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Old 11-04-2004, 06:08 AM   #1
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Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook

Truly astounding.

If ever I get to NY, I am gonna try to shake this man's hand. What a cool cookbook.

I read Anthony's first book, "Kitchen Confidential," before I ever held a saute pan professionally. I read it while riding the train to cooking school and I always thought the majority of his writings were fabricated a bit. "Co'mon, It can't be that bad!?" There is NO WAY that happened!" And so on.... Well, with nearly a year and a half under my belt in the cooking profession, I too can write a book of all the disturbing stuff I've seen and scary people I've met. (Well, maybe not a book yet, but surely a few good chapters.)

As far as I know, this is Mr. Bourdain's third book and first as a true "cookbook." It houses all of the recipes from Les Halles in New York, written in Tony's unique flair for life. It reads as if he's speaking to you while he sips a beer with you at the bar. Even the glossary is written in Tony's own words. I read through them testing my retention of my CUL 101 vocabulary and found myself laughing aloud.

Example #1

Foie Gras - The fattened liver of a goose or duck. Unfortunately, an endangered menu item with the advent of angry, humorless, twisted anticruelty activists who've never had any kind of good sex or laughed heartily at a joke in their whole miserable lives and who are currently threatening and terrorizing chefs and their families to get the stuff banned. Likely to disappear from tables outside of France in our lifetime.

Example #2

Bisque - Yet another term that has been so totally corrupted over time as to become unrecognizable. Originally, bisque was thought to be the original soup: usually shellfish, pounded with rocks or primitive mortar and pestle by our apelike forebears until soupy. Classically, a bisque is a soup of lobster or crab in which the pulverized shells are an element or thickening agent. These days, however, it seems to mean any damn soup you throw into a blender until a rough puree is achieved, e.g., tomato bisque. A pretentious creamed or pureed soup.



Tony tells how it is and I love him for it.

If you like French food, and want to learn from a master, pick up Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook.

It's magnificent to say the least.

RJ

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Old 11-04-2004, 06:17 AM   #2
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Note to admins...

I noticed that I tripped the filter a bit with this above post. I meant not to offend anyone by posting Tony's bluntness. I apologize if I did. If you feel that my posting of Anthony's material is in some copyright infringement, please delete it. I figured it would be cool since I am trying to get more people to buy his book.

I love Anthony Bourdain.

I love this fourm too.

Me don't wanna rock no boat.

RJ
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Old 11-04-2004, 06:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for the great review! I think Tony would love to hear you sing his praise! I love the guy, too, have worked in the 'profession' and can attest to the gruesome happenings the general public doesn't always hear about!

When I saw your topic, I opened it with bated breath, because the book is on my Christmas list - was so glad to hear the good news!
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:49 AM   #4
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RJ, I picked up "Kitchen Confidential" on a whim and read the whole thing in one sitting. I love his smartass approach to himself and to the "biz".
There's a whole lotta people out there who hate him, but I think he's a kick. If I can squeeze one more cookbook on my sagging baker's rack, it will likely be his!
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Old 11-04-2004, 08:34 AM   #5
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heya rj,

i was just reading a review of both of those books in my newspaper. like you, they were pleasently surprised by his street-style wit and candor.

add another item to my christmas list, i want "les halles".

there also was a recipe from les halles for a french lamb neck or shoulder stew in the newspaper, called "dauphne provencal" or something like that. going to try to make it soon, lol, along with all of the good recipes i find here. hopefully soon...
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Old 11-04-2004, 10:50 AM   #6
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This post is so handy to find! I haven't read Kitchen Confidential yet, but will ASAP and Anthony's Les Halles is going on the Christmas List here, too!

I really appreciate everyone's contributions here, especially the excerpts, Ardge!

You guys are the best. I don't care what anyone says...
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Old 11-04-2004, 05:00 PM   #7
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Hey everyone! I'm so glad my review was well received. Trust me, if you're ANY kind of foodie, this is a great cookbook for you.

side note....

This Les Halles book is very well made. I've had a few cookbooks where the binding cracked the first day. I've had creased pages. I've had LOOSE and MISSING pages. This book is a tank. The paper stock is the thickest I've seen in recent memory, and on top of that, it just FEELS good. (I think I wanna tell you that it smells good too, but that would give me as a wierdo for smelling my cookbooks.)

side note number two.....

If you dug Kitchen Confidential, you have to get a copy of A Cook's Tour as well. This is the book that spawned his FoodTV show. A Cook's Tour is all about traveling and tasting the world as well as meeting the cooks that go along with the tastes. Great "one sitting" read as well. Anthony is the coolest in my book. (I should say Anthony is the coolest on my list. I don't have a book..... yet.)

RJ
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Old 11-04-2004, 05:52 PM   #8
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Im glad you posted this. I adore AB..I loved Kitchen Confidential
" Feed the B***h'
I read it in record time ( well for me) and sent it over to my brother in Rhode Island, we still talk about it !! LOL.

Thanks for review !! cant wait to read it !!

Sus~ :D
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:03 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tip Ardge! I loved Kitchen Confidential. Got it as a gift for my birthday some years back. Now with your push I'll definitely have to get Les Halles even if I have to pop for it!

Btw, is The French Laundry Cookbook worth buying? Someone was highly recommending it to me too. Thanks!
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopstix
Thanks for the tip Ardge! I loved Kitchen Confidential. Got it as a gift for my birthday some years back. Now with your push I'll definitely have to get Les Halles even if I have to pop for it!

Btw, is The French Laundry Cookbook worth buying? Someone was highly recommending it to me too. Thanks!
CS, I don't know that book. The only other French books I have are my Le Cordon Bleu school books written by Wayne Gisslen and anything written by Jacques Pepin and James Peterson.


:)

RJ
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