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Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking

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Before stunning the world with his bestselling Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain spent years serving some of the best French brasserie food in New York. With its no-nonsense, down-to-earth atmosphere, Les Halles matched Bourdain's style perfectly: a restaurant where you can dress down, talk loudly, drink a little too much wine, and have a good time with friends. Now, Before stunning the world with his bestselling Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain spent years serving some of the best French brasserie food in New York. With its no-nonsense, down-to-earth atmosphere, Les Halles matched Bourdain's style perfectly: a restaurant where you can dress down, talk loudly, drink a little too much wine, and have a good time with friends. Now, Bourdain brings you his Les Halles Cookbook, a cookbook like no other: candid, funny, audacious, full of his signature charm and bravado. Bourdain teaches you everything you need to know to prepare classic French bistro fare. While you're being guided, in simple steps, through recipes like roasted veal short ribs and steak frites, escargots aux noix and foie gras au pruneaux, you'll feel like he's in the kitchen beside you-reeling off a few insults when you've scorched the sauce, and then patting you on the back for finally getting the steak tartare right. As practical as it is entertaining, Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook is a can't-miss treat for cookbook lovers, aspiring chefs, and Bourdain fans everywhere.

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Before stunning the world with his bestselling Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain spent years serving some of the best French brasserie food in New York. With its no-nonsense, down-to-earth atmosphere, Les Halles matched Bourdain's style perfectly: a restaurant where you can dress down, talk loudly, drink a little too much wine, and have a good time with friends. Now, Before stunning the world with his bestselling Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain spent years serving some of the best French brasserie food in New York. With its no-nonsense, down-to-earth atmosphere, Les Halles matched Bourdain's style perfectly: a restaurant where you can dress down, talk loudly, drink a little too much wine, and have a good time with friends. Now, Bourdain brings you his Les Halles Cookbook, a cookbook like no other: candid, funny, audacious, full of his signature charm and bravado. Bourdain teaches you everything you need to know to prepare classic French bistro fare. While you're being guided, in simple steps, through recipes like roasted veal short ribs and steak frites, escargots aux noix and foie gras au pruneaux, you'll feel like he's in the kitchen beside you-reeling off a few insults when you've scorched the sauce, and then patting you on the back for finally getting the steak tartare right. As practical as it is entertaining, Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook is a can't-miss treat for cookbook lovers, aspiring chefs, and Bourdain fans everywhere.

30 review for Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Brown

    If I were allowed to read only one cookbook (that's read, not necessarily make the recipes) this one would be it. Bourdain has that rare ability to condescend to you and motivate you to try something new at the same time. It's a mix found in the finest drill instructors, high school math teachers, and apparently, celebrity chefs. As a side note, I went to Les Halles in NYC in June of this year, and my meal SUCKED! My steak was tough, the fries, about which he rhapsodizes for page after page in t If I were allowed to read only one cookbook (that's read, not necessarily make the recipes) this one would be it. Bourdain has that rare ability to condescend to you and motivate you to try something new at the same time. It's a mix found in the finest drill instructors, high school math teachers, and apparently, celebrity chefs. As a side note, I went to Les Halles in NYC in June of this year, and my meal SUCKED! My steak was tough, the fries, about which he rhapsodizes for page after page in this very book, were underwhelming, and the place had all the ambiance of a Denny's. I hear he isn't around there anymore. Too bad. Still one of the people I'd like to have a meal with.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Look...I love Anthony. I've watched every episode of Cook's Tour, No Reservations and the Layover three or four times each. I've read almost all of his books. I used to eat at Les Halles back when he actually worked there. Big fan. All that being said...this cookbook just isn't very good. If you follow the recipes to the letter, what you wind up with is adequate meals that approximately appear & taste as they should on a most baseline level. Nothing more. And certainly nothing special. I've Look...I love Anthony. I've watched every episode of Cook's Tour, No Reservations and the Layover three or four times each. I've read almost all of his books. I used to eat at Les Halles back when he actually worked there. Big fan. All that being said...this cookbook just isn't very good. If you follow the recipes to the letter, what you wind up with is adequate meals that approximately appear & taste as they should on a most baseline level. Nothing more. And certainly nothing special. I've eaten at Les Halles enough to know that the recipes in this book aren't the same recipes that they use in their kitchen. To be fair, he does point out some tips and tricks that can help give the recipes a bit more "oomph", such as tossing some extra veal stock in, well, pretty much everything. If you know absolutely nothing about french bistro cooking, then this is as good a place to start as any, but just don't expect Les Halles quality food from the recipes presented here.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anina

