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Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way [Kindle Edition]

John Besh
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Cooking from the Heart, Chef John Besh’s third cookbook, revisits the locations, lessons, and mentors that shaped his culinary journey. From Germany’s Black Forest to the mountains of Provence, each chapter highlights heartfelt memories and delicious recipes—the framework for his love of food.
The all-new, easy-to-follow recipes, complete with regional substitution suggestions, make creating upscale farm-to-table dishes accessible for any at-home chef. The rich production values and personal narrative make this cookbook an equally engaging read.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Beard Award-winner John Besh is a renowned chef, owner of nine restaurants, host of John Besh’s Family Table on public television, and author of the best-selling cookbooks My New Orleans and My Family Table. He lives with his wife and four boys outside New Orleans, Louisiana.

Product Details

  • File Size: 120888 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC (October 29, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,518 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia never tasted better November 26, 2013
I have been married a number of times. My wives have nothing in common. Except this: They all read cookbooks in bed. And not casually — they read cookbooks as if they had plots.

My current and final wife can often be found, late of an evening, concentrating on a cookbook as if she had to take an exam on it in the morning. If she reads more avidly than her predecessors, she has a very good reason — cookbooks really do have plots now.

John Besh, for example. He’s a king in New Orleans, where he owns nine restaurants. He’s won a James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast. He’s Owen Wilson handsome. He served with the Marines in the first Gulf War. He’s civic-minded. He and his wife — his first wife — have produced four children.

And Besh has produced books that tell stories.

My New Orleans, his first book, was published in 2009. Like a first novel, it’s weighty: 5.2 pounds. The plot? A story of generations: A boy grows up in rural Louisiana, learns the lessons of his people and tries to keep them alive for his children. A year after Katrina, who could resist that? Not me.

2011 brought My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking. Provoked by a question from his wife — “What about our kids?” — he took readers into his home. The recipes were short on cooking time, shorter on preservatives and junk food substitutes. This was, I said, a book for the way we live now. Well, perhaps more for the way we wished we lived rather than the way we want to cook.

And now we have “Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way.” As a storyteller, he’s gone on a diet; this book is only 4.4 pounds.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I received my copy of "Cooking from the Heart" last week and after spending the weekend reading it and cooking from it I have to say this is the best cookbook I've seen in years. The stories are inspiring and entertaining... In each chapter Besh includes a blunder he made while working under some of the best chefs in the world which shows how humble he is for being such an accomplished chef and how mistakes are part of learning.

I love the way he breaks down the chapters with some focusing on 1 ingredient like "A Leaf of Lettuce", "Mussel Madness in Marseille", and "Not Just a Potato"... Others chapters focus on themes of ingredients "Vegetable Love," "Lesson of the Hunt", "Leaving the Ocean to Fish" and "A Proper Bouillabaisse & More Soup Lessons". And the Dessert chapter is wonderful and includes a few recipes for "Pot de Creme"... one of my favorites!

At first, some of the recipes seemed intimidating and I wasn't sure if I could make them but after trying the Duck Confit and Saffron Crab Stew recipes I realized that while they may sound like fancy dishes you would order at a restaurant they were actually pretty easy to make. On top of that, the book is filled with beautiful photos of food and Besh in the cities/towns where he learned to be a chef (some old, some new).

Yes the book is filled with recipes and tips, but this is more than a just a cookbook, it's a book that teaches you life lessons. I know what I'm getting my foodie friends who love to cook and eat for Christmas!!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book rocks! October 30, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a fellow chef and cookbook lover I have to say this book rocks! Being a great chef is all about learning and never being satisfied. Chefs are both students and teachers, and this book really captures the essence of that. And the recipes are just awesome. I love that John doesn't water them down just to make them seem easy... He doesn't need to, because while these dishes may have "fancy" names, they are really simple to make. Amazing book by an amazing chef.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful European cooking! December 1, 2013
New Orleans celebrity chef, John Besh, has a stunning new book which celebrates the dishes and lessons he learned early in his career. Twenty years ago, already an established chef, Besh realized that he didn’t know as much as he wanted to. So the newlywed Besh and his wife traveled and cooked through Europe in the early 90s, working with wonderful mentor chefs from Germany and France.

For those of us also fortunate enough to realize that we don’t know enough about cooking, either, Besh shares the lessons and dishes he learned along the way. Its 140 recipes cover everything from soup to desserts, including numerous “serious” recipes viewed as emblematic of fine, traditional European cooking, with rustic touches throughout. While many recipes aren’t exactly simple, they are straightforward, and all look truly delicious. Note that some ingredients could be difficult to get in America (wild boar?), but there are plenty of recipes which are both quick and easy to buy and make, like the Concord Grape Clafoutis.

The book itself is large, beautiful, and lavishly photographed, and in full-color throughout. The page layouts are clever and lovely. The index and table of contents are exceptionally clear and detailed, and the various writings about Besh’s original journey, alongside his contemporary musings about those lessons, are interesting and well-written, as a personal history, travelogue, and well-informed commentary on foods prepared and presented with honesty and integrity. The book was produced and edited by the founding editor of Saveur magazine, and if you enjoy that, you’ll love Cooking from the Heart — a beautiful addition to any coffee table and kitchen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed in the recipes included
Disappointed in the recipes included. Lots of ingredients that are not readily available and overly complex procedures. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gary H. Labowitz
5.0 out of 5 stars love this chef
love his show and his cook book is beautiful
Published 1 month ago by TracyIN Alaska
5.0 out of 5 stars Besh Tells It From His Heart
Excellent! Great autobiography with a few recipes thrown in.
Published 1 month ago by karen blair
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great cook book by John Besh
Another great cook book by John Besh. I love his recipes and his style. We have made quite a few things from his books and have never been disappointed. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
best ever
Published 4 months ago by ibcheft
5.0 out of 5 stars Family food!!!!
This was a gift for my husband & he's doing more reading of this book than actually using the contents. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lea C.W.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Being from Louisiana originally I relate to John Besh's food. His recipes are dead on and easy to follow for fantastic results
Published 6 months ago by Darrell McKnight
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas gift
My wife has thoroughly loved John Besh's previous books, and this one is no different. Well, the recipes of course are!
Published 8 months ago by William LAmoreaux
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cook Book
Besh really gets down to what I would call "home cooking" with a lagniappe. His books have more to them than just recipes, which I love.
Published 9 months ago by Patrick M. Reily
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book
As usual, John Besh does not cut corners with his latest book. The photos are lovely, the stories detailed, and the recipes unique! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Rhonda Cowan
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