Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12 Days of a Culinary Christmas: Day 4

Even the best of us get wrapped up in cooking that is defined by convenience.  And there's nothing wrong with that.   We're all getting more done in less time than ever before.  But, just because you don't have time for a 43-ingredient, 5 preparation boeuf bourguignon...doesn't mean you don't appreciate the technique, precision and adherence to classical execution. Thumbing through the pages of a great cookbook...taking in the photos, the recipes, the tips on technique... is always a great escape, even if its just from a pile of dishes.  So, here's one of our favorites...and we're sure you'll like it too.

Day Four: Thomas Keller's "The French Laundry" Cookbook
Chef Thomas Keller is known for classical French flair expressed in modern Bistro dishes.  His acclaimed restaurant, The French Laundry is located north of San Francisco in Napa Valley.  Each and every day, he prepares a 9-course tasting menu in which no ingredient is ever repeated.  The result is a series of small bites that intrigue, satisfy and inspire.  He notes, "What we want you to experience that sense of surprise when you taste something so new, so exciting, so comforting, so delicious, you think 'wow' and then its gone...We want you to say, 'I wish I had just one more bite of that.' And then the next plate arrives, the same thing happens, but in a different way."

Keller's The French Laundry features 150 recipes from his famous restaurant, and some even refer to it as a "culinary manifesto."  His interpretation of modern dishes and ingredients such as Peas and Carrots (lobster paired with pea shoots and creamy ginger-carrot sauce) will delight any foodie.  He's a modern-day classic himself.     In addition to The French Laundry, Keller has also published Bouchon and Ad Hoc At Home.  One of these books weighs 6.5 pounds! Discover which one for yourself. 

PS- Have you seen these books in a locally-owned bookstore?  If so, please comment below!

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