    Lots of swearing at Americans for how we choose our cuts of beef, overcook green beans, etc. All of which I agree with because I am in love with Anthony Bourdain. My only criticism of this book is that there are not enough pictures of Anthony Bourdain in it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Paschen

    I love Anthony Bourdain, but I don't think I will cook anything from this collection. These recipes remind me (once again) why I do not love French cooking. Too much meat, too much meat fat, not enough fresh flavor. Most of the recipes call for homemade stock (veal, chicken, beef, duck, lamb, fish) and a bit of demi-glace. Bourdain devotes several pages to stocks and demi, without mentioning anything of a roasted vegetable stock, which I make and am fond of. I make other stocks, too, mostly not I love Anthony Bourdain, but I don't think I will cook anything from this collection. These recipes remind me (once again) why I do not love French cooking. Too much meat, too much meat fat, not enough fresh flavor. Most of the recipes call for homemade stock (veal, chicken, beef, duck, lamb, fish) and a bit of demi-glace. Bourdain devotes several pages to stocks and demi, without mentioning anything of a roasted vegetable stock, which I make and am fond of. I make other stocks, too, mostly not to waste good bones or shrimp shells. As I should have known before purchasing this book, there are lots of recipes for veal, organ meats and fish that aren't available in Iowa. Fun to read Bourdain's kitchen stories and cooking philosophies, but not a practical book for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kasia

