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Showing 1-10 of 88 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 128 reviews
on November 19, 2015
This is definitely my go-to book for impressive recipes. It’s typical french bistro cuisine but the level of difficulty and exactness is what makes each dish outstanding. These are familiar french dishes with full Thomas Keller level attention to detail. If you’re expecting something easier than his French Laundry cookbook, you won’t get that. Try the french onion soup. It’s absolutely the best version you will find.
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on March 7, 2013
This book is beautifully illustrated and has a wide variety of recipes to choose from. Each recipe has a little background info/history which is a nice intro into why the dish is made the way it is, why it tastes better cooking it a certain way, etc. i found the instructions very easy to follow and there is a great reference section in the back that tells you were to get some of the more obscure cooking utensils that are used. I would definitely recommend this to everyone!
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on March 19, 2006
This is a wonderful book full of insightful and inspiring text and pictures of Thomas Keller's realm of bistro fare. More than just a cookbook, Keller shares the why's and how's of many classic cooking techniques. Bouchon is not for anyone looking for a simple set of recipe's for weeknight cooking but rather more serious culinarians or those who want to take the time to experience a higher level of culinary excellence. Some of the ingredients may not be readily available to the casual cook. Many of the recipe's have sub-recipe's and advance techniques. Keller does a great job of explaining many of the techniques so you shouldn't feel daunted if you want to dive right in. There is a good section on basics and a section on sources. Beautiful photography and nicely bound.
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Expectations for Thomas Keller's new book `Bouchon' are very high, and I firmly believe he has exceeded them. The book sets new standards for the foodie coffee table fare as well as confirming Keller's reputation as one of the country's foremost culinary artists. The book is larger, heavier, and better than his first cookbook on the cuisine of his flagship French Laundry. There are several things that make this an excellent book for all people who love to cook.

First, the book is a superior reference work of bistro dishes and how to prepare them. It is certainly not complete, but then I think no cookbook in the world will ever be a complete reference to any subject, as every culinary subject changes daily due to changes in provisions, historical research, and the enormous variety in how even one dish is made from place to place. For example, both `Bouchon' and Tony Bourdain's recent book on bistro recipes from Les Halle has five (5) dishes containing mussels, yet no two are the same dish. For all of the virtues of Bourdain's book, Keller's book is superior as a reference to the overall style of cooking if only because he and his editors rigorously give both French and English names to all dishes.

Second, as amazing as it is to say this, lots of dishes in `Bouchon' are actually easy to make. The initial roast chicken recipe is literally not much more complicated than carefully prepping the carcass and sticking it into the oven. Keller does not even baste the beast and it is done within an hour (for a 3-pound bird). And, all this with the cachet of making a Thomas Keller recipe. Almost all the salads and `openers' dishes are equally as simple, as long as you have high quality ingredients.

Third, the pantry chapter of recipes is a more complete reference for making stocks and other sauce bases than I have seen anywhere else. My former gold standard for stockmaking recipes was in `The Zuni Café Cookbook' by Judy Rodgers. This is better by giving recipes that are just as good, better written, and a more complete collection of stocks than I have seen anywhere else. The only thing I would possibly add to this chapter would be a recipe for a court bouillon. But, the recipe does appear in the book as a part of the recipe for a shellfish platter. Other sauces such as a mignonette sauce and a cocktail sauce also appear `in situ' along with appropriate dishes with which they are used.

Fourth, the book is simply packed with important culinary techniques. Most of these are not the sort of thing which will find their way to the quick tips pages of `Cooks Illustrated' or `Gourmet' as they are not shortcuts, but more painstaking ways to improve what is probably already an excellent dish. One dramatic example is Keller's twist on braising where he segregates his flavoring vegetables at the bottom of the Dutch oven under a layer of cheesecloth before adding the meat and the broth. In this way, it becomes very easy to remove the finished meat from the veg and retrieve the broth with little or no odd floating bits of celery leaf or thyme branch. A more simple technique is the recommendation to transfer finished stock to the filtering device with a ladle rather than simply pouring the stuff into the chinois. The force of the uncontrolled flow will force some unwanted particles into the filtered stock. It is all about little details piled up upon one another, which separates good from great cooking.

Fifth, Keller's interpretation of bistro cooking is uncompromising. One dramatic example of this is his claim that America has forgotten how to make a proper quiche, if it ever did know in the first place. The cardinal sin is to make a quiche in a pie pan. This is no surprise, as Julia Child in `Mastering the Art of French Cooking' gives the same warning. What is more surprising is that while most Americans probably use a tart pan with sides of no more than an inch and Child recommends a flan or cake pan with sides up to 11/2 inches, Keller states that you need a 2 inch tall pan to make a proper quiche. A more subtle difference is in his technique for preparing his pate brisee. Virtually every pie crust recipes I have ever seen calls for cutting in butter to leave lentil-sized bits of butter in the mix. Keller insists this is a mistake for a quiche with a wet custard filling, as the pockets of butter create weaknesses in the dough that may break through before the custard filling has firmed up.

Although the book contains many simple recipes, there are also many classic recipes such as boeuf bourguignon, which are literally essays in classic French cooking. Tony Bourdain's recipe for boeuf bourguignon requires 10 ingredients and two concise paragraphs to describe the method. Keller's recipe calls for 43 ingredients in 5 different component preparations, not including the veal stock preparation. This recipe is the poster boy for Keller's take on bistro cooking, which is technique and constant refinement by filtering, skimming, and straining. While the authors have been painstaking in translating the professional's practiced eye and nose into English, this cooking is still about constant attention to the state of the dish as it cooks, and of recognizing the right time to move from one stage to the other. It is this dish where if Bourdain did it at the French Laundry his way, he would be fired on the spot.

This book is so large that it will probably be unwieldy to cook from in the kitchen. Open, it is large than two of my cutting boards together. Still, I cannot overstate how valuable this book is to someone who loves to cook and to read about cooking.

Very highly recommended.
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on April 30, 2017
thank you
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on July 18, 2013
Keller's versions of French bistro classics are elaborate and time-consuming to prepare, but the extra steps and time create outstanding results, differences you can taste. Serious cooks who love French dishes and take the time for these recipes will be glad they did. ADDENDUM: I've tried many more recipes from this book since buying it a year ago. It has revitalized my interest in bistro classics, and changed my kitchen a bit; for example, I always have garlic confit on hand now. This is a GREAT and BEAUTIFUL cookbook.
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on April 23, 2014
… not least of all how to roast the perfect chicken… It's so much easier than any other recipe you'll find. Also how to dress a salad properly. Best beet salad (although I do add chèvre). The recipes can be a little involved (with the exception of that roasted chicken that is nearly the first recipe in the book), but I enjoy the lesson. It's just a lot of fun to cook from this book. It's super inspiring. If nothing else, it's a great read. But I betcha can't stay out of the kitchen afterward.
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on February 18, 2013
I love this cookbook. I have probably made 30 recipes from it and they are uniformly good. The crepes, roast chicken, quiche, lemon tart and the ice cream have made it into regular rotation. I consider this book, along with Keller's equally excellent Ad Hoc to be one of the best cookbooks available.
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on July 23, 2014
Big and beautifully. This cook book has it all. And, if you adding to you Tomas Keller collection, it matches the same size as his other books. The recipes in here are fantastic and hard to beat. Plan ahead on all of these, as sourcing ingredients and mastering the techniques takes a long time in most cases. Great for any foodie cookie.
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on May 2, 2017
Have tried several recipes from this cookbook and I love it! And I love the restaurant!
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