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Looking for a truly gourmet cookbook for special occasions.

I own about 200 cb's but I don't consider any of them truly gourmet. I hope to find a cb that features recipes such as you would find in the finest European and American restaurants. From classic style places to the chic, modern places. The kinds of restaurants that the prices make your nose bleed and you find yourself remembering the meal 20 years later.

Any recommendations?

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  1. Sunday Suppers at Lucques would be my suggestion. It was COTM so you could check out the threads - lots of rave reviews for many of the recipes.

    1. Most obvious, Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire, the ur-source for classical cuisine. Or his Ma Cuisine, a little more practical for home use.

      1. The French Laundary Cookbook? I would guess that would suffice. Just received my copies of Ad Hoc at Home and Andy Ricker's Pok Pok cookbook yesterday.

        1. "Recipes from Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons" - by Michelin 2* chef Raymond Blanc. A suitable coming-together of Blanc's French background and his cooking in Britain throughout his career.

          We had lunch at the Manoir last year - difficult to know if we were eating French or British dishes but that's very much Blanc's style. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/863275

          1. Just saw a copy of Charlie Trotter's cookbook in a thriftshop, didn't buy it for just the reason you state you're looking for a cookbook! Recipes too complex and ingredients slightly too exotic for this home cook. But the photographs were gorgeous.

            Then there is Modernist Cuisine and Alinea, both on the molecular gastronomy side - not sure if I'd call that truly gourmet/elegant, but it certainly qualifies if the cost and quality of ingredients and equipment are a factor in your search. I second another's recommendation of The French Laundry cookbook.

            1 Reply
            1. Thanks all for the suggestions so far.

              And no, molecular gastronomy is not what I'm after.

              I've checked out the suggestions on Amazon but haven't decided yet.

              3 Replies
              1. re: thymetobake

                If the French Laundry book is a long the lines what you are looking for you should also take a look at the new cookbook from Daniel Boulud and the Eleven Madison Park book. Another interesting one is Volt which is somewhere between "classical high end" and "modernist" but still more on the classical side

                1. re: thymetobake

                  If you're looking into the French Laundry cookbook, you can get lots more info about it via the cook-through blog: http://carolcookskeller.blogspot.com/...

                2. The Complete Robuchon


                  The French Laundry

                  Boulevard (a little more approachable and do-able)

                  Ducasse Flavors of France (mix of traditional and more modern)

                  1. I absolutely love The French Laundry - it's my go-to when I have a day to cook and want a realy special meal. Still have to check out the Eleven Madison Park book though - that remains one of my favorite restaurants - pure elegance!


                    1. Just bought Daniel (Daniel Boulud).

                      Wow is it beautiful and clearly very gourmet. Haven't cooked from it yet but have high hopes.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: thimes

                        Ironically, it looks (in terms of layout/look/feel/images) very similar to Eleven Madison Park (mentioned above) - I even looked at the credits to see if they were designed by the same people, they weren't apparently. Both beautiful books, haven't cooked from either yet - bring on the holidays!

                        1. re: thimes

                          IMO the best small Escoffier book out there. I have the others but this one is plenty full of challenges enough to last a life time.

                      2. Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook. I have had dinner there twice, the cookbook brings it all back to me.