Customer Review

82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Exciting Cookbook of The Big Easy, September 25, 2009
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This review is from: My New Orleans: The Cookbook (Hardcover)
My cookbook collection is now easily swelling towards and maybe even above 400 now. Out of all of them it is fun every now and then to reflect on say, the Top 25. This new offering from Besh makes that list, possibly even climbing into the coveted Top 10. Requirements, you ask? Must be unique, well thought out, with specific viewpoint of cooking expressed and followed through, good layout, writing, photos, and oh, yes: great recipe collection!

Besh meets this criteria well. What this reviewer really enjoys is the fine prose which speaks of his heart and passion for New Orleans cooking which he has grown up with and matured and developed. His wanting to be sustaining restaurants is an extension and promotion as he has entered into ventures raising his own pigs, helping local suppliers provide what is needed by such gourmet chefs, e.g. great story on the Creole Tomato Supplier. The format is large and photos are wonderful, with small historical B&W vingettes scattered throughout. This makes for great kitchen usage, as it stays open from its size and well chosen luxurious paper stock. This is not your coffee table type cookbook intended, but get it in the kitchen and put it to work.

I sometimes enter gourmet phases and stay there for awhile, e.g. my Crepes phase, or my Tapas phase of late, or an ingredient phase such as my fascination with Pears. This offering from the Big Easy has certainly propelled me on a New Orleans phase, which not even Emeril's fine offerings has. First B.E. venture was Crabmeat and Frog Etouffee (with Lou. frog legs flown in fresh), a Grilled Watermelon, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad; Smoked Pork Shoulder with Purple Plum Glaze; then polished off with wonderful but Old-Fashioned Blackberry Double-Crusted Blackberry Pie. Guests were in high praise mode after this!

His organization is by ingredient/season pairing, along with celebrations such as Mardi Gras or Thanksgiving or Reveillion. Over 200 recipes in this collection along with Sources recommendations and great sidebars throughout. This is fine, large effort which will reward the cook looking to get in soul of one of New Orleans finest dedicated to preserving and extending its fine cuisine to us. For Besh of almost Iron Chef status: he has given us Iron Chef quality cookbook to battle with in our own foodie competitions and home dining environs.

A must have in all the many offerings that our hitting the streets.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 25, 2009 11:27:34 AM PDT
Excellent review- well thought out and expressed, and gives us an idea of who's doing the cooking (which can be just as important in determining whether a cookbook is right, since no chef/cook has the exact same tastes.) I'll have to give this cookbook a shot, despite already having a good reference of Cajun/Creole material.

Out of curiosity, what else would you put in your top 10 cookbooks?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2009 8:57:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2009 9:05:48 AM PDT
rodboomboom says:
Thanks for kind words. Of course, the Top Ten is always in flux for me, but right now, in no particular order: "Red Sage" and "Tacos" by Mark Miller; "Le Bernardin Cookbook" by Eric Rupert; "All About Braising" by Molly Stevens; "French Laundry Cookbook" by Thomas Keller; "Salad Days" and "Death by Chocolate Cakes" by Marcel Desaulniers; "New Basics Cookbook" by Rosso and Lukins; "Black Forest Cuisine" by Walter Staib; "Cooking with Patrick Clark" ed. by Charlie Trotter.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2010 3:28:52 PM PDT
Thanks for the very helpful review. Just wondering, I'm an amateur in the kitchen, so would this be a good cookbook to help me get started in cooking. Are certain techniques that are used specifically explained? If not, would you be able to recommend a few good books to get me started on gourmet cooking

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2010 3:29:16 PM PDT
Thanks for the very helpful review. Just wondering, I'm an amateur in the kitchen, so would this be a good cookbook to help me get started in cooking. Are certain techniques that are used specifically explained? If not, would you be able to recommend a few good books to get me started on gourmet cooking

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2010 8:18:46 AM PDT
rodboomboom says:
Sahil:

No, I just looked at this cookbook, and it is likely not the place to start. Recommend two of my favorites, 'New Basics Cookbook" by Rosso and Lukins," and "The Essentials of Cooking" by Peterson. Either or both of these two will give you an enormous advantage when tackling more advanced recipes like Besh's. Bon Appetit!

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 8:38:51 PM PDT
Love-bob says:
Over the past few years I have picked up several "NOLA" cookbooks. John Folse, Susan Spicer, Emeril, and several other authors who you have not heard of. John Besh's cookbook is a very nice addition to this collection. I just love to read and look at the pictures. But a cookbook is about recipes and being able at home (or in a more professional setting) to re-create the food that the author has brought to you.

I decided to try an entire dinner based just on this cookbook. Frankly with all of the recipes it was difficult to cut the meal down to a reasonable number of courses that were of a reasonable serving size. But after maybe an hour or so I selected several recipes to try. Then headed to the market and to the wine shop to bring the recipes together. Overall most of the supplies were easy to purchase except that the amount of crab meat that Besh uses will set your budget into free fall. So I just had one dish with crab meat. One dish with shrimp. One dish with oysters (sorry to say they were not fresh but still the quality was good). And of course the dessert was a bread pudding. Even purchased New Orleans Blend Community Coffee. And made sure to have bitters on hand for the cocktails. All I can say is wow... first time out with 7 guests with new recipes ... what a success. Yes we did enjoy the cocktails. Yes we did enjoy wine with each course. And every one had a great time. But it was near the end of the evening that it all came together. Again a big WOW for this cookbook.

Yes do consider the John Folse cookbooks, and try Susan Spicer's cookbook for a different take on NOLA cooking, but DO purchase this cookbook. And when you are not using it, put it on your coffee table. The pictures and stories are that good.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2013 7:13:40 PM PST
Bea L says:
These cookbooks are marked as signed are they? Do you know who I can ask? I know John so maybe I should go to the source??
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rodboomboom
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Location: St. Louis, Missouri United States

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