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Ad Hoc at Home

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Overview


Thomas Keller shares family-style recipes that you can make any or every day.

In the book every home cook has been waiting for, the revered Thomas Keller turns his imagination to the American comfort foods closest to his heart?flaky biscuits, chicken pot pies, New England clam bakes, and cherry pies so delicious and redolent of childhood that they give Proust's madeleines a run for their money. Keller, whose restaurants The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Per Se ...

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Overview


Thomas Keller shares family-style recipes that you can make any or every day.

In the book every home cook has been waiting for, the revered Thomas Keller turns his imagination to the American comfort foods closest to his heart—flaky biscuits, chicken pot pies, New England clam bakes, and cherry pies so delicious and redolent of childhood that they give Proust's madeleines a run for their money. Keller, whose restaurants The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Per Se in New York have revolutionized American haute cuisine, is equally adept at turning out simpler fare.

In Ad Hoc at Home—a cookbook inspired by the menu of his casual restaurant Ad Hoc in Yountville—he showcases more than 200 recipes for family-style meals. This is Keller at his most playful, serving up such truck-stop classics as Potato Hash with Bacon and Melted Onions and grilled-cheese sandwiches, and heartier fare including beef Stroganoff and roasted spring leg of lamb. In fun, full-color photographs, the great chef gives step-by-step lessons in kitchen basics— here is Keller teaching how to perfectly shape a basic hamburger, truss a chicken, or dress a salad. Best of all, where Keller’s previous best-selling cookbooks were for the ambitious advanced cook, Ad Hoc at Home is filled with quicker and easier recipes that will be embraced by both kitchen novices and more experienced cooks who want the ultimate recipes for American comfort-food classics.

Winner of the 2010 James Beard Foundation Book Award for General Cooking

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Editorial Reviews

Christine Muhlke
serves up cozy dishes from [Keller's] "casual" restaurant, Ad Hoc, a set-menu, elbows-on-the-table spot in Yountville, Calif., where the meatballs and fried chicken are inarguably better than your mother's.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Keller, one of America’s most acclaimed chefs (The French Laundry; Bouchon), shifts his focus from fine dining to family-style meals for the home cook in this accessible and dazzlingly beautiful book based on the fare served at his Ad Hoc restaurant, in Napa, Calif. He does not disappoint, providing a thorough primer on the foundations of cooking, offering clear and easy-to-follow instructions on techniques such as butchering and trussing chickens and tying a pork loin. He also includes a section on becoming a better cook, which helps fine-tune the cook and instructs on using salt properly, learning to make one really good soup and getting organized. Throughout are helpful sidebars that clarify potentially murky subjects, including brining fish and meat, salad basics and using fats. Dishes such as braised beef short ribs, buttermilk fried chicken, and fig-stuffed roast pork loin highlight a vast array of offerings that range from crab cakes to shortbread cookies. This collection is what legions of Keller fans have been waiting for, a book that allows them to replicate the merest glimmer of his culinary genius in their own homes. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Noted French Laundry chef Keller planned Ad Hoc, opened in 2006 in Yountville, CA, as a temporary, casual restaurant patterned after the family (staff) meals—a four-course single menu with no choices—of his other restaurants. For home cooks intimidated by Keller's higher-end cookbooks, his new work showcases Ad Hoc's simpler fare, with more than 200 recipes for family-style meals. In the introduction, Keller emphasizes that a great product plus great execution results in great cooking. The recipes begin with his favorite—poultry, followed by meat, fish, soups, salads, vegetables, breads, a hodgepodge of sweet and savory "staples," and, of course, desserts. There are additional recipes for basic dough, sauces, and stocks. The recipes are comfort food with a twist-scalloped potatoes (potato pavé), vegetable soup (vegetable garbure), and grilled cheese made with brioche and Gruyère. These are approachable and doable but are not all for the calorie-conscious cook. Butter, eggs, and heavy cream abound and are combined with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. VERDICT This beautiful volume continues the well-written and artful precedent set by Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook and Bouchon, delightful to the eye as well as the stomach. With a planned media blitz, this work is sure to be in demand in libraries and will also be a popular gift book. [Nine-city author tour.]—Christine Bulson, SUNY at Oneonta Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579653774
  • Publisher: Artisan
  • Publication date: 11/6/2009
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 22,088
  • Product dimensions: 11.30 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller, author of The French Laundry CookbookBouchonUnder Pressure, Ad Hoc at Home, and Bouchon Bakery, has thirteen restaurants and bakeries in the United States. He is the first and only American chef to have two Michelin Guide three-star-rated restaurants, The French Laundry and per se, both of which continue to rank among the best restaurants in America and the world. In 2011 he was designated a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor, the first American male chef to be so honored. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 76 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My new favorite.

