Even though the Chicago Blizzard of 2011 and FedEx did its best to delay it, my copy of Thomas Keller's ad hoc at home was delivered yesterday.
According to a few Internet searches I'm about a year late to the Ad Hoc at Home party, but there is a reason for my recent Amazon order. Next week my wife and I are planning a trip to San Francisco and the Napa Valley and have a reservation to visit Ad Hoc.
For those that don't know, Thomas Keller is considered one of the greatest chefs in the world. He is the only chef in the world to own and operate two Michelin 3-Star restaurants: his landmark The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Per Se in New York City.
While known for very high end culinary experiences at his restaurants, he claimed his dream restaurant was one that would serve "hamburgers and red wine." Around 2005, a building that used to hold a diner went up for sale just down the road from Keller's The French Laundry. He bought it, but didn't have the time to properly design, staff, and set up a new restaurant concept. However, since he was paying for the space he came up with the idea for a temporary, pop-up, family style restaurant. The menu changes daily and costs exactly the same every night ($50pp before drinks, tip, and taxes). The menu was inspired by the meals Keller at as a child as well as the "family" dinner kitchen staffs serve themselves. Ad Hoc was only planned to be open for a few months, but the restaurant was a huge success and its now permanent.
Ad Hoc at Home represents the family style, "user friendly," food Keller and it's staff serve at Ad Hoc. But for someone well below the skill level need to tackle The French Landry Cookbook, this is pretty neat!
The book came just in time as this weekend my wife and I are having a few of her U of Chicago friends for dinner this weekend. We're planning on making a few of the recipes from the book.