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Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking Hardcover – Illustrated, October 19, 2004
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Bestselling author, TV host, and chef Anthony Bourdain reveals the hearty, delicious recipes of Les Halles, the classic New York City French bistro where he got his start.
Before stunning the world with his bestselling Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain, host of the celebrated TV shows Parts Unknown and No Reservations, spent years serving some of the best French brasserie food in New York. With its no-nonsense, down-to-earth atmosphere, Les Halles matched Bourdain's style perfectly: a restaurant where you can dress down, talk loudly, drink a little too much wine, and have a good time with friends. Now, Bourdain brings you his Les Halles Cookbook, a cookbook like no other: candid, funny, audacious, full of his signature charm and bravado.
Bourdain teaches you everything you need to know to prepare classic French bistro fare. While you're being guided, in simple steps, through recipes like roasted veal short ribs and steak frites, escargots aux noix and foie gras au pruneaux, you'll feel like he's in the kitchen beside you-reeling off a few insults when you've scorched the sauce, and then patting you on the back for finally getting the steak tartare right.
As practical as it is entertaining, Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook is a can't-miss treat for cookbook lovers, aspiring chefs, and Bourdain fans everywhere.
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"Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook joins the classic French cookbooks on my shelf, and shames every would-be 'bistro bible'. Nobody else writes with such respect for real food."--Mario Batali
"Anyone serious about their cooking will want to own Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. It has an enormous amount of vital information presented in Bourdain's pungent, abrasive, and memorable writing style."--Jim Harrison
"This is a great cookbook! Anthony Bourdain directs you brilliantly through delicious recipes, with explanations that are crystal clear."--Eric Ripert
"Don''t be misled by Anthony Bourdain''s witty, irreverent style. His Les Halles Cookbook is solid, smart, and informative, and his recipes are bona fide bistro fareAn instant classic." -- Jacques Ppin
"Anthony Bourdain''s Les Halles Cookbook joins the classic French cookbooks on my shelf, and shames every would-be ''bistro bible''. Nobody else writes with such respect for real food." -- Mario Batali
"Bourdain shows himself to be one of the country''s best food writers. His opinions are as strong as his language, and his tastes as infectious as his joy."
"Bourdain shows himself to be one of the country's best food writers. His opinions are as strong as his language, and his tastes as infectious as his joy."
- ASIN : 158234180X
- Publisher : Bloomsbury USA; Illustrated edition (October 19, 2004)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781582341804
- ISBN-13 : 978-1582341804
- Item Weight : 2.55 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.36 x 1.36 x 9.72 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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He's right, you can find those same recipes elsewhere, he is only giving you (in an often paired down quantity to suite the home kitchen) the way they cook it at Les Halles. The thing is, they obviously do it well at Les Halles. I've made some of the same dishes from other French cookbooks but never achieved the same results.
Absolute stand outs (and for me more than worth the cost of the book right there) that I have already prepared several times from this book:
*coq au vin
One of the things he does well is demystify cooking. You break down a complex recipe into step by step and before you know it you have a meal that you can actually taste the layers and see how the flavors fit together without blending into one (ala slow cooker) taste.
Honestly, there are some recipes that I may not try because they just do not appeal to me. However, i have tried quite a few, learning some new techniques, and having other techniques reinforced, that i learned form watching Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. I would recommend this book very highly, as an historical time capsule for (a) preserving Anthony's legacy, (b) preserving the lost art of French Bistro cuisine (c) conveying the importance of a chef's or home cooks organization and (d) how to write a cookbook in a language that is alive and speaks, actually communicates, to the reader as if they are in the same room. I have the similar feeling about the writings of Mark Twain. I believe Anthony Bourdain is the reincarnation of Mark Twain, but with better cooking skills and slightly similar penchants for addiction (Mark Twain for Cigars, Tony for the hard stuff).
Some people have a Bible in their home and never crack it open. At least buy this book; you may not crack it open, but at least you know that it is there and more useful in everyday life; it is there for inspiration and it has great recipes for pork "rillettes," rabbit, mussels, mushroom soup. "cassoulet," "gigot de sept heures" and how to roast an F-N chicken! As he states on page 181, ". . . if you can't properly roast a damn chicken then you are one helpless, hopeless, sorry-ass bivalve in an apron. Take that apron off. You do not deserve to wear the proud garment of generations of hardworking, dedicated cooks. Turn in those clogs, too."
All of the instruction is no-nonsense, and accommodates the home kitchen -- you can probably prepare most if not all of the recipes with a single knife, and Bourdain encourages you to do so. The total lack of pretentiousness, especially regarding equipment, is fantastic. I'd say "Les Halles" rivals Paul Prudhomme's "Louisiana Kitchen" in its emphasis on the love of good food over fancy technique.
Every recipe is delicious. Like, "you cant even have to say it's delicious, because you ate too much of it to even speak" delicious. And as much as Bourdain loves pork, the real treat here is the fish, and the pie dough recipe alone is worth the price.
The accompanying photography is suberb, as is the typesetting and layout. Real care went into making this. And it's plain just a beautiful book. Under the dust jacket, embossed in gold on the maroon cover, there's a skull with a chef's hat clutching a dripping knife in its teeth. So if nothing else, this will be hands down the coolest cookbook on your shelf.