The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook


Featuring more than 120 recipes by chef John Doherty and his staff (including a new take on the famous Waldorf Salad), this volume marks the first major cookbook from the famed Waldorf-Astoria hotel: home-away-from-home for presidents, celebrities, and discriminating tourists alike. 120 color & 30 b/w photos.

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Featuring more than 120 recipes by chef John Doherty and his staff (including a new take on the famous Waldorf Salad), this volume marks the first major cookbook from the famed Waldorf-Astoria hotel: home-away-from-home for presidents, celebrities, and discriminating tourists alike. 120 color & 30 b/w photos.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821257722
  • Publisher: Bulfinch
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,411,098
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

John Doherty has overseen the kitchen of the Waldorf-Astoria since 1985, when, at the age of 27, he became the hotel's youngest Executive Chef. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the 2002 Food Arts Silver Spoon Award for lifetime achievements. His work has been widely covered in the media from The New York Times to CBS's Saturday Morning.

John Harrisson has co-written The Neiman Marcus Cookbook as well as cookbooks by Mark Miller and Roy Yamaguchi.

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Read an Excerpt

The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook

By John Doherty John Harrisson


Copyright © 2006 Hilton Hospitality Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-821-25772-2

Chapter One

Thai Lobster Bisque with Mango and Basil

Serves 8


3 live female lobsters (about 1 1/2 pounds each) 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup brandy 1 cup sliced lemongrass, dry ends discarded 2 cups sliced red onion 2 cups sliced fennel 1/2 cup minced ginger 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1/2 cup tomato paste 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 6 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk 2 dried bay leaves 7 sprigs fresh thyme 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and finely diced 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar

IF YOU HAVE EVER ENJOYED lobster bisque, I guarantee you are going to love this version. The addition of flavors from Thai cuisine transforms a rich and classic soup into a contemporary dish that's flat-out exciting to eat. The coconut milk counters the spiciness, and the mango and vinegar provide just enough acidity to cut the richness and pull all the other elements together. This soup can also be served in demitasse cups for a cocktail party or predinner taster, and can be served year-round.

TO PREPARE THE BISQUE Place alive lobster on a cutting board and, using a cleaver or sharp chef's knife, cut down through the middle of the lobster head to reveal the dark green egg sack (coral); carefully remove it and reserve. Remove and discard the remaining innards from the head. Use the cleaver or knife to separate the claws, claw joints, and tail from the body. Chop the claws and body into 2- to 3-inch pieces; leave the tail whole. Repeat for the remaining lobsters.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot and set over high heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Add the lobster pieces and heads and cook until the shells are bright red, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lobster shells from the pan and transfer to a bowl. Pour the brandy into the pan and, using a wooden spoon, deglaze over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the contents of the pan into the bowl containing the lobster.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan over medium-high heat until it is hot and shimmering. Add the lemongrass, red onion, and fennel and cook until wilted, about 8 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 3 minutes longer. Add the tomato paste and curry paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the lime juice, coconut milk, 6 cups of water, the bay leaves, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Return the lobster shells and brandy to the pan, stir well, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 4 minutes. Remove the lobster tails from the soup and set aside to let cool. Then remove the tail meat from the shells, dice, and set aside.

Pass the lobster roe through a fine-mesh sieve and whisk it into the soup. Continue to simmer the soup, uncovered, for 1 hour. Strain the soup into a clean saucepan and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper; keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

TO PREPARE THE GARNISH Place the mango in a mixing bowl and add the diced lobster tail meat. Add the basil and vinegar and mix well.

TO SERVE Arrange the lobster and mango in the center of warm soup bowls and carefully pour the soup on top.


This recipe calls for female lobsters because they contain coral, the name given to the unfertilized eggs or roe of the lobster. Coral is so called because, when cooked, this caviar turns a lovely pink-red coral color.

Waldorf Salad with Truffles and Candied Walnuts

Serves 8


2 quarts vegetable oil 2 cups apple juice 1/2 cup honey 1/4 cup dark molasses 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 cups walnut halves


1/2 cup crème fraîche 1/2 cup plain yogurt 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup walnut oil Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste 1 1/2 tablespoons minced black winter truffles


2 large Granny Smith apples (unpeeled) 2 large Gala apples (or Braeburn, Empire, or other crisp red apples), unpeeled 1/2 cup peeled and julienned celeriac 1/2 cup celery leaves (from 1 bunch celery)

IT MAY NOT SURPRISE YOU to hear that this is the single most frequently requested recipe at the Waldorf=Astoria from people around the world. There is just one tiny problem-I can't bring myself to eat the original version of apples and mayonnaise, which dates back to the 1890s and the early days of the original Waldorf Hotel (the walnuts were added a bit later). It may have been fashionable once, but most people these days steer a wide berth around mayonnaise in a salad. On top of that, other people's versions were often made incorrectly. Our recipe has been a little revamped over the years, and this is my favorite version-it is light, refreshing, and the truffles give it that special touch. In fact, it is more popular now than it has ever been; we serve it at Oscar's American Brasserie, on our Room Service menu, at Bull and Bear, and for special events. Oh, and by the way (I am often asked), I now actually like it!

