on December 28, 2011
Having had the rare pleasure of dining at Melisse, I had to have this cookbook. I may never tackle an entire recipe, but the attention to detail and incredibly faithful recipes would certainly make it possible for me to recreate some of the incredible flavors, textures, and beautiful presentations I devoured over the course of that five-hour slice of heaven. A good chef makes dishes that leave you stunned; a great chef is willing to share exactly how to make them yourself and to marvel at the exquisite ingredients, impeccable technique, and multi-step processes that go into each bite-sized morsel. Will a home chef ever be able to match a ten-course tasting menu? No, not without a small staff and a very large kitchen. But from this book, can a home chef learn the essential cuts, and how to make a perfect stock, and how to select fresh ingredients, how to combine them all in a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime meal? I can sincerely say the answer is "Yes." This cookbook is beautiful, informative, instructional, and gives a rare glimpse behind the scenes into one of the finest kitchens in North America. Highly, highly recommended.
on January 3, 2012
Mélisse in Santa Monica is one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. The food and service is always incredible and when I found out that the chef released a cook book I decided to buy a few as Christmas gifts. I had no idea at the time just how functional this book would be. It looks amazing and is loaded with tons of great pictures and that is what initially drew me to buy it. Since then I have actually used the book with stunning results. The recipes I've attempted have actually came out really well. I don't cook much at all so I wasn't expecting to be able to create these dishes. I've amazed myself and wife over the last few weeks and can't believe the dishes I've created. We're looking forward to our first get together with friends in which I will be the one cooking (first time, excluding BBQ burgers). I'm going to prepare a four course dinner from this book and have discovered a newfound passion in cooking. The lessons I've learned about produce, seasonal shopping, cheese, and cooking methods alone where well worth the purchase. I highly recommend this to seasoned chefs as well as amateurs such as myself.
on December 5, 2011
Chef Josiah Citrin is one of L.A.'s most respected chefs. I've had the pleasure of eating at his famed Melisse restaurant and am just thrilled that I can now make some of his dishes at home with "In Pursuit of Excellence". The recipes and instructions are clear (helpful to a home cook like myself), and the photos are STUNNING! I'm starting with his "Egg Caviar" with cauliflower mousseline and lemon-chive creme fraiche on page 34.
on February 3, 2012
Beautifully illustrated and informative, Chef Josiah Citrin pulls back the curtain and gives you a virtual tour of not only the ingredients but also the passion that goes into many of the dishes featured at his two star Michelin restaurant Melisse. I particularly enjoyed the format that includes the backstory of Chef Citrin's training, the meticulous selecting of local ingredients at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market and the preparation of the dishes themselves. Even if you never had the pleasure of dining like royalty at Melisse, I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who views food as a religion. Now, off to my kitchen to duplicate the magic....
on February 18, 2012
wonderful illustrations - I love that the dedication to the family actually seems like a real dedication with the group sitting around the table for a meal,
lots of weird and exotic ingredients. lots of things I wouldn't personally use but can substitute for.
many non veggie dishes. the deserts look to die for. Many of the ingredients look expensive - quality rather than quantity. This book is wonderful for special meals when the intent is to splurge.
anyway, we're going shopping for ingredients -and expect to spend a lot of tomorrow cooking - totally yummy looking.
The book is quite heavy, but well made and I think it will be a keeper for many years
on March 26, 2014
An absolutely inspirational read. Probably not the most interesting read for the so called "foodie", but professionals will find this book an absolute inspiration. The pictures are amazing, the dishes are intriguing. A MASTERPIECE. My collection includes hundreds of cook books, from recipes to inspirational, food philosophy to biographies.... this one truly is a standout. The only issue I had was the time it took for the seller to send the book, I waited almost 2.5 months. Upside was the price I paid for it.