    When I have a serious piece of meat or an ingredient I want to show off and still manage to cook it so I can eat dinner, I reach for Les Halles cookbook by none other than Anthony Bourdain. I don't eat meat too often, I know he does and writes about it a lot, but when I do I like to treat it with respect and use it to its full potential, when I finally do indulge in it, I can think of a few other French cookbooks that I have but this one has spunk, and is so gosh darn entertaining too. It has kn When I have a serious piece of meat or an ingredient I want to show off and still manage to cook it so I can eat dinner, I reach for Les Halles cookbook by none other than Anthony Bourdain. I don't eat meat too often, I know he does and writes about it a lot, but when I do I like to treat it with respect and use it to its full potential, when I finally do indulge in it, I can think of a few other French cookbooks that I have but this one has spunk, and is so gosh darn entertaining too. It has knowledge and professional cooking instructions that bring a smile to my face whenever I create something out of it, no worries that it's just protein, the sides and veggies are totally covered (dessert too, oh boy!) and I promise, the Graitin Dauphinois recipe towards the back is one of the best, mouth watering, gooey, bubbling hot with a melting crust, the classic flavors that have been studied and paired for centuries..Eating it I feel like I just took a short cut and with luck landed on something that has been perfected for years, and I get to eat it anytime I want. I mean be prepared to scrub the pan you make it in, but it's worth it. The prefect French fry also makes an appearance, the instructions come with pictures so it's really easy. The Fennel and tomato soup in here is heavenly too, it totally made me get into soups again, I forget how healthy and tasty they can be. Basic tart dough, sauce Bechamel, herb butter, Boeuf Bourguignon ( it's a French beef stew one could say, make extra, it's so good that boyfriends decided to eat doubles) also there is a salad that brings me back to my childhood, and I haven't ran across it in books yet, to my delight frisee aux lardons is present, I omit the chicken livers, and the cheese is a new thing in it to me ( as far as the tastes I remember) but yay, it's yummy and finally here for people to see. To me, a foodie who also loves books, Bourdain is a culinary giant, and I'm lucky to catch all the recipes in my lap, this cookbooks helps! The beginning has lots of tips and tricks in a short, great chapter that should be read a few times - General Principles, for example it's insisted on to have all your ingredients chopped and ready to go, that's something many overlook, but when things start spilling and too many things need attention, peeling and chopping potatoes isn't always fun when another sauce or pasta is screaming for our attention. Processional restaurants have everything set in place, so should we. Shopping and planning, knife knowledge, learning stocks and sauces, it's all here, for those who love food and love cooking. The book has lots of strange sounding French bistro recipes but they are pretty rustic and basic, with really good balance of flavors and with perfect cooking instructions. I think many who enjoy food will find familiar favorites here from Steak au poivre to Vichyssoise, and with a tasty dessert menu, hazelnut torte anyone? This has my whole taste bud topography covered. The last pages have invaluable info, more reading material recommended by Bourdain, various suppliers and stores that are reachable online and a great glossary, all told form his view, few curse words here and there and the book is totally his. The best way to check this book out is to read it first, I read all my cookbooks before I use them, like a little manual into the chef's psyche, almost as fun as cooking itself.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    probably the funniest cookbook you'll ever read. i may not boil pounds and pounds of bones down over two days in an economy-size cooker that i don't own to make my own demi-glace, but it's not like mssr. bourdain is really standing behind me with a meat cleaver for not doing so. some recipes are totally approachable and do-able, some require more of you and maybe more than you're able to handle. one of the more enduring passages has to do with the subject of cooking lobsters, and the probable sque probably the funniest cookbook you'll ever read. i may not boil pounds and pounds of bones down over two days in an economy-size cooker that i don't own to make my own demi-glace, but it's not like mssr. bourdain is really standing behind me with a meat cleaver for not doing so. some recipes are totally approachable and do-able, some require more of you and maybe more than you're able to handle. one of the more enduring passages has to do with the subject of cooking lobsters, and the probable squeamishness of the cook on the proper way to kill them. i'm paraphrasing, but this was the gist of it: They're just Big Dumb Fucking Bugs that are too dumb to know when they're dead. Think what you're doing to them isn't fair, humane? You should see what they do to each other given half a chance. and thus Anthony Bourdain wins the idealogical battle on behalf of the lobster against David Foster Wallace.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    If you take nothing else from this book, follow these 3 rules: 1. make your own stock, making your own demi glace from the stock, you'll understand once you've done it why this is essential. 2. only eat mussels at home. 3. a well-prepared meal inspires not only confidence, it can be a great way to get back at someone and show them up. Sometimes the instructions are too skeletal for my liking--I find myself panicky and sniveling about unexpected events I encounter between steps. If you want culinary If you take nothing else from this book, follow these 3 rules: 1. make your own stock, making your own demi glace from the stock, you'll understand once you've done it why this is essential. 2. only eat mussels at home. 3. a well-prepared meal inspires not only confidence, it can be a great way to get back at someone and show them up. Sometimes the instructions are too skeletal for my liking--I find myself panicky and sniveling about unexpected events I encounter between steps. If you want culinary hand-holding, this book will not do it for you. This book will lead you into the spirit of culinary adventure--boldly. Follow Bourdain into the realm of calf's brains or liver, boudin noir and foie gras.... if you dare. Stop whining and cook like you mean it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This cookbook has served me very well over the few years I've owned it. Love Bourdain's style, and his recipes are unbeatable. I originally bought this book on the strength of its mushroom soup recipe- simple, tasty, versatile, but the page with all the greasy stains on it which gets pulled out all the time is the Poulet Roti-- the best roast chicken recipe I've ever seen. Even with all its use, I only recently went back and read the lengthier written portions. He is a truly engaging writer and This cookbook has served me very well over the few years I've owned it. Love Bourdain's style, and his recipes are unbeatable. I originally bought this book on the strength of its mushroom soup recipe- simple, tasty, versatile, but the page with all the greasy stains on it which gets pulled out all the time is the Poulet Roti-- the best roast chicken recipe I've ever seen. Even with all its use, I only recently went back and read the lengthier written portions. He is a truly engaging writer and I love Les Halles even more having read it cover to cover. I don't often look to my cookbooks for a literary experience, but having read The Nasty Bits I wasn't surprised at his talent. He's at his best in Les Halles, he loves French bistro food with an uncommon passion and it's a beautiful thing to read. It earns its stripes as a literary piece and a cookbook, though it may not be a page-turner if you're not into the subject matter of technical culinary skills. At any rate, it's five stars all the way

