My favorite cookbook of all time is The French Laundry. It barely has a recipe in it that I, as a vegan can eat, but that doesn't stop me from devouring this cookbook page by page. For me, it's the epitome of what cooking is all about. Thomas Keller. When i say his name it is always followed by a deep sigh. He is my idol and role model in the kitchen. I adore everything about his approach to food, cooking and presentation. You could say I have a small/large crush on him. I have never eaten at the French Laundry, even though our oldest son attended college in the Napa Valley, which may explain why I could never afford to eat there.
There are many reasons to love Thomas Keller. But for me, one of the biggest reasons is his love for his mother. Given that I am the mother of 3 sons, his acknowledgement of his mothers influence on his life is what truly gets me. Here is an excerpt from his book that helped me fall in love with him...
"My mom Betty, was and remains the biggest influence, if that's the word, in my life. Long before she put me to work, she taught me how to clean our home. Everything had to shine. That standard of perfect cleanliness was its own gift, given the work I'd choose. She was a focused, intense woman, the driving force of the family, and she taught through her own actions. I honestly don't know who I'd be if I'd been raised by, and had grown up watching someone other than her."
How can you not adore this man? So on top of that he is an amazing chef. His attention to detail is staggering. I often get goosebumps reading the details in his book. The menus, recipes, photography, side stories are so fabulous that I have re-read this book dozens of times. It reminds me to stay true to the food I am preparing, to honor it through careful preparation and presentation and to take my time and enjoy the whole process. So while there are very few things that I can copy or translate to vegan, it remains my favorite cookbook of all time.
I'd love to know what your favorite cookbook is and why.