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Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way Hardcover – October 29, 2013
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"a lavish and handsome picture book that's more or less a biography of where Besh, the charismatic former Marine, trained and traveled before establishing his several restaurants in New Orleans, particularly the German Black Forest and Provence." (Corby Kummer, The Atlantic)
"By turning to Cooking From the Heart the adventurous among us will be encouraged to cook like a pro-and learn a few things along the way too!" (Diane Hodges, Cookbook Digest)
"There's a gorgeous rusticity and lustiness to recipes ... that speak to his Cajun sensibilities."
"behind each dish there are also well-honed haute techniques, which Besh passes on in carefully photographed step-by-steps for making classics..."
"...the book is a sophisticated crowd-pleaser"new york time (Betsy Andrews, Saveur)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!!!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am not criticizing the author, it has recipes I would never prepare; too sophisticated and not my kind of CookbookPublished 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
Gave this as a gift to my mom and she loves it. Guess I'll have to borrow it one day. Thanks.Published 2 months ago by cynthia schatz
I love John Besh's cookbooks. This has beautiful photos, and great stories. Oh, and lots of yummy recipes.Published 5 months ago by S. Franke
Easy to follow. Most receipe ingredients easily located in North Carolina, others are available locally to the author. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Tony Marie
Love it. Bought it because I liked so many of his recipes on PBS. His recipes do not disappoint and are not too difficult or time consuming for the average home cook.Published 9 months ago by Gail J. Beutler