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sommer

    I fell in love with this book the moment I opened it up to some random spot in the middle and the first sentence I read included the word "fuck." Nothing like one of the naughtier of the four letter words in a cook book. I heart Anthony Bourdain.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mary Reed

    how do you review a cookbook? this is the most non-traditional, unforgiving, scathing cookbook you can find. He's got insane recipes but just biting commentary, I actually found myself reading it almost as a book. If you're into food, I'd definitely recommend owning a copy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I love the blunt , honest style this cookbook is written in.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kirs

    Yes. I'm a vegetarian and I'm giving Bourdain a 5-star rating. It's an oddly entertaining cookbook. You can actually read it cover to cover and enjoy just that experience, but I'd highly recommend trying your hand at any of the recipes. My copy is now well worn and covered with various food stains. A true sign of a well-loved cookbook. The recipes are exceptionally easy to follow. I love Julia Child as much as the next girl, but sometimes her instructions are lacking in clarity. I find Bourdain t Yes. I'm a vegetarian and I'm giving Bourdain a 5-star rating. It's an oddly entertaining cookbook. You can actually read it cover to cover and enjoy just that experience, but I'd highly recommend trying your hand at any of the recipes. My copy is now well worn and covered with various food stains. A true sign of a well-loved cookbook. The recipes are exceptionally easy to follow. I love Julia Child as much as the next girl, but sometimes her instructions are lacking in clarity. I find Bourdain to be thorough, without constraining the cook to a step-by-step recipe that gets bogged down in the details. Definitely not a recipe style for a very beginner home cook, but I tackled the beef bourguignon pretty early in my cooking endeavors with success. (And I love, love, love that he lays out what equipment you'll need for each recipe- it makes prepping a breeze). Recipes tried: Bouef Bourguignon; Gratin Dauphinois; Coq a Vin; Poulet Roti; Pommes Puree; Moules Marinieres (and variations thereof- mussels are easy). Percentage of successful recipes: 100% Recipes to try: Cassoulet; Bouillabaisse; Pot-au-feu; Steak au Poivre; Escargot; and this civet of wild boar recipe I can't remember the name of. Overall: Even my vegetarian ass can appreciate the time honored techniques of classic bistro cooking. When hosting a dinner party I almost always go for Bourdain first. Crowd pleasing, easy to make, and recipes with that sometimes elusive "wow factor" so you can show off for your guests.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben Stiefel

    this book is what it says it is, it's Tony Bourdain's recipes from Les Halles along with his style of commentary. I like the recipes, if only for the same reasons I like the recipes in the French Laundry Cookbook - I probably won't make most of them, but they're something to aspire to, or adapt to my own abilities (for instance, i'm NOT going to make veal stock any year soon... it's just over the top when you're normally cooking for 2. Demi-glace from D'artagnon however? that I will buy). I've b this book is what it says it is, it's Tony Bourdain's recipes from Les Halles along with his style of commentary. I like the recipes, if only for the same reasons I like the recipes in the French Laundry Cookbook - I probably won't make most of them, but they're something to aspire to, or adapt to my own abilities (for instance, i'm NOT going to make veal stock any year soon... it's just over the top when you're normally cooking for 2. Demi-glace from D'artagnon however? that I will buy). I've been reading/watching/enjoying/aurally assaulted by Bourdain's style for about 8 years now, and while I'm not sick of it, it's no longer as edgy or entertaining as it once was... it's certainly not this book's fault, as it was written 6 years ago now, but because i'm reading it this late, i've already been more than exposed, so i'm not finding it as good as i once might have... That said, the recipes are great, and the instructions are obviously FROM Tony Bourdain, rather than from an editor or test chef, trying to codify what "a handful of herbs" means in ounces or tablespoons, so you can follow them well enough. The Red Wine Butter has already changed my life, for example (it's exactly that, reduce red wine with shallots in a small pot, add to soft butter in a food processor and mix. The result is fantastic, and excellent for melting on just about any grilled/roasted meat you can wave at it...)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    As a huge cookbook reader and a Bourdain fan, this one rates top shelf placement in my collection. From the perspective of a plain old, ordinary cookbook, it's great: bright, sexy photographs, clearly printed recipes, nicely organized into sensible (not kitchy) sections. Everything I look for. The recipes are presented in an unusual fashion. They begin with the standard ingredient list, but the step by step instructions read like prose: he's teaching you how to create the dish the way your mom or As a huge cookbook reader and a Bourdain fan, this one rates top shelf placement in my collection. From the perspective of a plain old, ordinary cookbook, it's great: bright, sexy photographs, clearly printed recipes, nicely organized into sensible (not kitchy) sections. Everything I look for. The recipes are presented in an unusual fashion. They begin with the standard ingredient list, but the step by step instructions read like prose: he's teaching you how to create the dish the way your mom or dad or whoever taught you how to cook when you first started. What to look for, what it should smell like, how it should sound when it's cooking at the right temperature. Oh yes, and he swears. Often. It also includes sections on essentials: how to choose, use and care for a good knife, how to find and procure the best ingredients, recommended reading for the curious cook (more than just Le Technique by Jacques Pepin, thank you Tony). Short review: it's beautiful and ballsy. Just like its author. PS: Having now used a few od the recipes, I can add that they are as easy to follow as I'd hoped. The roast chicken recipe is now my standard, and the gratin dauphonoise (potatoes) is a creamy, delicious treat!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rustam

