Well that didn’t work out very well. The entire Cookbook of The Month Program ™ has failed to meet it’s goals five (*****) times in row. The result is a dismal percentage for a program only five (*****) months old. Last month’s selection, *** (Three Star) Chef by Gordon Ramsay, had an uphill road to travel. Critics will debate what circumstance or circumstances led to us completing none () of the recipes in the book, but I’m going out on a limb and saying that the reason is that the book is less a cookbook than a codpiece.
There are at least twenty (**********************) ingredients per recipe. To make any of these dishes requires a day of prep time or an entire kitchen crew. Brigade. Excuse me.
And that’s the point. I make fun of this book because it is ridiculous. It is. That doesn’t mean I’m not amazed by it. The drive to perfection stuns. Debates over seconds of time in the fryer, tastes of various batches of orange juice are combined and recombined for maximum result, a slice of each loaf of bread tested, these are daily concerns. Ramsay is challenging the reader, the food enthusiast,”This is how far I am willing to go.” He says. “This is what you have to do to be my equal.” Look upon him and despair.
Despite not having a brigade at my house, I have made one (*) recipe from the book: Chilled tomato consommé with asparagus, peas, tomato concassé, and basil. This required more ingredients than I have fingers and toes and resulted in the shrinking of three (***) full to bursting paper grocery bags to a single (*) quart of explosively flavorful liquid. I can take no credit for the resulting goodness. The instructions and proportions are precise. I was nothing more than a pair of hands. If I ever get the time, I’m going to try his carpaccio of tuna and swordfish with a mixed herb salad and brown butter dressing, but that’s a long way off. Until then, this will serves more as a coffee table book than a cookbook.
My parents dined at one of Ramsay’s restaurants in London in 2006 (nope, not gonna) or so. They smiled when they spoke of their night there. He is as good as he thinks he is.