    I own all of Thomas Keller's cookbooks. They are beautiful and contain some of the most impressive recipes. Typically, though, the recipes are not for the novice home cook. They are composed dishes for people with full pantries and an entire day to cook.

    Ad Hoc At Home is by far the most user friendly cookbook I've seen from Keller. The recipes are still on the gourmet side (no opening of cans and dumping contents into a pot) but they are as simple as from scratch cooking can be. With several of the recipes, they are followed with another recipe that uses the leftovers, ie, shortribs and then a beef stew. Roast chicken and then chicken pot pie.

    The pictures are beautiful, there are step by step instructions/photos for some of the methods used (trussing or cutting a whole chicken into pieces) and chef Keller has included several little helpful hints and tidbits to make the process easier.

    This would be a fantastic addition for anyone who appreciates gourmet cooking but doesn't want to be overwhelmed with preparation and ingredients.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Sad disappointment

    Cookbooks are wonderful. I really enjoy cooking, and as I rush through meals during the week, I love picking something new out to make on a leisurely weekend. Since this book was sold out everywhere and got rave reviews, I knew this was the next one I needed to add to my collection.

    Hmmm. When it arrived, it was huge, and heavy. A coffee table book? Not the size or weight to easily be perched up in the kitchen while cooking. A quick flip through the pages was very disappointing. There wasn't a single picture that caught my eye.

    I sat down with this book four separate times and each time I had the same experience. Not one picture of a finished dish - or even a shot of any of the raw ingredients - was appetizing. Some were downright UNappetizing - the ladle of soup on page 111, the fish on page 99 or the lamb meatballs on page 175, for instance. They even made cheese and ice cream look unappetizing.

    If I am to be drawn to the recipes by the delicious-looking pictures, I have to say I was not. I want to point to a picture, already salivating at the thought of tasting whatever I see, anxious to put it together and deliver it to the hungry table. Nothing here did that. Perhaps if there were NO pictures, I would be moved to sort through the recipes and pick out something that sounded good. But, instead, the book went back on my shelf, perhaps forever. To quote the author, (page 87) 'that's how I roll'.

    So, in my opinion, it failed as both an art book and a cookbook. I am sure the experience was different for each person; this was mine.

    3 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Like French cuisine in Mom's Kitchen

    The minute you open this book and briefly thumb through the pages, you'll know you did the right thing. You may have had a moment of hesitation when you wondered if you could learn from a French cook. Yes, I'm not a fan of those flavors but I had the good fortune to see the author, Thomas Keller, on tv one morning. His demeanor was calm and encouraging when he explained why he peeled the asparagus so carefully. I cook more like a person born in Hollywood, raised in Minnesota, summered in Wyoming, schooled in the redwoods and set free in Oregon. But along the way, I learned to recognize the genius in people and Keller has it. He puts his greatest thoughts under the lights for us and explains things so logically you totally understand. It's a big book with great pictures of good old home cooking, like food you may eat every day, with the Keller touch. So nicely put together, you can smell the aroma of garbure, ahead of the recipe. I not only learned that garbure is spring soup but became so tantalized that I read the whole book, cover to cover; boy was I full. He had me in the introduction where he shares the dinner he cooked for his Dad. Like the groundwork he carefully laid for his own success, he leads us to perfection and recommends we be picky about buying the freshest products to get the finest eating results. The book is more than salt (although there is a lot to say about that) but, is finely peppered with humor and wonderful insights. It's an education you will be glad you invested in and you won't be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    One of (if not the best I've ever purchased} cookbook

    I have MANY cook books,mostly Italian. This is the easiest to follow. Uses products that are in most cooks pantries. The best thing of all is that everything tastes good and ...I would use most of the receipes over and over again..Two thumbs up!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    Must Have Cookbook

    I have had the book for about a month now and tried several recipes in addition to reading through the book cover to cover. I will say that everything I have tried has been outstanding. The World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is not an exageration. Kids and adults loved them. They really were wonderful! The meatball recipe was certainly an A+. While some of the recipes might look intimidating at first, they really are easy once you start. The book is beautiful and also makes a wonderful coffee table book or addition to any cooking library. Next to Silver Spoon, this is my next new favorite.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    My Present to Myself

    This book was on my christmas and birthday lists but was sold out all through the holidays. When it finally was in stock I treated myself to a copy and have loved every moment since. The illustrations are beautiful and the recipes, while invovled, seem much more managaable than the FRENCH LAUNDRY cookbook (which I also love). Treat yourself to a copy of a great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Excellent

    This is an excellent book - a well written cookbook with beautiful pictures, detailed recipes, carefully put together. The books has very interesting pieces of history about Keller's cooking, and collaborators, and restaurants - all part of putting the book together. The recipes are homestyle recipes that are manageable, and foods we crave.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Ad Hoc in home is fantastic

    A gret and sentimental book to pass on to family members. Simple food, great food and the writing is straight from the heart.
    All about enjoying food and company.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    Beautiful cookbook

    Gave this as a gift and must admit it was hard to give away. The pictures are beautiful. I am a fairly picky eater and I wanted to try everything in the book. It was also very enjoyable to read. There are some very time consuming recipes and some quick recipes. You can learn a lot about how to improve your cooking skills by reading this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    Outstanding Cookbook!