    I don't know much about French food, but I've read a couple of Anthony Bourdain's books and seen his travel show, so I figured I'd try my hand at a few dishes straight from the French/American bastard himself. First of all, you'll never find a more entertaining cookbook. A good 30% of the dishes in this book are beyond the capabilities of mere mortal men. And you don't get those stereotypical pastoral-fantasy explanations of dishes that you get in other cook books (eg. "...the fond memories of my I don't know much about French food, but I've read a couple of Anthony Bourdain's books and seen his travel show, so I figured I'd try my hand at a few dishes straight from the French/American bastard himself. First of all, you'll never find a more entertaining cookbook. A good 30% of the dishes in this book are beyond the capabilities of mere mortal men. And you don't get those stereotypical pastoral-fantasy explanations of dishes that you get in other cook books (eg. "...the fond memories of my childhood, the enchanting aroma of basil, etc wafting from my Mother's kitchen"). In addition to telling you how to prepare dishes, he also tells you what NOT to do, which is actually pretty important when constructing a cook book, in my opinion. One of my favorite lines from the book is his explanation of how to serve "côte de bouef": I suggest serving this dish with French Fries and a staggeringly expensive bottle of Burgundy in cheap glasses. Just to show them who's their daddy. He may not be a "sublime" writer, but he sure as hell is a lot of fun.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    It's well written, but a lousy cookbook. Does that make sense? It does to me. And I've TRIED to make his food. Pelé help me: I've tried. But some of them are just fricking impossible. Take rillettes. Wonderful food. Absolutely delicious. His recipe makes them sound as good as they are. I double dog dare anyone who has no previous experience with charcuterie to figure out what the H he is actually talking about. His steps are so vague as to be almost useless. My wife's gramma used to give barely It's well written, but a lousy cookbook. Does that make sense? It does to me. And I've TRIED to make his food. Pelé help me: I've tried. But some of them are just fricking impossible. Take rillettes. Wonderful food. Absolutely delicious. His recipe makes them sound as good as they are. I double dog dare anyone who has no previous experience with charcuterie to figure out what the H he is actually talking about. His steps are so vague as to be almost useless. My wife's gramma used to give barely coherent recipes. My wife loved her, so she put up with this. Me? It drove me bonkers. I don't dispute that Les Halles has great prototypical French food- it's amazing stuff. Their escargot made me a fan of that dish. But the recipes here are not all created equal. If you're buying this book to learn how to cook French like the masters, you would be better served by sticking with Mrs. Child. If you are a fan of Bourdain (and who isn't? He's like Kerouac in the kitchen) it's worth a read. He's obscene, funny, and sarcastic. User friendly? Not as much as I would prefer.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erik Waiss