TO PREPARE THE CANDIED WALNUTS Pour the oil into a large saucepan and set over medium-low heat until a thermometer reads 375ºF. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, warm the apple juice, honey, molasses, and maple syrup. Bring to a strong simmer, add the walnuts, then turn the heat to medium low. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the nuts, discarding the liquid. Carefully add the nuts to the hot oil in batches and fry for about 20 seconds, or until they are mahogany in color; be careful not to overfry the nuts, as they will burn quickly. Remove the nuts from the oil with a slotted spoon and spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to cool. When room temperature, chop the walnuts. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

TO PREPARE THE DRESSING Combine the cræme fraîche, yogurt, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the walnut oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold in half of the truffles.

TO PREPARE THE SALAD Using a mandoline on the fine comb setting, julienne the Granny Smith and Gala apples into matchstick-size strips, being careful to avoid the seeds in the core; transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the julienned celeriac to the apples. Gently fold the dressing into the apple mixture until well combined. Divide the salad between chilled serving plates and garnish the top of each salad with some celery leaves and the remaining truffles. Scatter the candied walnuts around each plate.

Wine Recommendation Chilean Sauvignon Blanc (rich, with lemon zest and grapefruit tones and a balanced finish).


At the Waldorf, we have successfully paired this famous salad with game dishes such as venison or smoked duck breast with black currant sauce, as well as roasted chicken and Veal Oscar.

Celeriac is the root of the celery plant. If unavailable, you may substitute regular peeled celery.

The nuts can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container. For a shortcut, use store-bought candied walnuts.

Strawberry Napoleon with White Chocolate Mousse

Serves 8 to 10 (one 10-inch cake)


2 sheets frozen puff pastry


2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered 2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup 5 teaspoons dry pectin 2/3 cup granulated sugar


1 package (34 ounce) gelatin leaves or 4 gelatin sheets 2 3/4 cups heavy cream 1/4 cup granulated sugar 3 large egg yolks 7 ounces white chocolate (preferably Valrhona), chopped


2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced


3 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and cut in half Powdered sugar, for dusting

THIS STRIKING DESSERT IS FAIRLY easy to make-the key factor is whether you can find ripe, succulent strawberries that are bursting with flavor. If so, you have a winner on your hands; if not, the bland fruit will give you bland results. The layered Napoleon tastes so good because of the contrasting textures of crunchy puff pastry and creamy white chocolate mousse, and the balance of flavor between the sweet strawberry preserves and tart, fresh strawberries. For this recipe, you need to start with 4 pints (8 cups) of fresh strawberries.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

TO PREPARE THE PASTRY Place the puff pastry sheets on 2 cookie sheets and prick all over with a fork to prevent them from rising. Bake according to the manufacturer's directions until golden brown (typically, 8 to 10 minutes). Let cool and set aside.

TO PREPARE THE JAM Purée the quartered strawberries in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a small saucepan and add the corn syrup. In a small bowl, mix the pectin and sugar, add to the saucepan, and set over medium heat. Cook until the mixture appears shiny, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, and set aside.

TO PREPARE THE MOUSSE Place the gelatin in a small metal bowl, add 4 tablespoons of water, and set aside to let soften. Place the cream in a large mixing bowl, whip until soft peaks form, and set aside in the refrigerator. In a small saucepan, stir together 2 tablespoons of water and the sugar, and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture reaches about 248ºF on a candy thermometer.

Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and, with an electric beater, start beating on medium speed (or whisk by hand). While whisking, slowly add the sugar syrup and continue to beat until the mixture is thick and cool, 5 to 7 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water or in a double boiler (or for 35 to 40 seconds in the microwave); keep warm. Transfer the gelatin to the saucepan with simmering water (alternatively, transfer the gelatin and water to a glass bowl and melt in the microwave.) Temper the gelatin by adding some of the beaten egg yolk mixture, then add the remaining egg yolk mixture and whisk to combine. Set aside.

With a spatula, fold a small amount of the refrigerated whipped cream into the warm chocolate, working quickly to prevent lumps from forming. Fold in the egg yolk and gelatin mixture, and fold in the remaining whipped cream. Transfer to the refrigerator.

FOR ASSEMBLY Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Cut a circle slightly less than 10 inches in diameter from a clean piece of cardboard and, using this template, cut two 10-inch circles from the baked puff pastry. Place 1 of the puff pastry circles, flat side down, on the bottom of the springform pan. Spread a thin layer of the strawberry jam over the puff pastry. Line the inside of the pan with the strawberry halves, with the flat (cut) sides against the rim of the pan and the tips pointing up. Place half of the white chocolate mousse on top of the jam layer. Arrange the sliced strawberries evenly over the mousse, pressing them down into the mousse. Add the remaining mousse on top of the strawberry slices, spreading it evenly to the sides of the pan. Place the second puff pastry circle on top of the mousse with the flat side up, and press it down gently. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

TO SERVE Release the clamp on the springform pan and remove the rim. Carefully transfer the Napoleon to a serving plate, dust the top with the powdered sugar, and serve.


This dessert is most easily cut with a serrated knife.

Pectin and gelatin sheets are available at specialty baking or gourmet stores. Frozen puff pastry is available at most supermarkets.

For a shortcut, use the best-quality prepared strawberry jam you can find.


Excerpted from The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook by John Doherty John Harrisson Copyright © 2006 by Hilton Hospitality Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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