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Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking Hardcover – September 23, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
A celebrity with a high-profile position as executive chef at New York bistro Les Halles, and bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour, Bourdain doesn't intend to break new ground. The dishes do exactly as the subtitle notes and include such solid classic fare as Onion Soup Les Halles, Steak au Poivre, Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin and Chocolate Mousse. Nearly all recipes are within reach of competent home cooks, and those that are more complicated or time-consuming—Bouillabaisse, Cassoulet and Roulade of Wild Pheasant—are thoroughly spelled out to calm most jitters. Foie gras, duck fat and dark veal stock are frequent components, but a list of suppliers makes just about every ingredient available. Even though many of the dishes can be found in other cookbooks, what sets this one apart is Bourdain's signature wise-ass attitude that pervades nearly every recipe, explanatory note and chapter introduction. Profanity adds frequent color. If Aunt Doris would blanche at pearl onions being called "little fuckers," a cook who prefers boneless meat in Daube Provençal a "poor deluded bastard," or a person nervous about making these recipes a "dipshit," this book is not for her. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Bourdain shows himself to be one of the country's best food writers. His opinions are as strong as his language, and his tastes as infectious as his joy."
"Bourdain shows himself to be one of the country''s best food writers. His opinions are as strong as his language, and his tastes as infectious as his joy."
"Anthony Bourdain''s Les Halles Cookbook joins the classic French cookbooks on my shelf, and shames every would-be ''bistro bible''. Nobody else writes with such respect for real food." -- Mario Batali
"Don''t be misled by Anthony Bourdain''s witty, irreverent style. His Les Halles Cookbook is solid, smart, and informative, and his recipes are bona fide bistro fareAn instant classic." -- Jacques Ppin
"Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook joins the classic French cookbooks on my shelf, and shames every would-be 'bistro bible'. Nobody else writes with such respect for real food."--Mario Batali
"Anyone serious about their cooking will want to own Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. It has an enormous amount of vital information presented in Bourdain's pungent, abrasive, and memorable writing style."--Jim Harrison
"This is a great cookbook! Anthony Bourdain directs you brilliantly through delicious recipes, with explanations that are crystal clear."--Eric Ripert
"Don't be misled by Anthony Bourdain's witty, irreverent style. His Les Halles Cookbook is solid, smart, and informative, and his recipes are bona fide bistro fare An instant classic."--Jacques Pepin"
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Top customer reviews
I love that, where relevant, he provides newbies with just the right thing to say to a good butcher to get the right product. The instructions are brusque, clear, and sometimes quite entertaining.
Les Halles, and Andy Richter's Pok Pok are the jewels of my (small) cookbook collection.
If you only know Tony from No Reservations, than you might be missing out on the fact that Tony is a pretty damned good writer. One of his most popular titles was Kitchen Confidential, which was really a biography about his life in the restaurant biz. But he also writes fiction novels, like Gone Bamboo, which is this convoluted novel about mafia gangs and hitmen.
The book Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking is more classic Tony. He writes a few chapers in the beginning of the book in his typical style and then again at the beginning of the chapters, but the rest is truly a cook book. The reason I even bought this book was because I saw an episode of No Reservations where Tony was at Les Halles showing us basic techniques, and during that episode, he made Beef Bourguignon. I decided to make it myself and so I found the recipe on the internet at a web log, and they made mention of this book. So naturally I went right out and bought it. I have so far done a few recipes from the book and plan to do more. The recipes are not rocket science, but require a lot of prep and patience...attention to detail.
So get yourself a copy and enjoy Tony's biting humor and some good cooking, and make sure to make the Beef Bourguignon, it is awesome, eat it with a fresh Baguette and a pint of good beer.
What I'm saying is that if you thought you had to bake it or fry it, welcome to my new world where there are untold ways to create tender meats dripping juices into a variety of tender vegetables...did I know I liked turnips? well I can say that heck yes I found out that I did.
Many of the recipes can be created in under an hour, like a restaurant would have to. Tony sounds berating about the mise en place but it really does cut the cooking time and raises your wine sipping enjoyment. Some dishes have day ahead prep involved, not a big deal if you plan your meals out and totally worth it...and I really didn't know how easy it was to make my own stock. Every hunk of bones I have now goes into the pot to simmer till bedtime. Planted my own thyme today so I have a never ending supply of bouquet garni.
and to those who worry like I did that I DONT have a gas range, I DONT cook everything in heavy bottomed commercial pots, I don't have someone to do all of my prep and I DONT have access to all of the ingredients listed (Tony gives excellent substitutes)...all I can say is not to worry, at the very least you're going to learn 10 new ways to cook meats and one pot sensations...and that's only if you give up after the first 10.