Happy in the Kitchen: The Craft of Cooking, the Art of Eating

Happy in the Kitchen: The Craft of Cooking, the Art of Eating

by Michel Richard, Susie Heller, Peter Kaminsky
     
 


It's the passionate professional chef with a compulsion to explore whom we should thank for those extraordinary techniques and ideas that continually find their way into the home kitchen. Whether it's poaching in plastic or using vegetable waters instead of fat to enrich flavor, or new tricks with the inexpensive Japanese mandoline, professionals expand our… See more details below

Overview


It's the passionate professional chef with a compulsion to explore whom we should thank for those extraordinary techniques and ideas that continually find their way into the home kitchen. Whether it's poaching in plastic or using vegetable waters instead of fat to enrich flavor, or new tricks with the inexpensive Japanese mandoline, professionals expand our horizons. And among his colleagues, Michel Richard is the chef's chef, the one others look to for inspiration. "Why didn't I think of that?" asks Thomas Keller, in his foreword to Happy in the Kitchen, about Richard's innovative technique. Michel Richard leads the way and always has—at his L.A. restaurants, Citrus and Citronelle, and now in Washington, D.C., at Michel Richard Citronelle and his newly opened Central. He never ceases to explore and his food never fails to satisfy.

Happy in the Kitchen is teeming with "Richard-esque" discoveries, whether it's an amazingly simple technique for dicing vegetables, a delicious [low-carb] carbonara made with onions rather than pasta, or a schnitzel made of pureed squid. He's playful—always—but also a perfectionist and an iconoclast. What can you say about a chef who makes risotto with potatoes, prefers frozen Brussels sprouts, and whips up spectacular chocolate pudding and béchamel in the microwave? A chef who doesn't shock blanched vegetables in ice water, but uses his freezer as though it were a fifth burner, and turns raspberries and almonds into "salami"?

Enamored of crispness, this master chef, who calls himself Captain Crunch, makes a potato gratin that is all crust and fries carrots until crisp. Always seeking to surprise, he stuffs onion shells and serves them as pasta, and he scrambles scallops and serves them as if they were eggs. But the surprise is not just in the form the ingredients take in each dish, but in the taste.

Richard offers recipes for the foods we love, but always looks for the twist that makes good things great—whether it's Lamburgers, Lobster Burgers, or Tuna Burgers, Turkey "Steak" au Poivre, or the chocolate reverie Michel calls Le Kit Cat. And with recipe titles such as Shrimp "Einstein," Jolly Green Brussels Sprouts, Chicken Faux Gras, Figgy Piggy, Chocolate Popcorn, and Happy Kid Pudding, Happy in the Kitchen lets you know you're in for good tastes and good times.

Every delicious moment is captured in glorious images of finished dishes, as well as exceptional step-by-step photographs that make easy work of slicing, dicing, shaping, and other essential hand skills. Happy in the Kitchen is a book that will make you laugh and learn, and it will delight you every step of the way.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this hefty follow-up to his 1993 debut (Home Cooking with a French Accent), Richard imparts culinary wisdom of the highest order in cheerful nursery tones. Humpty Dumpty, Captain Crunch and a vegetable called Mr. Beet are a few of the merry characters who populate his kitchen. Goofiness apart, the book is filled with clever, innovative techniques and little-known time-savers (microwave b chamel, anybody? food processor sorbet?). Most of the recipes hinge on Richard's unconventional methods, and their successful execution does require a certain level of skill. Attention-grabbers like Asparagus Salmon (in which asparagus spears are slipped inside the pocket of a salmon fillet which is then sliced like a terrine), and Red Snapper in a Spinach Coating are elegant enough to serve to a Michelin inspector, yet are corralled and fenced within the range of ability of a competent home cook. Other dishes are more demanding-the superlative Lamb Loin with White Bean Sauce, for example. In any case, professional cooks and serious amateurs will find this volume an essential resource. (Oct. 31) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This gorgeous work could certainly find a place in any home. It's packed with ingenious, unusual, and beautifully presented dishes, so that experienced or ambitious cooks will enjoy re-creating Richard's recipes and those who hesitate to attempt the more complicated possibilities will delight in the sumptuous photos and entertaining essays throughout. Richard, celebrated chef and owner of Michel Richard Citronelle and author of Michel Richard's Home Cooking with a French Accent, began his career as a pastry chef and clearly brings an eye both for beauty and for detail, as well as a wonderfully playful attitude, to every dish he prepares, whether savory or sweet. This book includes a wide range of possibilities, from All-Crust Potato Gratin to Fluffy Spinach Bites with Fonduta Sauce to Black Olive-Crusted Salmon with Green Olive Sauce. Richard also includes a list of culinary tools used, plus helpful instructional spreads with descriptions and illustrations on how to shape and tie a lamb shoulder, for instance, or how to peel and cut the flesh from a tomato. Recommended for all public libraries.-Courtney Greene, DePaul Univ. Lib., Chicago Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781579652999
Publisher:
Artisan
Publication date:
08/30/2006
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,460,089
Product dimensions:
10.06(w) x 11.19(h) x 1.31(d)

What People are saying about this

Charlie Trotter
“In the pantheon of American Gastronomy, there's not a bigger genius or provocateur than Michel Richard. No one provides gravitas and humor, simultaneously, quite the way he does. Happy in the Kitchen is utterly brilliant. I only wish I had written it!”
— Charlie Trotter
From the Publisher
“Michel Richard is a wizard, a man whose food appeals as much to his fellow chefs as to his adoring customers. I cannot wait to tackle these recipes”.
—Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything

“In the pantheon of American Gastronomy, there's not a bigger genius or provocateur than Michel Richard. No one provides gravitas and humor, simultaneously, quite the way he does. Happy in the Kitchen is utterly brilliant. I only wish I had written it!
” — Charlie Trotter

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