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Great cookbook for a special occassion dinner?

Christina D Sep 22, 2010 11:07 AM

My husband's birthday is the first weekend in October and I plan on making him a very special dinner. Last year, I did five courses from JC's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Aside from one technical error on my part, it was amazing.

Most of my cookbook library is both ethnic and casual. I'd like to be able to produce something that is sophisticated and worthy of a fine dining experience. I'm an accomplished cook and am more than willing to tackle challenging recipes. I do require, however, that they can be reasonably executed in a home kitchen, sans sous chef (DQ-ing The French Laundry, naturally).

For this kind of occassion, I prefer French cuisine, but am open-minded. I'm not inclined towards Asian or Latin cuisine this time (I cook a lot of that on a daily basis and would like to spread my culinary wings).

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


  1. k
    katecm Sep 23, 2010 11:05 AM

    I don't do much French cooking, so can't help on that angle, as your dinner last year would have been what I suggested. But if you want to travel around Europe, so to speak, perhaps a good next option would be to hunt down Jose Andres's cookbook and do some lovely tapas. That seems that it would be so much fun for a multi-course meal.

    Also, I don't know if it's available in the U.S., but a British friend gave me the Maze cookbook by Jason Atherton. If you can't get it here, it may be worth Googling recipes. His idea is that he gives the recipe for a restaurant-style dish, then gives an upscale home version, then a casual version. So, a super-fancy crab dish, followed by a crab bisque, then a simple crab salad. It's a great construct for a cookbook.

    1. chowser Sep 23, 2010 11:08 AM

      If you like the French Laundry idea, what about the Bouchon cookbook? I find that manageable at home. I love the tarte tatin (since I'm a dessert person). And, the cookbook is beautiful.

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