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"Daniel: My French Cuisine"


Robenco15
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Hello All,

I have no intention of starting a thread everytime a new cookbook comes out, but this one has been keeping me interested for a few months now. It was released today so I am hoping some could post their reviews of it and impressions when they recieve it. It reminds me a lot of The French Laundry from what I can tell just based on the what I have read in various onilne sources (essays on the importance of specific ingredients, highly modern french dishes) but then it has a lot of history and home cook dishes based on four regions in France. Now, I don't believe it will come close to The French Laundry, but I'd be ok with being wrong. Couldn't ever complain about having a book comparable to The French Laundry.

Anyway, this definitely has a possibility of becoming an xmas gift so I'm hoping to hear from some of you! Thank you in advance!

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If "coming close" to the French Laundry means recipes which the average home cook will not have the means to produce, then, yes, the book exceeds in that realm. The iconic dishes section in the back is, in my opinion, the most impressive part of the book. I've only looked through it once since receiving it last night, but the recipes in the Restaurant Daniel section are, from what I can tell, well written and quite forgiving to the amateur chef (as opposed to certain French cookbooks I own, which assume a certain level of existing skill). For instance, a bacon wrapped, lobster stuffed monkfish tail has accompanying photographs of the assembly process, as does a venison and foie gras mosaic and various other dishes. The intervening essays throughout the book shed light on certain aspects of his cooking philosophy, and overall, there is a great wealth of knowledge contained in the book that any serious chef would appreciate.

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Haven't read the book & doubt that I'll spend $35.00 on it at Amazon.

There's a good interview with him http://www.grubstreet.com/2013/10/daniel-boulud-my-french-cuisine-interview.html.

To be perfectly honest he seems a bit to 'New York' for my taste, but as I said I haven't read the book or eaten in his restaurant (s) so I could well be misjudging him.

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In general, he and his food are both very New York. I have eaten at Daniel well over a dozen times. The food can be extremely fussy, but it is almost always absolutely delicious. I do at times gain an impression of insecurity in his cooking, based on the often daunting number of elements on any given plate. I feel too he can be complex simply for the sake of being complex. I also am not the greatest fan of his plating aesthetic, which I find overly architectural and austere in nature. But again, the food itself is some of the best I've tasted, so those points are not terribly relevant.

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If "coming close" to the French Laundry means recipes which the average home cook will not have the means to produce, then, yes, the book exceeds in that realm. The iconic dishes section in the back is, in my opinion, the most impressive part of the book. I've only looked through it once since receiving it last night, but the recipes in the Restaurant Daniel section are, from what I can tell, well written and quite forgiving to the amateur chef (as opposed to certain French cookbooks I own, which assume a certain level of existing skill). For instance, a bacon wrapped, lobster stuffed monkfish tail has accompanying photographs of the assembly process, as does a venison and foie gras mosaic and various other dishes. The intervening essays throughout the book shed light on certain aspects of his cooking philosophy, and overall, there is a great wealth of knowledge contained in the book that any serious chef would appreciate.

Thank you so much for your insight! Seeing what you make for dinner on an almost daily basis makes me really interested in what you have to say too.

So the iconic dishes section that you find impressive doesn't have recipes does it? That is more of a narrative/essay form section about the process of making them?

I have cooked many dishes out of The French Laundry Cookbook, but you are saying Daniel: My French Cuisine makes it even harder for the home cook to its recipes? Then you say that it is forgiving and gives pictures to help you, so maybe I'm just not understanding you?

Thanks for the info though and of all of the well known French chefs, Daniel Boulud is one I know very little about. I don't know his dishes, I don't know his platings, etc. So I'm curious to learn more.

Two quick questions: Is there a basics section or anything like that with foams, gels, etc.? How modern is it in that respect? Very similar to Eleven Madison Park? Completely different? I love Eleven Madison Park's lists and lists of extra components.

Thank you!

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Yeah, there are base recipes in the back of the book for numerous things like breadcrumb "cups" which are basically battered and fried spheres of chilled duck fat, which get filled with a foie gras bechamel for a grouse recipe. Stocks, jus, oils, and other garnishes. No gels or overly "molecular" stuff. The iconic part has no recipes, unfortunately, but the pictures are very neat to look at. As far as actually cooking from the book, like I said it does lend you a hand, but you have to provide the money, time and patience to put in said hand, which is what I meant by most people will be unable to execute the written recipes in the restaurant section of the book. There are many more esoteric ingredients than in the EMP book, or any other American cookbook I've read.

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Yeah, there are base recipes in the back of the book for numerous things like breadcrumb "cups" which are basically battered and fried spheres of chilled duck fat, which get filled with a foie gras bechamel for a grouse recipe. Stocks, jus, oils, and other garnishes. No gels or overly "molecular" stuff. The iconic part has no recipes, unfortunately, but the pictures are very neat to look at. As far as actually cooking from the book, like I said it does lend you a hand, but you have to provide the money, time and patience to put in said hand, which is what I meant by most people will be unable to execute the written recipes in the restaurant section of the book. There are many more esoteric ingredients than in the EMP book, or any other American cookbook I've read.

That is too bad that there are no recipes for the iconic part. I have the time and patience, and sometimes the money, to probably do a good number of dishes so I'm excited about that, but good point. Thanks for the info about the esoteric ingredients. Are they things you won't be able to really substitute for?

How are the recipes for the "home meals" section, or whatever it is called. Apparently there are 12 meals that Daniel prepares at home and they all have specific regional influences.

Are the pictures you mentioned that help along with the preparation for some of the recipes only in the restuaruant section, or in the cooking at home section only, or both?

Thanks for this! Let us know when you cook something from it!

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You can substitute for certain things, or just omit them entirely. Personally, I enjoy the hunt, and like cooking with new ingredients, so I would probably seek out at least some of the ones that interest me. Also, I know the chefs there, so I can just email them and ask where they get certain things from, as I've done in the past. The home meal section I haven't yet payed much attention to, but it looks nice. The first thing I think I will try making is either the stuffed grouse or aforementioned monkfish.

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