way, it is transporting.

You will browse through pages of otherworldly Brazilian landscapes and portraits and then we’re confronted with something like an oyster topped with a shiny lozenge of sorbet made from cupuacu (an ancestor of the cocoa bean).

You can’t imagine how it might taste or how it might have been prepared. We are truly in another country.

But it is a good insight into a Brazilian chef at the very cutting edge of his game, for some wacky ideas its worth the price to purchase this publication.


To the Bone
To the Bone
by Paul Liebrandt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.71

2 of 3 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....


Le Livre Blanc
Le Livre Blanc
by Anne-Sophie Pic
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £35.49

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately this is a book for chefs or a serious collector of chefs’ books., 7 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Le Livre Blanc (Hardcover)
Please let me say that this is a beautiful book that oozes elegance and refinement and reveals the very heart of a truly gifted chef, Anne-Sophie Pic, the only female chef in France with three Michelin stars, at Maison Pic in Valence.

It is exactly the kind of book that I love to buy as a Chef but as a coffee table book at 45 pounds there are better on the market.

I was left in no doubt I was observing not only the work of a quietly self-assured three-star chef at the top of her game but also the master of her craft.

Chef Anne-Sophie has been through a tough journey and through tenacity, hard work and dedication, has emerged strong and reinvented the Pic brand.

As is probably obvious from its title, the pure white laser cut sleeve slips off to reveal the pure white book inside. And before you even open it you can feel the quality in your hand. Each page is trimmed in silver and the ribbon page markers inside are made of a lovely grey silk and I have to say that that is something so elegant it even surpasses the wonderful offering

The beginning of the book tells the story of Anne-Sophie’s remarkable journey to the top and about her incredible family who are part of culinary folk-law .

Unlike most cookbooks, the first half of the book contains images of food and nothing else; there is no wording to clutter the pages. The accompanying recipes are listed at the end of the book, in number order, for reference. Each dish is placed on a white background, which really makes the colors of the food stand out. It is, in fact, how you would see the dishes when served in the restaurant, against a white tablecloth. The resulting visual impact is simple and perfect, I am still unsure weather I like this format from a professional point of view but it is definitely becoming more popular.

Every single ingredient is showcased to its ultimate best and the precision in the presentation is brilliant. Paring your cooking back to this level and allowing the sheer beauty of the natural product to take center stage shows complete and utter confidence as a chef.

The recipes are fantastic: I love all the Chefs choices.

The first dish in the book is her fathers classic sea bass with caviar, which was a lovely touch, I thought. So many of her own recipes are now modern-day Pic classics and will equally stand the test of time for many generations to come as those devised by her father.

The Chef is not afraid to use lots of different flavors and is clever in the way she balances and harmonises them in her inimitable, delicate style. She puts together flavors like crayfish, tonka bean and voatsiperifery pepper (rare, wild pepper from Madagascar) or beetroot with Blue Mountain coffee. Her palate is incredible (one of the best i truly believe) and her cooking is intuitive at the very very top end of the market.

It would take a very accomplished home cook or hardcore foodie to attempt these recipes and you’d have to go out of your way to find some of her ingredients. Ultimately this is a book for chefs or a serious collector of chefs’ books.

But I will say that it is a truly amazing publication and would be a focal point on your coffee table, but a little hard to dust with the inlaying title.


Daniel: My French Cuisine
Daniel: My French Cuisine
by Daniel Boulud
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £35.00

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It has sections that remind me of the Food my Grandfather once produced.....Amazing, 31 Jan. 2014
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a renowned chef at the head of a high-end destination restaurant must want to publish a cookbook that will immortalize his career like Marcos white heat or Bras Essential Cuisine.

It would be a mistake to assume, though, that Daniel is just another trophy cookbook to gather dust on your coffee table. True, its A hefty mass bit it announces that this is a Serious Cookbook Showcasing Chef Boulud's Considerable Talent.

And as you would expect, it is filled with recipes most of us would never even attempt--it is a mystery why chefs, with an entire kitchen brigade to help them, think we mere mortals can execute their creations without ending up in a puddle of goo on the floor.

This is the kind of book that could seriously undermine the kitchen confidence of even the most experienced among us. That said, Chef Boulud has charmingly proffered an email address should you need any help with his recipes.

Of course it is a beautifully designed book in the coffee table genre with crisp, pristine photographs of food accompanied by recipes with multistep directions and lengthy lists of ingredients. Take the recipe as seemingly simple as White Truffle Scrambled Eggs: it is broken down into three separate parts and has a total of twelve ingredients.

