I hear he is a perfectionist and following his recipes is a learning experience
Any thoughts or experience with a Thomas Keller book would be appreciated..
I just purchased this off Amazon used for around $22 and received it a few days ago. I had school all weekend and work and won't have a day off until Tuesday so I haven't had much of a chance to go through it and try any of the recipes, though I busted out the dijon viniagrette at school for a poached salmon salad we made. I had my wife run through it and she is begging for the pot pie (just haven't had time to devote to the bechamel). I own French Laundry and have Bouchon coming soon here, and this is a much different beast. It is accessible to the home chef and the recipes are "homey." From what it looks like I will prepare many dishes from it, especially the duck. Just don't pay the 50 bucks they want at Borders, etc. get it used off Amazon. Just a tip, apparently Ruhlman started work on the Bouchon pastry cookbook, which I'm itching to be released.
Keller is a meticulous and a classic perfectionist, but his recipes are clearly presented, not that difficult to follow, and well-thought-out. I would strongly recommend any of his cookbooks, but especially Ad-Hoc at Home. I received it as part of a birthday gift last year and it's been well-used ever since.
I just scored a two-book, slipcased set of The French Laundry Cookbook and Ad Hoc at Home. It has a 1994 menu from The French Laundry in it- it may be autographed by Thomas Keller, but I can't really tell. The set was on sale at Barnes and Noble. Now for the kicker: I paid $24.95 for both books. Looks like I have some interesting reading ahead of me! But I'll have to wait: the books are very heavy, and I'm having carpal tunnel surgery this week. It'll be a while before I can even pick up one of the books!
I've purchased Ad Hoc and The French Laundry a little while ago. Enjoyed cooking from both books. As stated, Ad Hoc is more "home kitchen" friendly, but each book give little tidbits or light bulb ideas on how to do things. The most recent dish I prepared was the Lemon Sabayon - Pine Nut Tart with Honeyed Mascarpone Cream. This is a serious lemon tart. Lemon flavour that slaps you in the mouth, but is so light and airy. The pine nut crust is a play on the french almond crust. The pine nut flavour is very settle and the crust holds together nicely. I will make this again.
I've had the French Laundry cookbook for a while now. He autographed it for me in Napa at his restaurant while I was there.
I love his Maine lobster broth and I make the salmon tartar cones a lot for guests.
Sometimes I had to make the recipes several times in order for them to come out right. Patience, patience and more patience.
Hi all! I'm new here.. I want to get a Thomas Keller book. I am debating between Ad Hoc and Bouchon mainly, because I don't think I can tackle French Laundry just yet. I'm a better than average home cook and am very comfortable with meats, sauces, baking, etc. I have my own food blog. I love to entertain and present restaurant-quality dishes. I don't anticipate spending days making one recipe though. I was leaning more towards Bouchon just because I am pretty interested in learning more French dishes rather than homey American style dishes. I would be okay with getting Ad Hoc if the food has a wow factor (probably) and there are still some French influences.
Which book is your favorite TK cookbook? Why? Which would you recommend for me?
I have "Ad Hoc At Home" and I really think it's a beautiful book. I also love the tips and techniques in it. I don't use it too often because, while the book is geared toward a home cook, the recipes are ones that still take a good deal of time. With two small kids, time is not always something that I have! I still really enjoy it, and I'm glad that I own it. It helps that I got a GREAT deal on it - Ad Hoc, plus The French Laundry for $25 at Barnes and Noble! it was a steal.
I second that. The tart is, needless to say, a superb creation and fun to make. The whole book is a joy, and I consult it often, not just for recipes, but also for (as you note) insights into the cooking process.