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Lesley C

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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  1. Michael Ruhlman's Ratio

    Have you tried his creme anglaise recipe? I got my copy of the book finally, and I must say, it doesn't have that which I would most like to see in terms of ratio's but it is a step in the right direction. I don't mean to single your comment out, but a problem I'm having is that so many people seem to be saying his proportions are off but without saying they have tried his recipe/ratios. I will buy the fact that his ratios are off when I see people say they've tried them and they don't work. It seems/feels to me like people right now are passing judgment based on their own ratios without trying his. Creme Anglaise is not a recipe that I've really tried or found a need for. So to me, as a newbbie so to speak, I want to know that somebody has tried his recipe and found it doesn't work. Perhaps I'm all wet, but I sense that peoples' judgment is based on belieft rather than trial. ← It's not that it doesn't work. Work is relative. The recipe is incorrect in its ratios. Too rich. Sure it works, but it's actually closer to a pate a bombe than a creme anglaise. I think Ruhlman should rewrite the entire custard chapter.
  2. Michael Ruhlman's Ratio

    Got the book last week. I thought the creme anglaise recipe was off but the creme patissiere recipe is even worse. Too many egg yolks, cream, too much butter. There are recipes here that are just wrong. If it was just a book about recipes, well fine then. But his ratio here is just so off. It makes me weary of the whole premise of the book.
  3. Shirley Corriher is a lovely lady and well-liked member of the food community. The fact that she won this makes me think the cookbook judges were impressed with her idea but don't know enough about pastry to understand why this book is a mess. It's a real shame, because Flo Braker's book was the better one in that category.
  4. Vauvert

    It is good. Well, it was good back when i reviewed it years ago. Also from there you aren't too far from Le Locale where, if the weather is nice, you can eat outside.
  5. TO life's Top 10 restos

    What about Thuet's Bite Me? I had an incredible meal there last fall.
  6. None. That's why I declined to judge. Anyway, the last restaurant I dined at outside my city was L'Astrance, which I found WAY overrated. I would have never voted for it anyway, and there it is at #11. These lists are impossible to get right. Ultimately they serve as great PR for San Pellegrino and Restaurant Magazine, and give already acclaimed restaurants new bragging rights.
  7. OK, 18 months then but still, I can't imagine people didn't vote based on past experiences. And maybe it's just me, but after a decade in the business of reviewing restaurants, I'm so tired of seeing the same old same old praised over and again. Isn't it time we start applauding new chefs? I mean Adrià's mantle is pretty full by now and a lot of talented cooks out there remain anonymous year in, year out. Sad, and stupid really to keep praising the same gang, over, and over and over... How about for next year's list, the 50 best restaurants you've probably never heard of. Now that would would be interesting! It's a complete bore to keep questioning whether The French Laundry is better than The Fat Duck and so on.
  8. In ALL of the restaurants, or just a certain proportion? ← ALL. And that's why I don't buy this list and that's why I declined a spot as a judge. How many of the judges ate at El Bulli AGAIN this year? Don't know, but let's see the receipts. Also concerning regional representation, there is a limit to how many you can vote for in your own backyard. I remember it was something like two. So the way I see it, the judges are voting for the two best restaurants they dined at in their city, plus maybe two more they dined at while traveling, and the rest just go by either past experiences or an educated guess following hype. Anyway that's my take on it. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
  9. I used to be a judge for this list and for the past two years have declined. The judging rules stipulate that the judge must have dined in the restaurants voted for in 2008. I really have a hard -- no make that impossible -- time believing that the judging panel really did dine in the restaurants they voted for in the past twelve months. Especially considering the shrinking dining-out budgets provided by media sources these days. Now I read the list and smile, thinking that the hype wins out in the end. I mean L'Astrance as #11 really is a big fat joke. And where is Robuchon's Las Vegas restaurant? Don't tell me L'Astrance beats Robuchon in Vegas? I mean L'Astrance doesn't even beat Toqué! here in Montreal, a terrific restaurant that does not have a hope in hell of making that list. Lists are silly, really. Nice read, but fiction in the end.
  10. Michael Ruhlman's Ratio

    The problem here is not so much the cream (you could make creme anglaise with Vin Santo) but the yolk ratio. If the book is about ratios, this one is too high. Why does he stray from the classic recipe of 12 yolks/liter of dairy? I wonder if any pastry chef out there is using this high a ratio of yolks to dairy anymore. And his recipe is actually not sweeter than the classic, which calls for 250g (1 1/4 cups) of sugar over his 200g (1 cup). Creme anglaise is the perfect example of a recipe that has evolved from the days of Escoffier and Point when pastry was far too rich. All that has changed, but Rhulman is bringing us back to the pastry dark ages. Anyway, I really should hold all commentary before I see the book. I got this much from his blog. As for the cover comment, wow, is that what it all comes down to these days?
  11. Michael Ruhlman's Ratio

    Judging by the custard post on his blog, which I assume is taken from the book, his "ratio" idea is odd IF ONLY because the custard sauce (creme anglaise) recipe he provides is WAY too rich. Too many yolks, and he uses cream when the classic recipe doesn't have ANY! So what is his ideal ratio? The classic, or the one he decides is right? Weird. Also, why no gram measures (far more precise than ounces) and why no cooking temperature? The 85-degree C cooking temperature for creme anglaise is scripture for pastry chefs. It's the key to getting it right. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the book.
  12. Flo Braker's excellent new book, Baking for all Occasions, has metric measures as well. Just made three recipes from the book, all came out wonderfully. The chocolate angel food cake is gorgeous! Thank you Flo!
  13. Food

    I'd say this is easily THE WORST food magazine I've ever seen. My favourite part is the letter from the publisher where one of the chicks pictured in sexy garb rhapsodizes over finding a parking place when out hopping for the "veggies" on the cover.
  14. Going to Montreal In March

    There are so many great restaurants to try in Montreal and Laurie is not one of them. Maybe the one Quebec City, but not the one here in Montreal. Toque! is much, much better. Besides the over-the-top food at Laurie, the space is very cramped. Not a fan.
  15. Going to Montreal In March

    Chocolats de Chloe is a must. Genevieve Grandbois is a big step below in terms of quality. Chloe is right next to Au Pied de Cochon, so you could do those together.
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