The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller

Book Review : The French Laundry Cookbook

By Thomas Keller

  • Publication Date: 2016-10-25
  • Genre: Cookbooks, Food & Wine

Book Review

2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of the acclaimed French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley—“the most exciting place to eat in the United States” (The New York Times). The most transformative cookbook of the century celebrates this milestone by showcasing the genius of chef/proprietor Thomas Keller himself. Keller is a wizard, a purist, a man obsessed with getting it right. And this, his first cookbook, is every bit as satisfying as a French Laundry meal itself: a series of small, impeccable, highly refined, intensely focused courses.

Most dazzling is how simple Keller's methods are: squeegeeing the moisture from the skin on fish so it sautées beautifully; poaching eggs in a deep pot of water for perfect shape; the initial steeping in the shell that makes cooking raw lobster out of the shell a cinch; using vinegar as a flavor enhancer; the repeated washing of bones for stock for the cleanest, clearest tastes.

From innovative soup techniques, to the proper way to cook green vegetables, to secrets of great fish cookery, to the creation of breathtaking desserts; from beurre monté to foie gras au torchon, to a wild and thoroughly unexpected take on coffee and doughnuts, The French Laundry Cookbook captures, through recipes, essays, profiles, and extraordinary photography, one of America's great restaurants, its great chef, and the food that makes both unique.

One hundred and fifty superlative recipes are exact recipes from the French Laundry kitchen—no shortcuts have been taken, no critical steps ignored, all have been thoroughly tested in home kitchens. If you can't get to the French Laundry, you can now re-create at home the very experience Wine Spectator described as “as close to dining perfection as it gets.”


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User Reviews

  • Excellent Cookbook, Okay Digital Version

    By Donnie Summers
    The content of the cookbook is easily 5 stars, but the conversion to an e-book format is not terribly good, so, I removed 1 star for that. Having said that, $2.99 is a bargain for this incredible cookbook from one of the greatest chefs in the US today. The recipes are definitely challenging, this is high-end, haute cuisine after all. But the recipes aren't so difficult that an experienced home cook couldn't master and produce amazingly delicious, jaw-dropping food. The dishes and the combinations are still modern even today, 20 years after the cookbook was originally published. A must for any serious home chef.