This is why you should be willing to pay so much to eat in a restaurant like Daniel rather than attempt to cook his dishes at home.

But there is more to Daniel than its formulaic art book presentation. Sandwiched between Part I: Recipes from Restaurant Daniel and Part III: Daniel at Home (you don't really think this is where you will find recipes you can cook, do you?) is Part II: Iconic Sessions, a series of witty essays written by Bill Buford, an author and staff writer for the New Yorker who studied cooking at L'Institut de Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France.

These essays are pure gold and lighten the mood of Daniel considerably. In fact, they make the book. Here Daniel Boulud, through Mr. Buford, demonstrates some iconic haute cuisine dishes, a kind of homage to his early years as an apprentice chef to the equally iconic Paul Bocuse in Lyon (considered the gastronomic capital of France).

While written in the first person, the essays manage to both elevate and humanize Chef Boulud so that he comes across as a formidably talented chef who also wouldn't mind sitting down with you over an omelet and a Bottle of wine.

The dishes Daniel Boulud along with his staff and Bill Buford prepare in Iconic Sessions are so over the top they look like caricatures of French food: Turbot Soufflé, Jambon au Foin (that would be ham cooked in a nest of hay), Tête de Veau en Tortue (you should see the photo of the whole head of veal that is wrapped in cloth and plunged in a huge copper stock pot), Coulibiac, Canard à La Presse and more.

It took me back to working with my Grandfather a master cold Kitchen Chef with all the amazing work that would today still win you best in class at any Culinary Competition its just a shame its no longer loved and treasured...

As in the Intro:

"It is accepted that French food is normally challenging to prepare, that it can be inflexible in its orthodoxies, obsessive in its attention to detail. But nothing about these dishes was normal. They were extreme . . . Our itinerary was Daniel Bulould's doing. Daniel, who is on a first-name basis with the entire world, was also our Daniel, our boss, our patron, our team captain, our instructor, and the only person any of us knew who actually knew how to make everything. For him, these dishes loomed gigantic. They were bigger than what they seemed to be, and what they seemed to be was already very big. They were food, and craft, and art, and metaphor. They were `iconic,' he said."

No wonder Unesco has enshrined French gastronomy as part of humanity's cultural heritage.

And thank goodness Daniel Buloud is around to keep the French gastronomic art form alive. Daniel may be a trophy cookbook, but with the essays by Bill Buford included, it's a trophy worth displaying.


Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food
Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food
by Tom Kerridge
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Could only have been created by Tom Truly Fantastic, 31 Jan. 2014
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Pub food has come a long way since the days of curled-up ham sandwiches, crisps (`Plain or cheese and onion?') and those jars of greying pickled eggs which sat on the bar like an exhibit from the Natural History Museum.

Having also been lucky enough to have also been guided by the Great Godfather of Modern British Gastronomy myself I can see that in some of the things Tom Is producing there is a little Stephan Bull or at least the thinking behind the balance of the dish that Stephan would install with his fantastic knowledge of great food its so great to see Tom really putting it "Out There"

However, you won't find many Chefs that have achieved the dizzying status of The Hand & Flowers, Tom Kerridge's restaurant in Marlow which was the first pub in the UK to be awarded two Michelin stars.
Stephen Bull in my eyes Even started the rise of the Great British Pub (Gastro Pub)

The frustrating result is that the next time you can book a table there for dinner on a Saturday night is September, 2014 (assuming you are happy to pay up to £36 for your main course).
While waiting for your booking, some consolation can be had from Tom's debut cookbook, which offers the chance to re-create his food at home.

The title is slightly disingenuous, with its suggestion that this is everyday stuff you can "knock up" without too much fuss. In fact, it is thoughtful, creative, lovingly-crafted British food which combines simplicity and sophistication.

For every homemade pork pie with piccalilli, there's an oyster fritters with seaweed mayonnaise; for every fish and chips, there's a spiced monkfish and aubergine purée with green olive dressing (try asking for that on a Friday night at the George & Dragon).

Even modest-sounding dishes, such as `proper' baked beans on toast and the version of chicken in a basket, below, require a bit of forward planning.

Scrambled eggs with English truffle is straightforward enough, but you have to put the eggs and truffle together in a bowl for at least 48 hours before cooking. This isn't to say the recipes are daunting. They simply require care, attention and the best possible ingredients.

Watching Tom Kerridge cook in the television series which accompanies this book has been an absolute delight. His enthusiasm and ease in the kitchen are infectious - and his generous girth is much more reassuring than those chefs who are whippet thin

This will go down in history as a Gastro Pub Master piece like White Heat was to 80's Gastronomic Dining....


