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Coco: 10 World-Leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs Paperback – December 6, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'A perfect Christmas gift recommendation. Expensive enough to show you care but no expensive it hurts, beautiful enough to sit on the coffee table and a flattering present suggesting both giver and recipient are well-travelled gastronauts interested in keeping abreast of the international food scene. ... Buy another for yourself to plan your dinner dates before these boys get their Michelin stars and put their prices up' Sally Hughes, Books for Cooks, The Bookseller 'part recipe book, part foodie insiders' hot list and part global restaurant guide - so, great for both the coffee table and the kitchen table.' Easy Living 'Want to know the chefs' chefs are? Want a guide to the world's best restaurants and how to make those dishes? Coco [...] does the lot' Simon McFarland, Waitrose Food Illustrated

About the Author

Ferran Adria is recognized as the best chef in the world. His legendary talent, creativity and gastronomic innovations have inspired chefs and food-lovers around the world for many years, and make elBulli what it is today. Mario Batali, chef, television host, and writer, is the chef and owner of the Michelin-starred Babbo restaurant, and Del Posto, both in New York City; in 2002 he won the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef: New York City award and in 2005 the JBF awarded him Outstanding Chef of the Year. Shannon Bennett is the chef and owner of Melbourne's award-winning French restaurant, Vue du Monde, celebrated for its homage to classical French cuisine. Alain Ducasse is a famous chef from Monaco, where his 3-Michelin-starred Louis XV restaurant is celebrated for its expert preparation of seasonal ingredients, and Alain Ducasse restaurant at the Plaza Athenee in Paris earned 3 Michelin stars for its modern, authentic French cuisine. Fergus Henderson, famous British chef and cookbook author, founded the St John restaurant and St John Bread Wine to critical acclaim. He is perhaps most well known for his philosophy of "nose to tail eating," also the name of his first cookbook. Yoshihiro Murata is the third-generation chef and owner of the famed Kikunoi restaurant in Kyoto, where he has expanded the vision of traditional Kaiseki cuisine. His TV appearances and books, including the English edition of Kaiseki: The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto's Kikunoi Restaurant, have introduced this legendary, exquisitely refined cuisine to audiences worldwide. Gordon Ramsay is an internationally celebrated chef, television personality, and restaurateur. Awarded a total of 14 Michelin Stars, Ramsay is known for his innovative interpretations of classic British food at his eponymous London restaurant. Rene Redzepi is head chef and owner of the two-star Michelin sensation Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. Drawing on his own cultural heritage, he offers an inventive blend of Nordic and Macedonian cuisine with a distinctive emphasis on regional specialties such as musk ox and local seafood. Hailed as one of the most influential chefs on the international gastronomic scene, culinary wunderkind Redzepi, age 31, has re-invented the Nordic kitchen. Alice Waters founded Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., in 1971, and a food revolution was born. Serving a single fixed-price menu that changes daily, Chez Panisse serves only the highest quality seasonal products. One could argue that no single person has had a greater impact on American food. Alice is the author of eight books and has received numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian Award in 1997 and Bon Appetit magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Jacky Yu's restaurant Xi Yan, which opened in Hong Kong 2000, is one of the most coveted tables in the city. He has since opened three more restaurants in Hong Kong and one in Singapore, and with his own TV show and three bestselling cookbooks, Yu is China's most famous chef.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (December 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714859575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714859576
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One hundred star chefs provide recipes spread over a couple of pages each. This sounds like an awful idea; especially coupled with the binding and layout that tries to be exclusive, but feels a bit cheap. Howver, the book is actually quite interesting. The chefs are picked by superstar chefs so they are mostly up-and-coming people. When you start looking at the actual dishes presented, they look fresh and really cutting edge. I've had a few of these dishes in other restaurants so this is live diffusion of ideas!

Who should buy this book? Maybe other chefs, who want to copy of get inspiration. Maybe the travelling gourmet who want to know more about rising star chefs and where to eat. I give the book four stars only because a book like this isn't really essential to own and in a couple of years it will be dated. I guess it will serve very well as a time capsule of what was trendy in 2008.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Coco is something of an anomaly in the world of cookbooks, an enormous and beautifully produced work which could easily be described as a coffee table cookbook. Unlike other books I have seen which are produced specifically as coffee table books, with some recipes on the side, Coco is not light on content. The presentation highlights the chefs, restaurants, recipes, not the other way around.

