My wonderful Scott bought me Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking for my birthday. It’s a fantastic book. Bourdain starts up by insulting you (the reader) in the introduction:
This book aims to be a field manual to strategy and tactics, which means that in the following pages, I will take you by the hand and walk you through the process in much the same way – and in the same caring, sensitive, diplomatic tone – as I would a new recruit in my restaurant kitchen.
Which means that if, from time to time, I refer to you as a “useless screwhead”, I will expect you to understand – and to not take it personally.
Every word in this book can be read in your head with Bourdain’s voice. His writing style is the same as his speaking style, clear, beautiful, and considered. The recipes are the rotating dishes depending on the season and availability of ingredients that were available at Les Halles when he worked there. The instructions are clear, and thanks to the standards of these dishes there are plenty of videos available on YouTube if you don’t quite understand the steps described.
I loved this book and am looking forward to cooking from this book again. It is not vegetarian friendly as such, the vegetable only dishes really are only potato dishes (quite tasty potato dishes nonetheless). Like a lot of French bistro food, the vegetables come in the dish with the meat. I cooked three dishes from this book over one weekend, and so have all three to share. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.Continue reading