Historic Heston
Historic Heston
by Heston Blumenthal
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £124.59

10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorry But "it’s the culinary road to nowhere except a very few restaurants", 31 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Historic Heston (Hardcover)
It’s a good time for Heston Blumenthal. His Fat Duck restaurant in Bray has kept its maximum three Michelin stars, while his Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London has been awarded its second

Among the recipes it contains is one for a wonderful dish served at Dinner: “Meat fruit”, a life-like tangerine with an aromatic orange zest, topped by a stem with a couple of leaves. The “peel” resists the knife and fork much as a mandarin would; but inside it turns out to be a savoury mousse of chicken livers and foie gras, flavoured with port, brandy and Madeira, while the skin is made from gelatine and mandarin purée. It’s an elaborate, delicious joke, and something like it was one of the surprise dishes served to guests at a feast for the coronation of Henry IV in 1399.

I openly admit that Blumenthal is a genius, and you are very lucky that, if you have the money and the patience to reserve a table, we can order his gastronomic marvels: his science-inspired bacon and egg ice cream or snail porridge at the Fat Duck, for example..
But these difficult/impossible cookery books are not exclusive to Heston. Indeed, they represent a cutting-edge publishing trend. René Redzepi, the Albanian-Danish chef of Noma has published "A Work in Progress: Journal, Recipes and Snapshots, with food you can’t expect to do at home unless you have a supply of moose fillet, reindeer tongues and black ants.
Then theres Ferran Adrià, who has closed his celebrated Catalan restaurant, El Bulli, has published a mind-boggling catalogue raisonné of the dishes he invented between 1994 and 1997 and now the new Box set out in March (yes I have pre-ordered)
Mugaritz: A Natural Science of Cooking by the amazing Andoni Luis Aduriz reveals all in its title.
I have tried some recipes from Faviken by Magnus Nilsson and managed one or two of them – though they took several weeks. And there are many more examples.

I have been asking what are these books for?

On the whole, you can’t cook from them at home. Are they simply to look at? And if so, are they a kind of food pornography, intended to make us drool over or lust for their art-directed photographs of edibles?

This is a bit old hat foodie porn started as long ago as the early 80's With Mossimann and a like, but fashions change, and maybe "snails slithering up a silver chafing dish do it for you in a way a color photo of a juicy steak no longer does".

Perhaps these cook books are a signal that our relationship with food itself is changing. Trends in eating and cooking have traditionally followed the post-revolutionary French bourgeois cookery was influenced by the cuisine of Louis XVI’s court then the grand German Bauhaus era.

Culinary fashion usually travels in a top-down direction, just as present-day British eating habits (and supermarket shelves) reflect what’s happening in restaurant kitchens. Lemon grass, root ginger, bulgur, crème fraîche, sumac, poblano chillies, balsamic vinegar and smoked paprika aren’t escapees from some foodie zoo, they’re in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s because their customers have tasted dishes that incorporate them in restaurants (or seen them used by telly chefs).

This is the glory of retail. But centrifuges, vacuum packers and thermostats on every kitchen gadget? Surely these are leading home cooking straight into a cul-de-sac – it’s the culinary road to nowhere except a few restaurants. All you need at home is a sharp knife, a food processor, some sturdy kitchen scales – and a few Great books by Elizabeth David or Jane Grigson or even Mrs Beeton...

But having ranted on I have to say that it is still an amazing publication and I am glad to have purchased it.


Michael Caines At Home
Michael Caines At Home
by Michael Caines
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% Sure you will receive repeated visits for inspiration and guidance, 31 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Michael Caines At Home (Hardcover)
Michael Caines At Home, from the two-Michelin- starred chef Michael Caines, who has
topped The Sunday Times Food List, The Chef differs by distilling the very essence of his Fantastic food.

From the autobiographical two-page introduction, Caines outlines his life and how it has shaped his culinary approach,
including major events - some of which would have been nigh-on impossible hurdles for most people to overcome.
Yet the measure of his modesty is clearly shown, as there is no mention of his MBE in 2006.

At 320 pages, Michael Caines At Home has something for everybody. There are the day-to-day recipes, such as
guacamole and caramelised cauliflower soup or for the more adventurous the much more involved dishes such as crab tortellini with lemongrass and ginger sauce or the langoustine cannelloni and roast partridge with braised chicory and quince purée.

