by Sybril PrattDecember 2008
Grand gifts for gastronomes
Next, we'll head to Per Se in New York or The French Laundry in the Napa Valley, where the revered Thomas Keller's new heating methods are showcased and now revealed in his new book, Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide. It's a gorgeous, large - format, color photo - filled introduction to what Harold McGee calls "a lasting contribution to fine cooking, a technique that makes it possible to cook foods more consistently and delicately than ever before." The recipes here are detailed, the techniques parsed, but unless you have the special equipment (Keller thinks you may have it soon), you'll have to settle for this exciting armchair experience. A must for serious followers of cutting - edge cuisine.
Chanterelle, by David Waltuck, the chef/owner of this serenely sublime, enduringly elegant New York destination, tells the restaurant's story (writing with Andrew Friedman) and offers more than 150 recipes you can savor at home. David's unique dishes blend French inspiration with an American sensibility; they're simple but never plain, created with what Adam Gopnik, in his foreword, calls "a distaste for fancy cooking combined with a respect for haute cuisine." This is a another big, beautiful book with the requisite temptingly edible photos. If you don't feel up to turning them out in your own kitchen, just page though and dream.
Paris? Why not, and while we're there, a sortie to the splendid, sumptuous Hotel Crillon and to Les Amassadeurs, its super - magnifique, marbled, mirrored, chandelier - lit restaurant, is de rigueur. Jean - Fran
Now, get out of that armchair! Ina Garten's newest and possibly best, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, was put on this earth to cook from. Ina's signature magic is manifest in these marvelously makeable, brand - new recipes (nearly 100). What she means by "basics," is looking at old ideas and finding the best ways to unlock their true flavors, so that the end product is more delicious than ever. And it's a really good - looking package, too.