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Thomas Keller, chef/proprieter of Napa Valley's French Laundry, is passionate about bistro cooking. He believes fervently that the real art of cooking lies in elevating to excellence the simplest ingredients; that bistro cooking embodies at once a culinary ethos of generosity, economy, and simplicity; that the techniques at its foundation are profound, and the recipes at its heart have a powerful ability to nourish and please.

So enamored is he of this older, more casual type of cooking that he opened the restaurant Bouchon, right next door to the French Laundry, so he could satisfy a craving for a perfectly made quiche, or a gratinéed onion soup, or a simple but irresistible roasted chicken. Now Bouchon, the cookbook, embodies this cuisine in all its sublime simplicity.

But let's begin at the real beginning. For Keller, great cooking is all about the virtue of process and attention to detail. Even in the humblest dish, the extra thought is evident, which is why this food tastes so amazing: The onions for the onion soup are caramelized for five hours; lamb cheeks are used for the navarin; basic but essential refinements every step of the way make for the cleanest flavors, the brightest vegetables, the perfect balance—whether of fat to acid for a vinaigrette, of egg to liquid for a custard, of salt to meat for a duck confit.

Because versatility as a cook is achieved through learning foundations, Keller and Bouchon executive chef Jeff Cerciello illuminate all the key points of technique along the way: how a two-inch ring makes for a perfect quiche; how to recognize the right hazelnut brown for a brown butter sauce; how far to caramelize sugar for different uses.

But learning and refinement aside—oh those recipes! Steamed mussels with saffron, bourride, trout grenobloise with its parsley, lemon, and croutons; steak frites, beef bourguignon, chicken in the pot—all exquisitely crafted. And those immortal desserts: the tarte Tatin, the chocolate mousse, the lemon tart, the profiteroles with chocolate sauce. In Bouchon, you get to experience them in impeccably realized form.

This is a book to cherish, with its alluring mix of recipes and the author's knowledge, warmth, and wit: "I find this a hopeful time for the pig," says Keller about our yearning for the flavor that has been bred out of pork. So let your imagination transport you back to the burnished warmth of an old-fashioned French bistro, pull up a stool to the zinc bar or slide into a banquette, and treat yourself to truly great preparations that have not just withstood the vagaries of fashion, but have improved with time. Welcome to Bouchon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781579652395
Publisher: Artisan
Publication date: 11/15/2004
Series: Thomas Keller Library Series
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 463,451
Product dimensions: 11.31(w) x 11.31(h) x 1.31(d)

About the Author

Jeffrey Cerciello has cooked with Thomas Keller for ten years, first at the French Laundry and since 1998 as executive chef of Bouchon in Yountville, California. Cerciello opened the second Bouchon in Las Vegas, at The Venetian Hotel-Resort-Casino, in spring 2004. He lives in Napa with his wife and two daughters.

Susie Heller, executive producer of PBS’s Chef Story, has produced award-winning television cooking series and co-authored numerous award-winning books, among them The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller and Bouchon by Thomas Keller and Jeffrey Cerciello. She lives in Napa, California.

Thomas Keller, author of The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon, Under Pressure, Ad Hoc at Home, and Bouchon Bakery, has five restaurants and five bakeries in the United States. He is the first and only American chef to have two Michelin Guide three-star-rated restaurants, the French Laundry and Per Se, both of which continue to rank among the best restaurants in America and the world. In 2011 he was designated a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, the first American male chef to be so honored. That same year, he launched Cup4Cup, the first gluten-free flour that replaces traditional all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour in any recipe, cup for cup, such that you’d never know the difference. In 2017, as part of the Ment’or BKB Foundation, established with chefs Jérôme Bocuse and Daniel Boulud, Keller led Team USA to win the Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France, for the first time ever.

Deborah Jones's recent honors include Best Photography in a Cookbook from the James Beard Foundation for her work in Bouchon. A frequent contributor to national magazines, she conducts a parallel commercial career from her San Francisco studio.

Michael Ruhlman is the author of The Elements of Cooking, The Soul of a Chef, and The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America, among others.

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Bouchon 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
readmehappy More than 1 year ago
Bouchon reminds me of all the new food I saw when my family visited Paris in the 90's. It unlocks the mystery of the dizzying dishes... and from the authors note keeps the form and content true to the origins of French bistros. I love this book's format and large size and even love reading the recipes learning so much from each page. (usually i just go for the ingredients and dive in glancing at boring instructions) But here in Bouchon the delicacies of cooking are interesting and personal. For people like me who don't have much time this was a nice reason to take a moment and read. : ) ps first book review ever.
jrkp More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon Bouchon Bakery on a trip to New York. I went there every day when I was there. I did not know it was a well-known restaurant. When I saw this book, I had to have it. The photos are lovely and the quality of the pages is very nice. It is an attractive book for the kitchen counter/shelf. Some of the recipes are complicated, but the details for preparation are complete. Good work, Thomas Keller. If only I could get pain de epi here in Houston!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Haute cuisine has been fractured for some time: ethnic versus American, nouvelle vesus classical, fun versus fancy. Too, there's the East Coast versus West Coast thing; are you a driven arrogant Type One 'I'm from the center of the universe' New Yorker or a laid-back, ex-hippie, lotus-eating, ex-dot-com'r Californian? Chef Keller, remember, is a little bit of both. His reputation was sealed with Napa's 'French Laundry', and the book from that restaurant (ghosted by Ruhlman) is undoubtedly the gold standard for superstar chef cookbooks. Before he went to California though, Keller apprenticed in the Hudson River Valley, and that's where, before France, before California, he learned about butchering, artisanal ingredients, offal, foie gras. His cooking is typically more than a bit Platonic or meditative, reaching for an essence or distillation, going far beyond the ordinary. Here though, thankfully, he's taking a step backwards, for the rest of us to catch up. His purpose is almost evangelical, to preach a gospel, that Good Food is not something 'special' or out-of-the-ordinary or reserved for holidays, but should be something enjoyed everyday as a matter of course. In the Lord's Prayer we are supposed to ask and give thanks for our daily bread. The point is that eating is universal to all people, and that everybody should eat so as to be happy and should pay attention to what they're putting in their mouths and how they're sustaining their very lives.
sturlington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautiful cookbook. The recipes look scrumptious, and reproduce the best dishes from the restaurant, but the order of difficulty for many of them are high. This is good project cooking if you have some time on your hands.
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Beautiful pictures and descriptions of each dish and the preparation steps. Not for a newbie, unless you are seriously into food. Requires more then the basic knowledge of cooking techniques and cooking equipment. If you want to make the perfect French Bistro food then this book is for you. This completes my set of what I consider the 3 great food countries......Italy, Spain and France. The only problem with this book is finding a space large enough to lay it open while preparing the dishes.
Bouchonfor2 More than 1 year ago
I was instantly captured by Bouchon's comfortable and practical approach to French cooking and by Keller's emphasis on manifesting the ingredients' potential sensibly over needlessly manipulating and torturing food. This chimes in well with my cultural and personal philosophy towards food. I decided to cook my way through Bouchon. So far, it's been challenging but it's a practical and rewarding experience for the home cook. Keller really breaks down the basics and fundamental techniques and I am learning a lot. Now I'm cooking my way through it. Watch my progress at http://www.bouchonfor2.com!
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