    I bought this cookbook for my Mother (and one for myself) for Christmas. It is amazing!! I have already made the fig stuffed pork, the fried chicken (to die for), the meatballs, the steak with herb butter and the carrot cake cupcakes. Every single recipe was delicious. Now, this is not the kind of cookbook you grab when you want dinner on the table in 30-minutes. All of the dishes I have made required quite a bit of planning -brining the chicken for 12 hours, etc.... I would recommend this cookbook for the home cook who loves to cook and really wants to take it up a notch. There are so many great tips and the photographs are beautiful,as well as helpful. I am reading the book cover to cover because I am learning a ton. Can't say enough good things....

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2010

    An absolutely great book

    This book is not only beautiful it is extremely doable. It is packed with information and clear instructions. The resulting in fabulous food and a clearer understanding of not only how to but why.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Still too fussy for home cooks (even very good ones)

    If you want a good book for the home kitchen, chech out Gordon Ramsey's new one. Much, much better.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2013

    Excellent Cookbook

    Nice job Chef Keller!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    I am slowly working my way through the recipes. Not because I'm

    I am slowly working my way through the recipes. Not because I'm slow but because once I cook one, I like it so much, I cook it over and over... and over again! LOVE this cookbook. Huge fan of Thomas Keller and I love the photography in the book.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Good tips and techniques - fantastic food!

    Yes, the recipes in this book are an all-day or half-day undertaking. It's not a cookbook for something that you want to whip together.

    However, it is a great cookbook for learning techniques and tips. Since purchasing this book a few years ago, my cooking skills have grown from using this book regularly. There are helpful photos of steps (breaking down a chicken, etc.), as well as tips throughout the book. I also appreciate that even though Chef Keller wants you to use the "long way" to make something, he explains why.

    The food we've been able to make from this book have been nothing less than amazing. The fried chicken is fantastic and something our friends still request. The brownies are chocolatey and wonderful. The chicken and dumpling soup is a wonderful silky texture.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

    Great Cookbook

    This is a great cookbook to add to your collection. Some of the recipes are quick and easy while others take more preparation including staple ingredients that are timely to prepare. Fabulous pictures and educational tips for cooks.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    THIS BOOK CHANGED MY LIFE 2

    This is a great book. It's as great, or greater, in some ways, than Chef Thomas Keller's THE FRENCH LAUNDRY COOKBOOK, which I also reviewed because I love it, and it DID change my life. AD HOC AT HOME is a great book on its own merits. Yes, it represents a natural evolution from THE FRENCH LAUNDRY COOKBOOK, but it's far more than that. If I can't have Thomas Keller standing next to me in the kitchen, it's an acceptable compromise, and that's what I care about. Possibly, the most important thing Chef Keller has taught me is to OWN MY FOOD: to take responsibility for what I serve, to be proud of the preparation AND the presentation; to think of good food as a mission!

    In that respect, AD HOC AT HOME has become my kitchen workbook. The recipes are fantastic. The Pork brine has become an ingrained habit, as has the Nantes Carrot stew, the pork tenderloins, the Roast Arista. It's an unbelievable, but do-able journey for those of us who respect and love food, but can only dream of attending the Culinary Institute of America, only because we're just trying to get through a day of our modern lives in the 21st century.

    I conclude by saying that, as a Registered Nurse who encounters the full spectrum of eating disorders in the course of her work, I'm here to inform you that we need to rethink our food and its preparation, without sacrificing the taste and the enjoyment of it. Everything in moderation. AD HOC AT HOME is a book for our times, and I love it. What more can I say?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2010

    Ad Hoc completes my TK Trilogy well!!!

    I have cooked my way through The French Laundry and Bouchon. I thought they could not be topped. Ad Hoc is amazing! I will be cooking my way through this book as well. I love it when a chef talks TO you and talks WITH you. I truly feel this about Ad Hoc. I swear I wept when he discussed taking care of your parents. I cannot wait to devour every word, morsel, ounce, you get the idea... of this book. Thank You TK!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    Good for someone already familiar with cooking

    I bought this as a gift for my son, who has been working for several years as a chef, but with no formal training. Below are his comments:

    "I like the book a lot, and as far as difficulty I'd say there's a variety. What I've probably used the most so far is the little reference section of basics at the back. I would also say the book has a lot of valuable information besides the actual recipes, which I like since I tend to modify most recipes anyway. And the graphic/print design of the book is also one of my favorite parts."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews

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