The French Laundry, published in 1999, was the first of many books from restaurant Chef and owner, Thomas Keller. This well written cookbook simplifies the complexity of the dishes from the Napa Valley 3 Michelin Star restaurant.
With extraordinary photography and simple step by step instructions this is a must have book for any professional chef and avid home cook. As you explore this book it will take you through all the cooking techniques, from quick and simple blanching of vegetables that so many chefs seem to struggle with, to the slow seduction of braised prime beef ribs.
An unusually interesting section is the cheese chapter. Gone are the days of huge blocks of cheese being pushed around the dining room on a trolley garnished with grapes and celery. Chef Keller has comprised 10 elegant dishes that will even have you look at Cheddar in a different light. The flavor combinations and techniques he uses to make these dishes really do show his flair and passion for food. The “Caesar Salad” Parmesan custard with romaine lettuce, anchovy dressing and a parmesan crisp or the Roquefort trifle with French butter pear relish express perfectly this chefs creativity.
Once you have worked with this book and followed the insightful tips you will find that it is more than just a recipe book. Your understanding of ingredients will become clearer and your style of cooking will improve. 14 years on since it was first published it is still my favorite cookbook and always find myself reverting back to it for inspiration.