Bouchon

Bouchon

3.6 19
by Thomas Keller
     
 

Thomas Keller, chef/proprieter of Napa Valley's French Laundry, is passionate about bistro cooking. He believes fervently that the real art of cooking lies in elevating to excellence the simplest ingredients; that bistro cooking embodies at once a culinary ethos of generosity, economy, and simplicity; that the techniques at its foundation are profound, and the

See more details below

Overview

Thomas Keller, chef/proprieter of Napa Valley's French Laundry, is passionate about bistro cooking. He believes fervently that the real art of cooking lies in elevating to excellence the simplest ingredients; that bistro cooking embodies at once a culinary ethos of generosity, economy, and simplicity; that the techniques at its foundation are profound, and the recipes at its heart have a powerful ability to nourish and please.

So enamored is he of this older, more casual type of cooking that he opened the restaurant Bouchon, right next door to the French Laundry, so he could satisfy a craving for a perfectly made quiche, or a gratinéed onion soup, or a simple but irresistible roasted chicken. Now Bouchon, the cookbook, embodies this cuisine in all its sublime simplicity.

But let's begin at the real beginning. For Keller, great cooking is all about the virtue of process and attention to detail. Even in the humblest dish, the extra thought is evident, which is why this food tastes so amazing: The onions for the onion soup are caramelized for five hours; lamb cheeks are used for the navarin; basic but essential refinements every step of the way make for the cleanest flavors, the brightest vegetables, the perfect balance—whether of fat to acid for a vinaigrette, of egg to liquid for a custard, of salt to meat for a duck confit.

Because versatility as a cook is achieved through learning foundations, Keller and Bouchon executive chef Jeff Cerciello illuminate all the key points of technique along the way: how a two-inch ring makes for a perfect quiche; how to recognize the right hazelnut brown for a brown butter sauce; how far to caramelize sugar for different uses.

But learning and refinement aside—oh those recipes! Steamed mussels with saffron, bourride, trout grenobloise with its parsley, lemon, and croutons; steak frites, beef bourguignon, chicken in the pot—all exquisitely crafted. And those immortal desserts: the tarte Tatin, the chocolate mousse, the lemon tart, the profiteroles with chocolate sauce. In Bouchon, you get to experience them in impeccably realized form.

This is a book to cherish, with its alluring mix of recipes and the author's knowledge, warmth, and wit: "I find this a hopeful time for the pig," says Keller about our yearning for the flavor that has been bred out of pork. So let your imagination transport you back to the burnished warmth of an old-fashioned French bistro, pull up a stool to the zinc bar or slide into a banquette, and treat yourself to truly great preparations that have not just withstood the vagaries of fashion, but have improved with time. Welcome to Bouchon.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It may be the best cookbook ever about bistros and bistro food."
—The New York Times
The New York Times
"It may be the best cookbook ever about bistros and bistro food."

—The New York Times

Korby Cummer
For this lavish account of the more straightforward brasserie he opened on the same street as his main restaurant in the Napa Valley, he has reunited many members of the same team that made The French Laundry Cookbook go back for multiple reprints (Susie Heller, Michael Ruhlman and Deborah Jones, with the addition of Jeffrey Cerciello, Bouchon's executive chef). Unlike the vast majority of chef's cookbooks, this one explains every step in clear detail, so nothing need be intimidating. And the scope of most of the recipes -- quiche made cloudlike by aerating the batter in a blender, roast chicken with a ragout of wild mushrooms -- is narrower than that of its predecessor. The book is also more relaxed.
The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Keller's restaurant Bouchon, in Napa Valley, Calif., is modeled after Parisian bistros and serves simple yet sumptuous fare. This graceful ode to bistro cooking emphasizes that although in America, "bistro" is synonymous with "casual," the food is prepared with "precision of technique brought to bear on ordinary ingredients." Close-up photos of signature dishes are alluring, and several action shots of food preparation may help readers refine their techniques. The book's sections progress from "First Impressions" (hors d'oeuvres and more) to "Anytime" dishes (soups, salads, quiches) to appetizers, entrees and desserts. Thoughtful introductions to each recipe grouping explain Keller's experiences with the featured dishes; sidebars on everything from oil to onions provide insight and useful tidbits. A "Basics" chapter attempts to further demystify the foundations of bistro cooking (it's built on staples like confit, stock and aioli), and a "Sources" section directs readers to bistro-appropriate tools and specialty foods. Of course, as any chef knows, food is as much about experience, memory and emotion as it is about flavor and presentation. Especially bistro food, Keller says, which retains the "spirit of the original bistro, the spirit of embracing you... restoring you and making you happy." This appealing book promises to do the same. Photos. (Dec. 1) Forecast: A $125,000 marketing budget and author tour could bring Bouchon success on par with Keller's previous book, The French Laundry Cookbook, which is now in its 18th printing. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Keller's Napa Valley, CA, restaurant French Laundry set a new standard for fine cuisine, and his companion cookbook, The French Laundry Cookbook, is considered a modern classic. Bouchon reflects Keller's more recent experience at his more casual bistro restaurant of the same name. Yet just because the prices are lower and the presentation is less elaborate, no less attention is paid to the food and its preparation. Keller has once again taken standard French dishes and shows, through attention to detail, technique, and quality ingredients, how easy it can be to prepare really delicious food. Classic preparations that can seem pedestrian when poorly made, like quiche or onion soup, are reinvigorated by Keller's "clean" techniques. His watchword, as always, is patience; some of the recipes are multiday affairs that will test the capabilities of many home chefs. But most are simple dishes, carefully seasoned; many improve when made ahead of time. Encouraging, thoughtful, informative, but never didactic, Keller trusts his audience with the art of cooking. Highly recommended.-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781579652395
Publisher:
Artisan
Publication date:
11/15/2004
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
143,849
Product dimensions:
11.31(w) x 11.31(h) x 1.31(d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Cerciello has cooked with Thomas Keller for ten years, first at the French Laundry and since 1998 as executive chef of Bouchon in Yountville, California. Cerciello opened the second Bouchon in Las Vegas, at The Venetian Hotel-Resort-Casino, in spring 2004. He lives in Napa with his wife and two daughters.

Susie Heller, executive producer of PBS’s Chef Story, has produced award-winning television cooking series and co-authored numerous award-winning books, among them The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller and Bouchon by Thomas Keller and Jeffrey Cerciello. She lives in Napa, California.

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. 

Deborah Jones's recent honors include Best Photography in a Cookbook from the James Beard Foundation for her work in Bouchon. A frequent contributor to national magazines, she conducts a parallel commercial career from her San Francisco studio.

Michael Ruhlman is the author of The Elements of Cooking, The Soul of a Chef, and The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America, among others.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >