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Carol finished Cooking Keller
October 19, 2008 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Carol Blymire recently finished cooking every single recipe in the formidable French Laundry cookbook. Here are some of her reflections on the journey, including favorite recipes, recipes to break your Thomas Keller cherry, and seasonal menus.
posted by AceRock (19 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Carol will also soon be launching Alinea at Home
posted by AceRock at 6:46 PM on October 19, 2008


This one about cooking a pigs head has an entertaining video. Kind of interesting how the entire head squashes down to the size of a sausage.
posted by stbalbach at 7:11 PM on October 19, 2008


Julie Powell did this with "The Art of French Cooking" which is a rather robust endeavor. I thought we did that here but my meta-search-fu is lacking this evening.
posted by caddis at 7:46 PM on October 19, 2008


I enjoyed that- thank for posting it!
posted by fshgrl at 7:48 PM on October 19, 2008


I think she's awesome, mostly because I have a complete inability to follow recipes. Don't get me wrong, I love cookbooks, but I tend to look at the recipe, think "that looks f'n GREAT" and then set about cooking it without ever looking at it again. I'm just a born tinkerer, so I do have genuinely huge respect for people with the discipline to do it by the numbers. My stuff never tastes the same twice, which I'm fine with, but I do wish I had (once in a while) the mental steel to do what she does.
posted by unSane at 8:50 PM on October 19, 2008


Carol will also soon be launching Alinea at Home.

Wow. That's amazing; I don't think there's a single recipe in that book I could actually pull off at home.
posted by jacobian at 9:38 PM on October 19, 2008


I think its amazing that the internet makes people famous for doing all the things we would love to do but haven't gotten to yet.
posted by Rubbstone at 10:03 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


That was tons of fun to read (on a night that I got creative with my own cooking, so perfect timing!) and I'm kind of sad I got to it at the end of the project though I have to say that seeing the complete spread of it was great, too.
posted by librarylis at 10:42 PM on October 19, 2008


I've loved reading French Laundry at Home, and had no idea she was getting that close to finishing. What she has said about TFL cookbook is true — it's not weeknight cooking, but it teaches you principles and techniques that make your day-to-day cooking so much better.

I can't wait to see how she tackles Alinea.
posted by teem at 11:51 PM on October 19, 2008


I got no further than "cut the faces off of live crabs."
posted by 1adam12 at 3:39 AM on October 20, 2008


I got no further than "cut the faces off of live crabs."

I find it actually helps if you are reminded from time-to-time that cookbooks like these are, at times, as much about how to disassemble living creatures (well...formerly living) as they are about fine dining. One should be reminded where this tasty meat came from. One of my favorite sight gags from a movie was from The Addams Family...a quick scan of cookbooks showed a copy of Gray's Anatomy.

My daughter refuses to eat any meat from the bone, because it reminds her too starkly of the meat's origin.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:00 AM on October 20, 2008


(well... formerly living)

No, in this case you were right first time. She's cut their faces off, vile stuff has oozed out, she's taken off their legs and trimmed their bodies to a nice shape - and they're still moving and crying out in piteous heart-rending little voices...

Alright, not the voices. But this is pretty extreme.
posted by Phanx at 9:01 AM on October 20, 2008


Is there an online dating site for people who want to meet other people who will cook for them from books like these?
posted by well_balanced at 9:53 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:39 AM on October 20, 2008


When the recipes for the French Laundry cookbook were conceived, Thomas Keller was still using updated French techniques and molecular gastronomy was largely confined to Barcelona and London. I don't think he was even using sous vide techniques at the time.

Alinea at Home is going to be in another league because she's going to need special equipment and ingredients for it. At minimum, a robust sous vide setup, foamers, PacoJet, evaporators, and a collection of powders, gels, and aspics. Not to mention all the custom-made food holders and display devices that Grant Achatz invented himself. I hope Carol has a friend in the scientific supply business.
posted by junesix at 3:13 PM on October 20, 2008


Is there an online dating site for people who want to meet other people who will cook for them from books like these?

I'm reminded of the tagline for the restaurant distributor S.E. Rykoff, "Enjoy Life, Eat Out More Often."
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:42 PM on October 20, 2008


Is there an online dating site for people who want to meet other people who will cook for them from books like these?

Be careful what you wish for. The type of people who use recipes that start with the words "slaughter" or "debone" are exactly the type who will chase you around the kitchen with the dead animal making while funny noises.

I speak from experience.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:05 PM on October 20, 2008


Thanks for this - one of her favorites from the book is this Cream of Walnut Soup and it sounds wonderfully awesome. ("Cream of Walnut Soup: It made me close my eyes, smile, and bounce around in my seat with glee.")

I'm definitely making it this weekend.
posted by Auden at 6:37 PM on October 20, 2008


The type of people who use recipes that start with the words "slaughter" or "debone" are exactly the type who will chase you around the kitchen with the dead animal making while funny noises.

And I can meet these people where, exactly?
posted by flaterik at 4:16 PM on October 21, 2008


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