January 23, 2012

Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook - Making Dinner Will Never Be The Same Again


It has taken eating in a lot of restaurants and interviewing a lot of chefs to get my head around to considering attempt modernist cuisine in my own home. After all, I'm all about making meatloaf, chicken pot pie and other comfort foods.

But with a recent trip to Montreal where I had awe-inspiring meals at both Laurie Raphaël at Hotel Le Germain and Les 400 Coups (which you can read more about in Poetry of Food Magazine in a week or so) and speaking with chefs like Matt Kantor, I am convinced that with a little patience, I can master a few of the techniques required to create molecular dishes that will wow the crowd. Or at least, my and my fella.

So I got myself the new Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook, because who better than Daniel Humm and Will Guidara to guide me. After all, these guys put Eleven Madison Park on the map:

The New York Times - Four Stars, 2009
Michelin Guide - Three Stars, 2012
Forbes Travel Guide - Five Stars, 2010
S. Pellegrino - The World's 50 Best Restaurants, 2011
James Beard Foundation - Outstanding Restaurant Award, 2011
James Beard Foundation - Angela Pinkerton, Outstanding Pastry Chef Award, 2011
James Beard Foundation - Daniel Humm, Best Chef New York City, 2010


Their seasonally-driven menu has translated to the cookbook, which is sectioned into seasons and to allow you to shop for what's best right now.

And take it as slowly as you need to.I am not a perfectionist in the kitchen and so at first glance Chicken Roasted with Truffles and Leeks looks daunting with its 9 components: Marble Potato Confit, Vin Jaune Cream Sauce, Braised Leeks, Vin Jaune Sabayon, Marinated Foie Gras, Brioche Stuffing, Roasted Chicken, Chicken Fricassee and Truffle Jus. Yeah, that's just not going to happen right here at the beginning of my journey. But I can absolutely do Hamachi Marinated with Lemon, Fennel and Horseradish.

This very large, very heavy book is not going to be something I'm cooking from every day, but it will be serving as an inspirational guide as I work my way into molecular cooking this year. I think it could do the same for you [The photos alone (taken by the ultra-talented Francesco Tonelli) will drive you to want to do more, be more, cook better].

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