    Let's be clear, this is a cookbook. Not a lot of plot involved, it's just Anthony Bourdain telling us how to cook. The ingredients are not cheap, nor are they in small quantities. If you were to cook a several course meal out of this book imagine that you're going to have to spend your entire paycheck. That is not to say that there's nothing useful to be gained here. There's a lot of discussion of technique as well as flavor combinations that can be altered to suit your budget. The two page rant Let's be clear, this is a cookbook. Not a lot of plot involved, it's just Anthony Bourdain telling us how to cook. The ingredients are not cheap, nor are they in small quantities. If you were to cook a several course meal out of this book imagine that you're going to have to spend your entire paycheck. That is not to say that there's nothing useful to be gained here. There's a lot of discussion of technique as well as flavor combinations that can be altered to suit your budget. The two page rant on how to properly roast a chicken is worth the price of admission alone. And obviously a lot cheaper than trying to make beef Burgundy, or lobster bisque with 6, 2-pound lobsters in it. Overall, this has earned a space on the kitchen bookshelf for future perusal.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Hands down the most condescending and yet most informative cookbook I have ever read. I treated this book like a normal autobiography and read it cover to cover - laughing at Bourdain's cockiness and ability to make the reader feel like they know nothing. That said, this book has so much good information about setting up a kitchen, tips on dinner parties, etc. I borrowed it from the library this time, but it is on my must buy list. He lays out great tips and tricks on how to be successful in the Hands down the most condescending and yet most informative cookbook I have ever read. I treated this book like a normal autobiography and read it cover to cover - laughing at Bourdain's cockiness and ability to make the reader feel like they know nothing. That said, this book has so much good information about setting up a kitchen, tips on dinner parties, etc. I borrowed it from the library this time, but it is on my must buy list. He lays out great tips and tricks on how to be successful in the kitchen. My only complaint is that some of it seems to be lifted straight from his autobiography, and I felt like I was reading the same thing twice {I recently finished Kitchen Confidential}, but it was still a great read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alison Haney

    I haven't made my way through the whole book yet, but for those of you who enjoy Bourdain's unapologetic style of writing...this book does NOT disappoint. I haven't laughed this much while reading a book in a while. How many cookbooks have you read where the writer/chef addresses the reader as "Numbnuts"? Even the recipes are written as if he was standing next to you telling (and at times, yelling at) you what to do. My favorite comment that had me in tears... "Don't worry. Lobsters are essential I haven't made my way through the whole book yet, but for those of you who enjoy Bourdain's unapologetic style of writing...this book does NOT disappoint. I haven't laughed this much while reading a book in a while. How many cookbooks have you read where the writer/chef addresses the reader as "Numbnuts"? Even the recipes are written as if he was standing next to you telling (and at times, yelling at) you what to do. My favorite comment that had me in tears... "Don't worry. Lobsters are essentially big fucking bugs too stupid to know they're dead." This book proves to me why people read cookbooks cover to cover. I had a hard time putting it down. If I enjoy some of the recipes half as much as I did reading the book it will have been worth it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    Recipes are picky preparations but absolutely worth it. This is the book and the chef that brought me my dearest friends and kicked off our first cookbook club gathering. Here's what I've tasted and the cookbook club cooks who made them: Me - boeuf bourguingon: not your corn starch thickened momma's beef stew. Use a good wine and you won't regret it. Gretchen - moules a la grecque: Nothing could sway my love of mussels. The Fennel bulb was a delightful twist Molly - petatou: Olives are annoying to Recipes are picky preparations but absolutely worth it. This is the book and the chef that brought me my dearest friends and kicked off our first cookbook club gathering. Here's what I've tasted and the cookbook club cooks who made them: Me - boeuf bourguingon: not your corn starch thickened momma's beef stew. Use a good wine and you won't regret it. Gretchen - moules a la grecque: Nothing could sway my love of mussels. The Fennel bulb was a delightful twist Molly - petatou: Olives are annoying to pit but this potato dish was so amazing. I've never had anything like it. Love love loved it. Sheela - chocolate hazelnut tart: Sheela's pastries are always flawless. This was no exception. Awesomely delicious combination.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Celeste Miller

