I’ve spent nearly a week in the Napa Valley working on the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook.  This will be the fifth book in a series led by Thomas Keller that began with The French Laundry Cookbook which is one of the best chef-restaurant cookbooks ever (do we need full dislosure here?). Forget the words I write—these books are truly fine and costly productions, and I think it’s important for people to know what goes into books of this magnitude, because so often people don’t know.  A team of people, from the many at Artisan, an imprint of Workman Publishing, who make beautiful books, to the commis at the restaurants who scale out the mise en place for the recipes for the chefs, and all those in between, including myself. In 1997, I flew out here to Read On »

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In the headlong rush to turn everything into an app, we have created amazing apps (shazam is truly amazing) and ridiculous apps (won’t name names). The publishers of cookbooks and chefs are among them.  Some publishers (S&S, my last publisher) are not entering the market; smaller more agile ones are (Chronicle, by chance publishing my next book). But what makes a valuable app? Since teaming up with Will Turnage, VP of technology and invention for the digital media firm R/GA, I’ve been creating apps for the iPad and smartphones and so have been thinking about how to proceed.  They take a lot of time and work and so far, return on investment is spotty (except in the games department). My goal is to create only apps that take unique advantage of the technology available.  Therefore, Read On »

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My second pick for innovative use of veal stock came in from Marc Barringer, Chef/Hopsitality Director, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Grosse Pointe Woods and  Food Service Director, Lost Lake Scout Reservation, Freeman Twp., Michigan. He’s also a freelance writer, innovative cook and classic jack-of-all-trades in the best cooks tradition (still a school crossing guard! God bless him!).  Veal stock is one of the great preparations of the kitchen that can elevate everyone’s cooking, and someone on twitter asked me what you could do with it. It lead to a lot of great ideas, in addition to the traditional uses for making sauces and enriching braises. Read the story of how Marc came up with bread—it’s classic innovation from the restaurant kitchen.  I love it.  And I love the bread.  Donna loves the bread. James loves the bread. Read On »

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This eggs Benedict post has new recipes for Hollandaise sauce and sourdough English muffins but I have to begin with the angry comment on my Tomato Sauce post. A reader was clearly miffed that I would suggest that anyone who works make their own tomato sauce. Well, I do suggest this, but I hasten to add that it’s not homemade or nothing. I’ve bought jarred tomato sauce when I knew I wouldn’t have time to make it myself. It’s more expensive, doesn’t taste as good and isn’t as much fun, but there are only so many hours in the day, and someday there’s just no time. My second response to Angry Reader is that he should do this: Make Eggs Benedict From Scratch! Yea, verily! And so should you, because the whole impact from flavor Read On »

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I recently posted on twitter that I don’t believe in no-knead bread, the phenomenon started by Jim Lahey—chef of the excellent pizza restaurant Co., and owner of Sullivan St. Bakery in Manhattan, and author of My Bread—when Mark Bittman wrote about Lahey’s no-knead technique in The New York Times. (Here’s Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe.) After tweeting, I almost immediately received an email from Nick Fox, a New York Times Dining editor, perplexed. The next day Bittman DM’d me on Twitter asking why? Jeff Hertzberg, an author of the popular Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, RT’d my comment, adding “Say it ain’t so!” Not long after that the eminent author and Vogue columnist, Jeffrey Steingarten, in an unrelated email, asked me what I had against no-knead bread. Time to address the issue. The fact Read On »

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