Avec Eric Hardcover – Oct 8 2010
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"The 2003 Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef in the United States, Ripert presents this companion to his PBS television show of the same name. The simplicity and balance of flavors in this book are characteristic of the style that has earned Ripert’s Le Bernardin in New York City its reputation. Ripert describes his visits to 12 regions of the Western world and focuses on each area’s culture, natural crops, and local culinary delights. From Los Gatos, CA, to Tuscany, Italy, Ripert shares recipes, agricultural growing methods, and preparation, cooking, and serving ideas. Many recipes include a suggested wine or cocktail pairing. Though most dishes are appropriate for luncheon or dinner, a few breakfast items are included. VERDICT Resplendent with photos of fields, orchards, beaches, farmer’s markets, beautiful dishes, and cheerful people cooking and enjoying food, this book will be a pleasure to browse, read, and use. Readers are left with a desire both to sample the 100-plus recipes and to visit the regions in which they were created. Highly recommended." (Library Journal, October 15, 2010)
"Ripert, chef of the famed New York restaurant Le Bernardin and author of On the Line, takes readers on a culinary journey from Italy to California in this companion piece to his PBS series of the same name.... The roasted pork loin with wild mushrooms, garlic, and sage pan jus from Tuscany will tempt even the most faithful of vegans, while heirloom tomato salad with black garlic and white balsamic, and white asparagus with anchovy-herb butter, both from Los Gatos in California, proclaim the supremacy of vegetables ... the array of appetizing dishes that Ripert offers is worth the price." (Publishers Weekly, September 20, 2010)
About the Author
Eric Ripert is the co-author of the recently published On the Line: Inside the world of Le Bernardin, and chef and part-owner of Le Bernardin, awarded four stars by The New York Times, three stars by the Michelin Guide, and rated best restaurant in New York by Zagat. He is a frequent guest on such national shows as Bravo's Top Chef, Today, Charlie Rose, Martha, and Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. He has opened two new restaurants, 10 Arts in the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton and Westend Bistro in Washington, D.C. You can watch Eric Ripert in action on his forthcoming television show Avec Eric and on his Web site, www.aveceric.com.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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Examples of recipes:
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Black Garlic and White Balsamic
Blackberry Tomato Crumble
Charred Octopus with Peach, Arugula and Aged Balsamic
Spice-Crusted Duck Breast with Orange-Honey Glaze and Cumin-Scented Carrots
Spiced Butternut Squash With Chestnut Honey
Brown Butter Ice Cream
If those don't get your mouth watering, I don't know what will!
The book also contains some interesting added information such as personal anecdotes and photographs.
All in all a recommended and worthwhile book especially if you enjoy travel as well as cooking/food. If you are looking for inspiration this is a good book to have on your culinary shelf.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
original post: [...]
I have put off writing this review for almost a month now. Out of fear. The minute I received this book, I was mesmerized. The "culinary journey" begins with a foreword by Anthony Bourdain. In the beginning, one may possibly assume that this is going to be another mediocre book thrown together and sold based on a name. Far from it.
The book takes you from the kitchen of Le Bernardin, to Love Apple Farm in California, to Tomales Bay, Tuscany, Caymen Islands, and back again. With the journey comes over 100 recipes ranging from seaweed to beef tartar, and everything in between. The recipes and the trip that you are taken on is proof of how, and why, Chef Ripert has managed to maintain a four star review for over 20 years.
About the Book:
In my initial opinion, the recipes were geared to a middle or advanced cook. I felt lost. In hind sight, it is geared to everyone, including beginners....I just felt insecure about cooking some of the dishes. The mix of the recipes is fantastic. Drinks, seafood, beef, salads, etc. Most people cook only 5-10 recipes from any given cookbook. This one is a "full cooker". I have tagged an additional 30 or so, after the 3 I cooked for this review. The only drawback, and I use that term loosely, is that a handful of ingredients may not be easy to find in some areas. Not impossible; just not easy.
The photography gives you the feeling that you are looking through a personal vacation album. Chef Ripert is smiling in every picture and it is certainly not a wonder why. There is food, wine, ocean, boats, bonfires, cigars, oils, cheeses, and culture. The most important is culture. The photography completely grasps the culture of the journeys.
