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Happy in the Kitchen: Richard, Michel

Happy in the Kitchen

Richard, Michel

ISBN 10: 1579652999 / ISBN 13: 9781579652999
Published by Artisan, 2006
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Needham Book Finders (Valencia, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Brand new! Hard cover w/ DJ. First Edition, first printing. SIGNED by Michel Richard. Text is has no remainder markings. Cover in mylar jacket. All orders are carefully packaged and shipped quickly with delivery confirmation and email notification of shipment. Thank you. Bookseller Inventory # 4489

Bibliographic Details

Title: Happy in the Kitchen

Publisher: Artisan

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


It's the passionate professional chef with a compulsion to explore whom we should thank for those extraordinary techniques and ideas that continually find their way into the home kitchen. Whether it's poaching in plastic or using vegetable waters instead of fat to enrich flavor, or new tricks with the inexpensive Japanese mandoline, professionals expand our horizons. And among his colleagues, Michel Richard is the chef's chef, the one others look to for inspiration. "Why didn't I think of that?" asks Thomas Keller, in his foreword to Happy in the Kitchen, about Richard's innovative technique. Michel Richard leads the way and always has—at his L.A. restaurants, Citrus and Citronelle, and now in Washington, D.C., at Michel Richard Citronelle and his newly opened Central. He never ceases to explore and his food never fails to satisfy.

Happy in the Kitchen is teeming with "Richard-esque" discoveries, whether it's an amazingly simple technique for dicing vegetables, a delicious [low-carb] carbonara made with onions rather than pasta, or a schnitzel made of pureed squid. He's playful—always—but also a perfectionist and an iconoclast. What can you say about a chef who makes risotto with potatoes, prefers frozen Brussels sprouts, and whips up spectacular chocolate pudding and béchamel in the microwave? A chef who doesn't shock blanched vegetables in ice water, but uses his freezer as though it were a fifth burner, and turns raspberries and almonds into "salami"?

Enamored of crispness, this master chef, who calls himself Captain Crunch, makes a potato gratin that is all crust and fries carrots until crisp. Always seeking to surprise, he stuffs onion shells and serves them as pasta, and he scrambles scallops and serves them as if they were eggs. But the surprise is not just in the form the ingredients take in each dish, but in the taste.

Richard offers recipes for the foods we love, but always looks for the twist that makes good things great—whether it's Lamburgers, Lobster Burgers, or Tuna Burgers, Turkey "Steak" au Poivre, or the chocolate reverie Michel calls Le Kit Cat. And with recipe titles such as Shrimp "Einstein," Jolly Green Brussels Sprouts, Chicken Faux Gras, Figgy Piggy, Chocolate Popcorn, and Happy Kid Pudding, Happy in the Kitchen lets you know you're in for good tastes and good times.

Every delicious moment is captured in glorious images of finished dishes, as well as exceptional step-by-step photographs that make easy work of slicing, dicing, shaping, and other essential hand skills. Happy in the Kitchen is a book that will make you laugh and learn, and it will delight you every step of the way.


"In cooking as in love, you have to try new things to keep it interesting." So says chef Michel Richard in his cookbook Happy in the Kitchen, a collection of 150-plus recipes that more than make his point. Whether reinventing traditional recipes, often whimsically, as he does with dishes like Tomato Tartare, Cuttlefish Schnitzel, and Turkey "Steak" au Poivre, or presenting otherwise novel treats like Tuna Medallions with Passion Fruit Salsa; Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Honeydew Melon; and Lamb-Loin with Basil Crust and Fennel, Richard delights readers with creativity that can thrill. Vegetable dishes, including his spuds-for-rice Potato Risotto and Lo-Carb Carbonara, in which sliced onions sub for pasta, are particularly ingenious. Equally novel--and tempting--are sweets like Upside-Down Chocolate Orange Sponge Cake, Lemon-Lime Madeleine Muffins, and Raspberry Meringues with Raspberry Tuiles.

To pull off his particular sleight-of-hand, Richard has devised novel techniques--like using plastic film to shape and poach food, and gelatin to bind fatlessly--that all cooks should know about. Whether readers will tackle the often-exacting recipes will depend on their willingness to engage in kitchen workouts that also regularly require special equipment like a Japanese mandoline and electric meat slicer. Though there are a number of simpler, homier recipes like Tomato Soup with Fresh Mozzarella and Thyme-Glazed Baby Back Ribs--and the formulas themselves couldn't be more lucid--this handsome book will probably be best appreciated as an artful record of a great and wonderfully playful cooking intelligence. Replete with stunning photos, used generously to illustrate techniques, it's hard to imagine any serious cook who wouldn't want to join Richard, dig in, and learn. --Arthur Boehm

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