It might not be quite accurate to call this a cookbook. Coco is a juried show of some of the finest young chefs, selected by some of the most innovative and storied chefs of our time. 100 chefs have been chosen by 10 masters. There is a 4 page spread on each which includes a biography and influences, a sample menu and shots of their restaurant, and recipes to prepare one meal. Unlike many restaurant cookbooks I have, none that I have seen so far is too complicated or exotic for the home chef.

It could also be viewed as something of a travel guide, or wish book. Would that it were possible to visit all of these restaurants. As one who hails from one of the culinary centers of the universe, now adrift mid-pacific for a good long time, it gives me view of what is going on around the world, places to look for and book in advance when I travel, and a taste of distant lands, and fresh flavors dreamed up by bright new minds.

When I bought this I was not quite sure if I would like it but had a back-up plan. My daughter has found her passion as a chef, having started down a completely different track. I thought that if I did not enjoy it, she surely would.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unlike the previous reviews I really feel that the 100 selected chefs in this book really represent the future "Adrias" "Ramseys" and "Ducasses" of the international food scene for the foreseeable future, many I'm sure, you will hear more and more about. The book is well laid out and a lot of recipes look and sound as if they could actually work, although some are hopelessly restaurant only (unless you have 15K to plop down on an ultrasonic infusion machine:) The choices of the chef panel is really eclectic and diverse, although the inclusion of some of the more lesser known Asian chefs on both the panel and the chosen chefs would only really be relevant and interesting to traditional Asian diners, I would personally liked it if they included more modernized Asian chefs like Yoshihiro Narisawa. It would have lent more relevance to the obviously modern slant most of the chosen represent in their cuisine. Not to slight in anyway traditional Asian cuisine which will always have a place. The same could be said about the more traditional choices by chefs like Alice Waters and Fergus Henderson. Just my opinion. Very inspirational for working chefs and a great feature of the immense talent that is coming out from all corners of the globe. The book is also a great deal considering it's content length and reasonable price. Though I find the Maypole like inclusion of bookmarks a little annoying. Two or three would have sufficed.
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Format: Hardcover
If you're not a working chef I don't know this book is particularly helpful. I turn to this book when I have a question in mind, it's the moment in recipe written where you ask, "yeah but how can I do that?" This is when this book comes into my everyday life. What makes this book the one I turn to first is that you are instantly exposed to the paradigms and techniques of so many chefs. It's not the world of one mind, this ups my chances for finding that nugget of knowledge I need. This book never sits on my shelf for long. Phaidon always puts out wonderful publications of heirloom quality, this one is no exception.
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Format: Paperback
I was so excited about this book, and tore through it tagging recipes I wanted to try out for an upcoming dinner party I was hosting. I had planned to use this one cookbook for entire party, usually about 10 courses. And I thought, wow, great idea to have 10 famous chefs select 10 young up and coming chefs, each of whom gets to provide a few recipes. Photos are good, text about each chef interesting. Problem, though, is that this is ultimately a cookbook. And a cookbook either has recipes that work, or it doesn't. This one doesn't.

I will be specific. I tried three. First up, the Miso Eggplant on page 45. Picture is of eggplant with deeply browned miso on top. Problem is that the recipe calls for cooking the eggplant and miso for one hour at 175F (80C). This is not going to brown anything. Ultimately, you have eggplant and some bland miso on top. Very weak dish. (also picture is missing the lamb that this recipe is supposed to highlight, one of many editing errors). Next up - Chocolate Ganache with Hazelnut Croquant, Sweet Onions and Rosemary on page 56. Picture shows cream-colored pillow of ganache with ground dried onions. Looks great. However, the ganache recipe is a standard dark chocolate, butter, eggs and cream mixture which of course comes out as a heavy dark blob. Hazelnut base also very weak. (Idea of ground dried onions was great, I will concede that.) One guest said it would make great dessert at one of those dining in the blind events, where the flavors are really good and the fact that it looks ugly matters less. Finally, I tried 62 degree (C) egg on page 84. This calls for something very precise - sous vide egg at exactly 190 degrees for exactly 24 minutes. I did this, to the second.
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