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Is the Les Halles cookbook a good one?

s
Shiro Miso May 17, 2005 05:52 PM

I love Anthony Bourdain's irreverant style and saw his cookbook for sale the other day.

Just wondering if it is worth the big bucks - anyone cook from it and have an opinion on the recipes?

  1. b
    bryan May 18, 2005 10:32 PM

    My Christmas was complete when this book was one of the presents. I've cooked several things out of it and haven't been at all dissapointed. The coquilles st. jaques with champange, sublime. I've made it three times now with consistant results.

    I also love the way he tells you just what equipment you're going need so you don't start something you can't finish.

    1. r
      Ronin May 18, 2005 07:48 PM

      Despite being a huge Tony fan,I was underwhelmed but will probably buy a paper edition. BTW, if you've not done so, look into his "Cook's Tour" companion volume--reminded me of what Hunter S. Thompson might have written had he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America.Tangential: given your interests, look into Fuchsia Dunlop's "Land of Plenty" volume--handsdown the best Sichuan cookbook I've seen. She's recently written a great article in Saveur on Sichuan food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ronin
        s
        Shiro Miso May 18, 2005 08:50 PM

        Thank you so much for that recommendation. I will look into it - and I did read the Cook's Tour book a couple of years ago and loved it. In fact - it may deserve a re-read.

      2. w
        Will Owen May 18, 2005 07:20 PM

        I know I'm coming in late on this one, since you've already decided to get it, but for my money this is right up there with folks like Julia Child and Rick Bayless - so passionate about the food (without getting icky about it) that you just gotta jump up and cook! We saw him at Vroman's in Pasadena, and he's even a lot funnier and more profane - and profound - in person.

        His cassoulet recipe takes up less than a quarter of the space that Paula Wolfert's does, and that INCLUDES making the duck confit yourself! Which I did...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Will Owen
          c
          Carb Lover May 19, 2005 12:25 AM

          Oh, I'm so jealous that you saw him, at such a wonderful bookstore like Vroman's no less! I planned on going to his signing at Sur La Table in San Jose, but a horrible rain storm foiled my plans. Bourdain strikes me as a relaxed, modern man but also serious and traditional at times. I think the thing I picked up most from this book was his talk about "mise en place." I think about it alot when I cook now...do I have my mise/sh*t together?

          Glad to hear that you had good results w/ his cassoulet recipe. I've only made the tomato fennel soup and thought it was great. Any other recipes that you highly recommend? Thanks.

          1. re: Carb Lover
            k
            KB May 19, 2005 11:08 AM

            Oh pleez--it's your meez. ;)

            Recently made his rack of lamb. It's a standard recipe and everything--you can probably find something like it in a number of books--but it was lovely.

            1. re: KB
              c
              Carb Lover May 19, 2005 01:36 PM

              Geez...ok meez! Rack of lamb w/ spring peaz would bring me to my kneez. :-)

              1. re: Carb Lover
                d
                Dale May 19, 2005 04:18 PM

                Pleez! With a topping of cheez its sure to pleez.

        2. c
          Carb Lover May 17, 2005 07:33 PM

          If you like his "bad boy" image and don't mind his cursing (he's pretty liberal w/ it in the intro), then I highly recommend the book. I've read Kitchen Confidential, A Cook's Tour, and watched his FoodTV show, and found his cookbook to have the same consistent "voice."

          The intro and side notes are written in a very conversational, intimate way such that I feel like I'm Bourdain's little apprentice and he's giving me his insider tips and advice. Little details that aren't always shared in other media. In this sense, it's a fun read and orientation to his philosophy.

          In terms of the actual recipes, they cover your traditional French bistro fare. Classics. I've only made the tomato fennel soup, and it was delicious. I had the Balthazar book before Bourdain's and, for some reason, have used the Balthazar one more often for French bistro recipes. While the Balthazar book is more user-friendly and beautiful in its own rite, it lacks the Bourdain spice, if ya know what I mean.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Carb Lover
            s
            Shiro Miso May 17, 2005 09:13 PM

            Thank you for your thoughts... my copy is on the way from Amazon.com!

          2. c
            coll May 17, 2005 06:02 PM

            I know, it was kind of expensive, but I read it like a novel, and really enjoyed it. I guess I should try one of the recipes....

            3 Replies
            1. re: coll
              s
              sumac May 17, 2005 08:20 PM

              I've tried several of the recipes. The Pork with Charcuterie Sauce was very French, very authentic. So were all of the mussel recipes. And the salads are all enjoyable. If one can get past A.Bourdain's somewhat unnecessary profanities, it can be a fun book to cook from. He gives very valuable information and instruction.

              1. re: coll
                s
                sumac May 17, 2005 08:20 PM

                I've tried several of the recipes. The Pork with Charcuterie Sauce was very French, very authentic. So were all of the mussel recipes. And the salads are all enjoyable. If one can get past A.Bourdain's somewhat unnecessary profanities, it can be a fun book to cook from. He gives very valuable information and instruction.

                1. re: sumac
                  s
                  sumac May 17, 2005 08:22 PM

                  Can someone tell me how I double posted?

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