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Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate Hardcover – February 26, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Southern cooking isn’t what it used to be. Although the cuisine of the American South has become fashionable all across the nation, its evolution in the past several decades has taken it a good distance from its roots. At his Spence restaurant in Atlanta, celebrity chef Blais combines tradition with postmodern technique for spectacular results, and now he offers his recipes for home kitchens. The first hint that the cookbook’s title imperative may prove no small challenge comes right up front in Blais’ equipment inventory, a list calling for a siphon, a sous-vide cooker, and a smoking gun. Since few home kitchens have access to such tools, Blais’ fans may need to consider the book’s more accessible recipes, such as quail potpie, pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe, and lamb shanks braised in root beer. The spiky-coiffed chef also shares his formula for his remarkable hair gel: duck fat and liquid nitrogen. --Mark Knoblauch

Review

“The most innovative chef on Top Chef, Richard Blais brings us creative, thought-provoking recipes for the home cook. Let him make you look like a rock star.”
—GRANT ACHATZ
 
“Luckily for the rest of us, Richard didn’t heed his mom, nor does he plan to cease playing with his food any time soon.  And now, in Try This at Home, he has managed to cleanly and clearly break down his process so that you can have a good time trying out some of his methods in your own kitchen.  This is a cookbook from a serious chef who knows how to make fun of himself and lighten up the whole process.  Cooking need not be an overly complicated, overwrought process with eighteen ingredients and fourteen pans.  Though you can try using a good iSi siphon and a smoking gun (not that kind of smoking gun).  And occasionally some nitrous oxide.  Oh, and good ingredients, of course.  Plus a spirit of fun.  You have the cookbook.  Now, as your mother would say, “go play!”
—from the foreword by TOM COLICCHIO

“Of all the contestants on Top Chef, Richard Blais was easily the most fascinating to watch. His food pays solid respect to the past while looking fearlessly to the future. Try This at Home takes Richard’s years of thinking, experimenting, trying and failing, and trying and succeeding, and brings it all home in thrilling and decidedly useful ways. This is the fast, accessible route to looking like a genius at your next dinner.”
—ANTHONY BOURDAIN

“I've known Richard for a long time now and his cooking has always been a huge inspiration. Try This at Home totally captures his creativity, his talent, and his awesome sense of humor.”
—SEAN BROCK

“I’ve been rooting for Richard Blais since his first season on Top Chef and always wondered, How’d he do that? Now I finally have the answers . . . and I will definitely try these recipes at home!”
—ZOOEY DESCHANEL

“Richard has created a book that I wish I had written—a book that will inspire not only professionals to look at food technique and flavor in a different way, but that any casual cook can work out of each and every day. For a guy who’s not even Jewish to teach me about better brisket was a welcome miracle, and the potato chip omelet shouldn’t be dismissed as gimmickry. We make it every week now in our house! Richard’s genuine passion as a chef, innovator, and artist comes shining through, but his influence as a father and husband makes this book truly special. Try This at Home is a must for anyone who enjoys cooking.”
—ANDREW ZIMMERN
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030798527X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307985279
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Butterworth on February 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great introduction into the more unusual methods and ideas of cooking. Richard Blais has included wonderful home recipes with so much flavor, you'd think you were eating at a restaurant built in your own kitchen. A fair warning to all those who saw him on Top Chef and were inspired to learn to cook: This book is written by a man who loves and understands cooking, and he assumes you do too.

While very few of the recipes in this book require fancy equipment (which he gave a great list of things to buy, but not where to find them), the most frustrating part of this book might be the unusual ingredients he uses. For new chefs who aren't used to driving all over town to find one specific spice (Espelette pepper, or tandoori spice for example), many of the recipes can seem frustrating simply from looking for everything! In addition, almost every main recipe calls for one of his "Pantry Arsenal" recipes, making the intended recipe take much longer than a new chef might expect. And finally, not every recipe is perfectly clear on the method of preparation. I've noticed a few recipes seem to gloss over necessary steps or ingredients, and how to use them. A major one that's obvious to anyone opening the book is the recipe for Charred Artichokes. While the recipe is called, and certainly shows a picture of charred 'chokes, the recipe mentions nothing about their preparation except for steaming! Grills or ovens aren't even mentioned.

Negatives aside, for the cook who knows what they're doing, the recipes are fairly straight forward. With a few steps simplified for the sake of saving time and space, anyone who's already familiar with their kitchen will have no problem with this book.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Pasternak on February 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just got this book in the mail, I pre-ordered it because of my love for Richard Blais, and I have to say this is one of the best cookbooks I own. These recipes make you look at your kitchen in an entirely different way. He gives you recipes that you already know or have always wanted to try and elevates them with "2.0 versions" that are super exciting. From the everything bagel vinaigrette to a whole section on pickling (yay!) to mustard caviar and parmesan cheesecake I am so excited to try everything in this book. Once again Richard Blais has blown my mind!

You must buy this book!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ScottF on March 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My new favorite cookbook!

This book moves from my coffee table to the kitchen. There are beautiful photos throughout, and the book itself is a great read. As you would imagine, Richard's warm and clever personality comes through on every page, through fun photos and witty descriptive stories. I smiled at every anecdote about his kitchen, his cooking, and his kids. This is the first cookbook that I actually sat down and read through, cover to cover, before venturing into the kitchen. When it is on my coffee table all of my friends immediately pick it up and begin flipping through it.

On the other hand, the kitchen is where I really need it: I've already begun experimenting with Richard's creative tips. His recipes do two things that I love: First they allow me to take some comfortable trusty old favorites, but then spruce them up with some creative new ideas! They also give me a chance to try something totally new that I have never even thought about. Either way every time I cook with it I impress my family and friends.

Try this at Home is fun to read and to cook with. It is a must for every cook and foodie out there. Richard's book is my new go to gift! I have already ordered several for friends.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lizzie on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great basics recipes with a twist. Excellent modification, cooking, and general kitchen tips. Book's focus on creativity produces some amazing flavors and presentations. Only drawback is repeated (though appropriate) reference to an expensive appliance for slow cooking. I'd suggest modifying away, unless you're willing to invest in that machine. Otherwise, altogether book and recipe are a pleasure.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Katherine on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Modern techniques as well as emphasis on good ingredients. A lot of new information and interesting stories and photos as well ! Atlanta Chef Richard Blais has written a truly unusual book-but in the best possible way !
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on March 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Chef Blais' wit and imagination come through on every page of his first book. But all of his innovative recipes are based on his strong foundation of culinary tradition. He jazzes up everyday recipes we all know in a unique style that is all his own. Macaroni and headcheese, anyone? From start to finish it is an enjoyable read. The pictures of food and fellow chefs in action are awesome and really jump off the page. The book covers everything from his most essential spices to fab desserts sure to please everyone around the table. I now have four cookbooks in my collection and have a feeling the others won't be seeing the light of day for quite a while. Try This at Home is a must for everyone who enjoys making magic happe in the kitchen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Woody3 on June 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
What's enjoyable for myself was RB allowing you into his kitchen, his thought process, his resources(eg where he can locate/buy some of the not so common spices...). For me, a beginner level cook - this is GOOD stuff! The material I've read so far is both entertaining and informative...not just one rote recipe after another. The photographs are plentiful and ingredients are mostly geared for the laymen. Its a keeper
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