Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I collect cookbooks. If you helped me move three years ago, you know this fact.(FYI, I have many more now, so if I ask you to help me move, you might want to reconsider) I don't always read them the whole way through...sometimes, I just look at the pictures. I collect cookbooks like boys collect baseball cards or some people collect pocketbooks or shoes. You see, I like to cook, but I also really like restaurants and food. Farmers and producers. Silver and crystal.

Imagine my surprise when on the last day in Paris I stumbled upon this gentleman in front of a bookstall. The stalls are called les bouquinistes. They are all up and down the Seine. This particular stall specializes in cookbooks, menus and food artwork.

Look closely, you'll see a Joel Robuchon book. If you could look closer you'd see a first edition Escoffier. What? So, after lining up a full stack of books, I was able to inquire where the closest ATM was. Upon arriving back at the stall, my new friend started dropping names of Americans who visit his stall that I may know. I knew them and so do you. How about a certain four star chef from New York? Or a four star chef from San Francisco?
Needless to say, I scored some amazing books and had a great conversation to boot.

I told you all of the above so that I could tell you this. I'm an idiot. The book below was released on September 30 of 2008. I knew about it, but didn't buy it. You see, like I said, I collect cookbooks. So, when I new book is coming out, I know about it and usually am able to put it on my wish list. The book below flew well below my radar, because, like I said. I'm an idiot. I looked at the title and thought it was a book for home cooks. You know....'here's stuff we do at the restaurant, dumbed down for the home cook'. Well, I got a copy last week because I read some really great reviews of the book. I've read the book cover to cover. I don't read cookbooks cover to cover. I've read the French Laundry book front to back and in between. I think this book may be as important as the Laundry book continues to be. Perhaps someone should blog their way through it(I'm talking to you Carol). If you like restaurants; if you like cooking; Please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book.

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