My favorite is the "Family Meal at Le Bernardin". Its a simple photo of the tradition of the family meal time at Le Bernardin. Between prep and dinner service the staff shares a meal together. Something to admire.
Considering the Holidays are knocking on our door, I would highly suggest this as a gift. This is a book that will be cherished by any cook. Mine hasn't left my kitchen since the day I got it.
So again, as I stated in a previous post, Thank you Chef Ripert. You have summoned the confidence in me. And thank you for allowing a peek into your "strangely enchanted world".
More about Avec Eric - [...]
My dabble into two of the recipes ~ Turned out phenomenal and one that will be prepared numerous times in the future.
Check out City Harvest - working to bring together New York's top chefs and restaurateurs to raise funds and increase the quality and quantity of food donations to New York's neediest.
"He's one of the world's best chefs." ~ Anthony Bourdain
Yes he is.
French men. Ergo, I received not one, but TWO copies of Avec Eric for
my birthday. I'm not as culinarily articulate as the reviewer who
preceded me, but I do share her enthusiasm for this book.
While I do enjoy food, if forced to choose, I'd probably take a fancy
vacation over a fancy meal. That said, I think I find this cookbook so
compelling because reading it is like taking a mini vacation. The
photos are INCREDIBLE. I've attempted only two of the recipes so far -
the deviled eggs with smoked salmon (p 249) and the pasta carbonara (p 159). I was proud of both dishes. (Point of reference: I once took a cooking class in Mexico, and when I came back to the states I wanted to show off my mole sauce skills. I ended up destroying my best friend's most beloved pot, bursting into tears, and ordering Mexican food from the place around the corner. Just sayin. You don't have to be an expert to attempt these recipes.)
If you (or someone in your life) is a foodie, or a traveler who enjoys cooking even a little bit, pull the trigger and buy this cookbook!
For some the print might be on the small side, especially as you are trying to follow along as you cook. The book also is hard to hold down flat as you are trying to use it.
Most recipes have a picture of the dish and they do look wonderful. The Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (Florentine style steak), chestnut cake, walnut brittle and roasted beef tenderloin with red wine butter sauce are all especially appetizing.
These are probably not recipes for a beginning cook, but are not that difficult to prepare, just needing some determination, time and willingness to do more than a simple throw in a pan and cook. Some of the ingredients are not the typical grocery store fare, like wild boar shoulder, black truffles, duck breasts, peekytoe crabmeat, black garlic, wakame.
Those who wish to try some different dishes than they can find in an `ordinary' cookbook would enjoy these recipes and especially reading of Eric's travels and looking at his enticing pictures.
This book is filled with gorgeous "food porn" along with beautifully photographed glimpses into Ripert's travels, personal moments, and working life. There are great little informational tidbits throughout the book (complete with references to websites for additional information) that I loved poring over. Ripert somehow manages to be a wonderful teacher while keeping it light.
You would think that with Le Bernardin being known primarily for seafood, that this book would be focused on that. However, I was thrilled to find that although seafood recipes feature strongly in Avec Eric (cooking seafood makes me nervous since it is so easy to overcook), Ripert also includes a lot of recipes for cocktails, meats, pastas, appetizers and desserts! There is a wonderful mix of more advanced as well as simpler recipes--some adapted from dishes from Le Bernardin, some which are adaptations from Ripert's favorite eating experiences at restaurants around the world, and some of which come out of Ripert's own kitchen.
As a native Californian who grew up in the SF Bay Area, I was excited to see how much Ripert's experiences in Sonoma were featured in the book. My favorite chapter was perhaps Chapter 2 ("Star Ingredients") because Ripert does a wonderful discussion on David Kinch's Manresa (which is just down the street from where I grew up). Actually, I take that back. My FAVORITE chapter was the one in which Ripert writes about his annual Cayman Cookout which hosts some of the biggest name chefs in the US. Being a restaurant junkie, I thrilled just reading about Ripert hanging out with some of the key players that are on the food scene: Jose Andres of LA's Baazar, Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea, David Chang of NY's Momofuku and of course, Anthony Bourdain.
This book should definitely make the Christmas list for any lovers of Le Bernardin, Ripert-philes, or just anyone who loves food! For those who don't cook but love food and eating well, the book itself is so beautiful that it could easily be a coffee-table book. I am thrilled to add this to my collection of cookbooks in my kitchen!