Find our top nine picks for the best general cookbooks published in the United States since 1987.
Make no mistake, this is not home cooking as you or I know it. It’s Keller’s home. And although none of the recipes in Ad Hoc at Home call for exotic restaurant equipment, it takes plenty of work and attention to detail to hit the Keller high notes. But if you’re inclined to roll up your sleeves and stretch a bit, the book delivers. Keller’s beef stew involves subrecipes for braised beef short ribs and an onion-tomato soffrito mixture that cooks for about five hours—but anything less would fall short of perfection. And in the end the dish is not about showmanship but stupendous flavor.
Ad Hoc at Home is probably the closest any of us will come to a private cooking lesson with one of America’s great chefs.
GIVE THIS TO: A seasoned, adventurous home cook looking to up her game to wow friends and family. —Tim Cebula