I received the Bouchon as a gift as a part of the Complete Thomas Keller. I was instantly captured by Bouchon's comfortable and practical approach to French cooking and by Keller's emphasis on manifesting the ingredients' potential sensibly over needlessly manipulating and torturing food. This chimes in well with my cultural and personal philosophy towards food. He really breaks his techniques and knowledge of ingredients down to the basics. Although some of his recipes can be time consuming, they're definitely achievable by the home cook.
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Thomas Keller's Bouchon was exactly what I was looking for. It has the simplicity of ingredients and direction, with the complexity of its flavours in the end result. I didn't want something that was overly complicated (Thomas Keller's French Laundry cookbook is one such example) but pragmatic in its approach and beautiful when you taste it. I have the fortune to visit Paris often for work (and pleasure) and I needed a cookbook that was a reflection of my culinary experiences there. Bouchon fits my needs to a tee. If Keller could add pictures for each recipe, then I would rate it 5 out of 5 stars.
What a great book! Reading this, particularly Keller's chapter beginnings titled "The Importance of...", you begin to truly understand why this man is one of the worlds leading chefs. Keller strives to convey that resepect for the food, and that carefull, patient cooking is what will produce the full flavours. Bouchon is all about getting back to classic french Bistro cooking, loving the food the way your grandmother used to, and taking your time. You will need a full refrigerator and a large pantry for this book, but your investment in the food and the harcover will be worth it.
A very fussy chef. Writes well. Endless attention to detail. His defenders ver4ge on hero worship, but I won't follow the complicated recipes or go to his very expensive restaurants. I don't think I'll ever make salt cod from fresh when the real thing is in every good food market. Another fail.