By Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan
"Well, of course Daniel Boulud is a food genius. Everybody knows that! What he's done with the Café Boulud Cookbook, though, is utterly tremendous. Home cooks will be bowled over by his passion for the simple and straightforward. These are the kind of recipes that truly make cooking fun!"
...Charlie Trotter, chef/owner, Charlie Trotter's, Chicago
He is considered by many to be America's greatest French chef, owner/chef of restaurants in New York City where he regularly feeds kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers. But this story does not begin in Manhattan. It begins some 4,000 miles away on a farm in the tiny town of Saint-Pierre de Chandieu, Daniel Boulud's hometown near Lyon, France.
At a not-quite restaurant called Café Boulud, generations of Bouluds fed generations of townsfolk in their petit café on the family farm. Daniel got his first taste of the kitchen there before leaving home at 14 to apprentice in a bistro. He spent the next 15 years in some of the great kitchens of Europe, training with legendary chefs like Roger Verge, Michel Guerard, and Georges Blanc. Then, it was on to America.
In 1998, 15 years after he left France, Daniel Boulud opened his own Café Boulud in New York, a tribute to the beginning of his culinary journey. In Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook, he presents a book full of the food that has inspired and defined his life in the kitchen, all translated for the American home cook by co-author Dorie Greenspan, author of the best-selling Baking with Julia and award-winning Desserts by Pierre Herme.
"I try very hard to be myself, to know where I come from and why I'm doing what I'm doing," Daniel says. In Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook he draws on 30 years in the kitchen sharing everything from cooking chicken fricassee like his Grandmother Francine to the high drama of preparing and presenting Sea Bass en Croute with Paul Bocuse. The book is organized like the modern-day Café Boulud's menu with recipes divided into four sections. Each section includes soups, starters, main courses, and desserts and explores one of Daniel's "muses" or inspirations: La Tradition, La Saison, Le Voyage, and Le Potager.
La Tradition is a culinary scrapbook of Daniels' life in France. Here are the rustic dishes of his childhood—caramelized onion soup, Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine, and Lamb Haricots—as well as bistro food like Boston Mackerel au Vin Blanc and Hanger Steak with Pommes Frites; and dishes inspired by some of the great kitchens of France—Fredy Girardet's Lobster a Ia Nage and Salmon and Sorrel Troisgros from the celebrated Troisgros brothers in Roanne.
From a fall soup of chestnuts, celery root and apples to winter's Cod with Blood Orange Sauce and Creamy Grits, La Saison uses ingredients coming into the market to capture the essence of a season, its aroma, flavor, and character. Honey-Glazed Chicken with Quince and Apples evokes the particular pleasures of autumn just as Light Vanilla Cakes with Fresh Berry Marmalade is a mouthful of summer.
Le Voyage is a culinary magic carpet ride to lands fantastic and real. Recipes are inspired by cultures, ingredients, legends, and chefs in places both visited and imagined. Some dishes are authentic, others pure invention. A classic Seafood Misto recalls Italy, and a Lacquered Chicken with Noodle Salad, perfect for a casual family meal, is a creation based on Asian flavors like soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger.
The final muse is the kitchen garden. Le Potager is dedicated to vegetarian dishes from a hearty Root Vegetable Cassoulet or a Cranberry Bean and Kale Stew, to a light sesame and soy scented bowl of Angel Hair Pasta and Vegetable Ribbons or an Orange Salad flavored with fresh rosemary and vanilla.
Ultimately, Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook is an autobiography of a chef's imagination. From a farm in France to New York City's Upper East Side, here are the experiences, influences, inspirations, moments, and memories from Daniel Boulud's extraordinary culinary life, many sure to become standards in the American home kitchen.
Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook
By Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan
Scribner, November 1999
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created November 1999
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