The French Laundry, Per Se

Preparing the gorgeously intricate dishes in celebrated chef Thomas Keller's new cookbook, The French Laundry, Per Se, requires time and a certain amount of curiosity. Offering up French American recipes from Keller's iconic Napa Valley outpost, The French Laundry, and its New York City cousin, per se, Keller's latest cookbook details refined courses that might be a challenge for amateur cooks to get right--but they are likely worth the effort. The classics like French onion soup are here, alongside enticing canapés, appetizers, main courses and desserts, with plenty of vegetarian options. Elegant photos, striking in their simplicity, accompany many recipes, while others come with names and descriptions that border on poetic, like "frost-kissed garden cauliflower." Complete with essays by Keller and others, this is as much cookbook as meditation on the art of fine dining today. --Angela Lutz, freelance reviewer

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