Cooking Chef Recipes at Home: What’s Been Your Experience?

Cooking Chef Recipes at Home: What’s Been Your Experience?

Emma Christensen
Apr 7, 2009

Every time we see a new cookbook by a top chef featuring recipes from their high-end restaurant, we feel torn. We're drawn in by the possibility of recreating a fantastic restaurant meal in at home, but our success rate in the past has been...not so much. What about you?

In his interview with David Leite, Chef John Torode has a great quote: "Restaurant recipes belong in the restaurant." He goes on to explain that chefs in a restaurant are cooking a dish day after day for weeks or months at a time, constantly refining the recipe and perfecting the technique. The idea that a home cook - even a really excellent home cook - could cook that same dish perfectly right off the bat is unrealistic and the experience ends up being disappointing for the home cook.

We tend to agree. We would also add that one of the reasons we like going out to eat is that we get to taste something that we couldn't or wouldn't want to fuss with making at home. We go out to restaurants to be inspired and see what's possible. Attempting to duplicate the dish at home can be a fun exercise, but not something we'd want to do all the time.

Now before we turn this topic over for discussion, we'll add one last thought. We feel following a chef's recipe from a cookbook is different from getting excited by a restaurant meal and then creating your own version at home. The former tends to be fussy and sets the bar for perfection quite high. The latter can be a creative and very personal process of cooking by feel.

Do you agree? Are there some chef recipes that you love making at home?

Related: Plating and Presentation: How Important Is It To You?

(Image: Flickr member xmatt licensed under Creative Commons)

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