Due to a blunder of colossal proportions in the Ruhlman Enterprises travel department, my itinerary returned me to Cleveland last night rather than to Chicago, where Donna and I were to have been a part of the second of three per se/alinea/french laundry dinners. So rather than eating black truffle explosions and sea urchin soup, Donna and I ate carbonarra and salad with the kids.
While they are both valuable in and of themselves as published works of text and image (and alinea also offers an interactive website if you purchase the book there, at Amazon's price no less), both are aimed at professional cooks and intrepid home cooks; in other words, the recipes are exact documents of the way these four-star restaurants prepare these dishes with no concessions made for home-friendliness.
Nevertheless, some have already begun to write about Alinea recipes. In a hilarious back and forth effort between Decider Chicago and Alinea co-owner Nick Kokonas and kids, Kokonas demonstrates how cooking from Alinea is child’s play, after watching Decider Chicago’s disastrous attempt at a pheasant dish. All of which Decider wrote about with good humor.
(If you missed Grant Achatz giving Kokonas a sous-vide-at-home demo, here is part one and part two—it’s interesting and valuable especially as it shows Grant using nothing but zip-top bags and a pot of water on the stove with a thermometer.)
And today, the Washington Post writes about Carol Blymire, erstwhile FL at Homer, who has begun to work her way through the Alinea cookbook. It’s an excellent article accompanied by a slide show of Carol at work in her kitchen. She’s got some serious work ahead of her.
And if you’re curious about how the dinner at Alinea went—I know I am!—check in on hungrymag.com, where Mike Nagrant promises some description of the dining experience of a lifetime. …sigh…
(Btw, I've just been sent a link to the podcast of Keller and myself at the Free Library in Philadelphia. Click past my windy intro to hear Keller describe sous vide in his own words.)