With a chapter entitled 'blood and guts' and an introduction about Les Halles asking 'What the hell is it?', you know what you're going to get in this classic by the late Anthony Bourdain. A master story-teller, hilarious, straight-talking and yet vulnerable, the chef behind the NY brasserie that was Les Halles shares - in his words - “the official recipes from the best goddamn brasserie/bistro in the country”.
from the publisher
No one writes about food or cooking quite like Anthony Bourdain. In his books Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour, Bourdain captivated readers all over the world with his gritty, action-packed tales of the kitchen. Now he brings his inimitable style and energy to Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. It features over a hundred mouth watering recipes from lobster bisque to cassoulet, and from boeuf bourguignon to creme brulee, all from Anthony's own restaurant, the Brasserie Les Halles in New York. Also including Anthony's words of wisdom and general principles, this is guaranteed to be as much a good read as a guide to cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
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A masterclass in how to turn a recipe book into entertaining bedtime reading. “Poulet Roti: That's roast chicken, numbnuts! And if you can't properly roast a damn chicken then you are one helpless, hopeless, sorry-ass bivalve in an apron. Take that apron off, wrap it around your neck, and hang yourself. You do not deserve to wear the proud garment of generations of hardworking, dedicated cooks. Turn in those clogs, too.”
I made a pilgrimage to Les Halles (long after Bourdain had left) to eat steak frites. It was OK. The book is better: meat-heavy and full of the wit, honesty and authenticity that made Bourdain universally loved by chefs.
Host/producer of cookbook podcast Cookery by the Book
Anthony Bourdain’s simple frank instructions give me the confidence to tackle a long winded complicated classic French recipe.
Coordinator for England of the Slow Food Chef Alliance and Ark of Taste
Bistro classics, fun to read.