This is the key to the Chefs writing , there is the two-Michelin- starred Gidleigh Park, the epitome of refinement and luxury, but there are also the more accessible Abode properties, and it's pleasing to see that both styles of operation are boldly represented in his book.

The recipes reinforce the Chef's philosophy of seasonality and keeping it local, and there are nice touches to help the
reader build suitable alternatives within dishes and accompaniments. Each recipe is accompanied with a season
indicator, helping cooks to make more informed choices.
Although aimed at the domestic cook, some dishes are descendants from Gidleigh Park, such as salt cod with
lemon purée and chorizo foam, which would take an accomplished chef some time to pull off correctly.

The high-quality images are provided by food photographer David Griffin, who counts some of the South West's finest
chefs, such as Nathan Outlaw, Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth, as previous clients. Every dish is captured in an
enhancing context, whether they are restaurant- style or the more homely variety - and each makes you salivate
more than the previous.

I can Promise that, Michael Caines At Home will receive repeated visits for inspiration and guidance, but mainly for
the ease of use in its informative style.


Daniel: My French Cuisine
Daniel: My French Cuisine
by Daniel Boulud
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This has to make your Bucket List ...... Amazing!, 15 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a renowned chef at the head of a high-end destination restaurant must want to publish a cookbook that will immortalize his career like Marcos white heat or Bras Essential Cuisine.

It would be a mistake to assume, though, that Daniel is just another trophy cookbook to gather dust on your coffee table. True, its A hefty mass bit it announces that this is a Serious Cookbook Showcasing Chef Boulud's Considerable Talent.

And as you would expect, it is filled with recipes most of us would never even attempt--it is a mystery why chefs, with an entire kitchen brigade to help them, think we mere mortals can execute their creations without ending up in a puddle of goo on the floor.

This is the kind of book that could seriously undermine the kitchen confidence of even the most experienced among us. That said, Chef Boulud has charmingly proffered an email address should you need any help with his recipes.

Of course it is a beautifully designed book in the coffee table genre with crisp, pristine photographs of food accompanied by recipes with multistep directions and lengthy lists of ingredients. Take the recipe as seemingly simple as White Truffle Scrambled Eggs: it is broken down into three separate parts and has a total of twelve ingredients.

This is why you should be willing to pay so much to eat in a restaurant like Daniel rather than attempt to cook his dishes at home.

But there is more to Daniel than its formulaic art book presentation. Sandwiched between Part I: Recipes from Restaurant Daniel and Part III: Daniel at Home (you don't really think this is where you will find recipes you can cook, do you?) is Part II: Iconic Sessions, a series of witty essays written by Bill Buford, an author and staff writer for the New Yorker who studied cooking at L'Institut de Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France.

These essays are pure gold and lighten the mood of Daniel considerably. In fact, they make the book. Here Daniel Boulud, through Mr. Buford, demonstrates some iconic haute cuisine dishes, a kind of homage to his early years as an apprentice chef to the equally iconic Paul Bocuse in Lyon (considered the gastronomic capital of France).

While written in the first person, the essays manage to both elevate and humanize Chef Boulud so that he comes across as a formidably talented chef who also wouldn't mind sitting down with you over an omelet and a Bottle of wine.

The dishes Daniel Boulud along with his staff and Bill Buford prepare in Iconic Sessions are so over the top they look like caricatures of French food: Turbot Soufflé, Jambon au Foin (that would be ham cooked in a nest of hay), Tête de Veau en Tortue (you should see the photo of the whole head of veal that is wrapped in cloth and plunged in a huge copper stock pot), Coulibiac, Canard à La Presse and more.

It took me back to working with my Grandfather a master cold Kitchen Chef with all the amazing work that would today still win you best in class at any Culinary Competition its just a shame its no longer loved and treasured...

As in the Intro:

"It is accepted that French food is normally challenging to prepare, that it can be inflexible in its orthodoxies, obsessive in its attention to detail. But nothing about these dishes was normal. They were extreme . . . Our itinerary was Daniel Bulould's doing. Daniel, who is on a first-name basis with the entire world, was also our Daniel, our boss, our patron, our team captain, our instructor, and the only person any of us knew who actually knew how to make everything. For him, these dishes loomed gigantic. They were bigger than what they seemed to be, and what they seemed to be was already very big. They were food, and craft, and art, and metaphor. They were `iconic,' he said."

No wonder Unesco has enshrined French gastronomy as part of humanity's cultural heritage.

And thank goodness Daniel Buloud is around to keep the French gastronomic art form alive. Daniel may be a trophy cookbook, but with the essays by Bill Buford included, it's a trophy worth displaying.


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