    Though a bit overfond of the word "noble" and the rule of three, Bourdain is a damn good writer. At the same time he calls you numbnuts or knucklehead (sometimes within the ingredients list) or urge you to hang yourself with your own apron (should you roast a chicken the way most Americans do), Tony does actually want you to learn these techniques and dishes. He may be a chef, but he's first and foremost an eater and his snark and hauteur come from the right place -- if you can, why would you ch Though a bit overfond of the word "noble" and the rule of three, Bourdain is a damn good writer. At the same time he calls you numbnuts or knucklehead (sometimes within the ingredients list) or urge you to hang yourself with your own apron (should you roast a chicken the way most Americans do), Tony does actually want you to learn these techniques and dishes. He may be a chef, but he's first and foremost an eater and his snark and hauteur come from the right place -- if you can, why would you choose not to make the most out of eating? He also gives the best explanation I've ever read for how to make a demi-glace.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    I cannot rate this cookbook highly enough. Bourdain's personality shows through, but it doesn't detract from the food - much (if not most) of which I tried at Les Halles before the Washington store closed. If this doesn't turn you on to French bistro and peasant food, I'm not sure anything will. Witness his introduction to Pâté de Campagne: "You've made meat loaf, right? You've eaten cold meat loaf, yes? Then you're halfway to being an ass-kicking, name-taking charcutier. "Ooooh... pâté, I don't I cannot rate this cookbook highly enough. Bourdain's personality shows through, but it doesn't detract from the food - much (if not most) of which I tried at Les Halles before the Washington store closed. If this doesn't turn you on to French bistro and peasant food, I'm not sure anything will. Witness his introduction to Pâté de Campagne: "You've made meat loaf, right? You've eaten cold meat loaf, yes? Then you're halfway to being an ass-kicking, name-taking charcutier. "Ooooh... pâté, I don't know." Please. Campagne means "country" in French - which means even your country-ass can make it."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Read this one not just for the recipes (which to amateur home cooks can be intimidating at first glance) Reading through the introduction and Bourdain's frank instructions and wisdom will instill you with the confidence you need to continue cooking and learning. But also, he not going to pump up you ego so you'll feel that you too can be a professional cook by the end of it. But I don't really want to be. Learned some great tips and a few more recipes for my tacky recipe box that sits on my coun Read this one not just for the recipes (which to amateur home cooks can be intimidating at first glance) Reading through the introduction and Bourdain's frank instructions and wisdom will instill you with the confidence you need to continue cooking and learning. But also, he not going to pump up you ego so you'll feel that you too can be a professional cook by the end of it. But I don't really want to be. Learned some great tips and a few more recipes for my tacky recipe box that sits on my counter (a sight that would probably shock Chef Bourdain with its content) Recommended for foodies, causal cooks and anyone who likes humor and food. Now, I have to go make those famous frites.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Aune

    In his classic testosterone fueled tough guy language Chef Anthony Bourdain shares techniques and recipes from the New York brasserie he was chef at for years. He deals out his share of tough love often calling the reader "stupid" or "numbnuts "for not knowing tricks of restaurant trade. The food is great and the book contains recipes for the titans of classic French cooking. If the reader is looking for some great recipes and doesn't mind the constant derision from an ex-junkie Old school chef, In his classic testosterone fueled tough guy language Chef Anthony Bourdain shares techniques and recipes from the New York brasserie he was chef at for years. He deals out his share of tough love often calling the reader "stupid" or "numbnuts "for not knowing tricks of restaurant trade. The food is great and the book contains recipes for the titans of classic French cooking. If the reader is looking for some great recipes and doesn't mind the constant derision from an ex-junkie Old school chef, or has already had the pleasure of working for one and is now desensitized to the harassment, this is a decent pick. For most other readers this book will be a little upsetting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily Von pfahl

    As a read, this is widely entertaining (provided you don't object to profanity and like Bourdain) and informative. As a cookbook for the home cook, despite the fact that the directions are very complete (he even lists the equipment you'll need), it doesn't really work. The recipes are complex and time consuming (some requiring multiple days of work), and involve pricey ingredients that aren't readily available unless you live in a fairly large metropolitan area. I'm very glad I didn't buy it, bu As a read, this is widely entertaining (provided you don't object to profanity and like Bourdain) and informative. As a cookbook for the home cook, despite the fact that the directions are very complete (he even lists the equipment you'll need), it doesn't really work. The recipes are complex and time consuming (some requiring multiple days of work), and involve pricey ingredients that aren't readily available unless you live in a fairly large metropolitan area. I'm very glad I didn't buy it, but I have enjoyed reading it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Afiq Asyran

    I love the introduction by Bourdain himself in first few pages of Les Halles Cookbook. I enjoy it as much as I enjoy reading Kitchen Confidential over and over again especially the part How to Cook Like Pros. And he elaborate that subject in the beginning of this book, Part A, B and C. From what you need to have in the kitchen, how to prepare your mise en place, stocks, the basic. The recipes (France Cooking) looks nice, easy to cook and most importantly feasible technique in preparing it to mak I love the introduction by Bourdain himself in first few pages of Les Halles Cookbook. I enjoy it as much as I enjoy reading Kitchen Confidential over and over again especially the part How to Cook Like Pros. And he elaborate that subject in the beginning of this book, Part A, B and C. From what you need to have in the kitchen, how to prepare your mise en place, stocks, the basic. The recipes (France Cooking) looks nice, easy to cook and most importantly feasible technique in preparing it to make sure you can cook it fast, efficient. -1star for this book becauseof lack of pictures in it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I really enjoyed reading this cookbook. It isn't very often that a cookbook causes me to laugh out loud. ("Fine. Don't make your own breadcrumbs. I feel sorry for your victims/guests.") Most of the recipes are surprisingly easy. I still have no idea where to buy oxtails and I'm not sure I could eat gelatinous calves foot, but I'm confident that I could cook them if necessary. I particularly liked the way he narrated each recipe, as if he was looking over your shoulder to make sure. I'm going to I really enjoyed reading this cookbook. It isn't very often that a cookbook causes me to laugh out loud. ("Fine. Don't make your own breadcrumbs. I feel sorry for your victims/guests.") Most of the recipes are surprisingly easy. I still have no idea where to buy oxtails and I'm not sure I could eat gelatinous calves foot, but I'm confident that I could cook them if necessary. I particularly liked the way he narrated each recipe, as if he was looking over your shoulder to make sure. I'm going to pick this one up on Amazon when I find a good used copy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    After reading through this cookbook, I would not believe the hype about Bourdain. Yes, these are wonderful French recipes, but there is nothing innovative and new about them. They are the classics, which is wonderful, but these are all ones already in my collection. It would be a good book for someone who may not have any French cookbooks. The photographs are gorgeous and the butcher paper used in the design and layout is fun. This is a better book for a fan of Bourdain than it is for a serious After reading through this cookbook, I would not believe the hype about Bourdain. Yes, these are wonderful French recipes, but there is nothing innovative and new about them. They are the classics, which is wonderful, but these are all ones already in my collection. It would be a good book for someone who may not have any French cookbooks. The photographs are gorgeous and the butcher paper used in the design and layout is fun. This is a better book for a fan of Bourdain than it is for a serious cook.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lane Hinson

    Yes, only I would have a cook book sitting in my living room on my coffee table. A good read full of plenty of useful hints, techniques and some great recipes. Many of them are classic french but are a lot easier to get through than Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which I found to be a little bit dated. It's also filled with plenty of anecdotes, funny witticisms and classic Bourdain instructions. If you're just starting to try and recreate a good boueff bourginon or a cassoule Yes, only I would have a cook book sitting in my living room on my coffee table. A good read full of plenty of useful hints, techniques and some great recipes. Many of them are classic french but are a lot easier to get through than Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which I found to be a little bit dated. It's also filled with plenty of anecdotes, funny witticisms and classic Bourdain instructions. If you're just starting to try and recreate a good boueff bourginon or a cassoulet, then I'd definitly suggest picking this one up.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I will confess, I've not made a single dish from this cookbook since acquiring it months (and months) ago. But Anthony Bourdain writes a pretty entertaining cookbook! Not surprising, since I find his quirky sense of humor very appealing. The book would have gotten 5 stars if I could actually find veal bones (easily) in the market. It might actually drive me to try and make veal stock to use regularly in my cooking.

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