Coast Cooking

‘The French Laundry Cookbook’ will change your outlook

Modern American cooking style emphasizes beautiful platings, exemplified by this dish from Vestige in Ocean Springs.
Modern American cooking style emphasizes beautiful platings, exemplified by this dish from Vestige in Ocean Springs. Special to the Sun Herald

If you are a fan of Vestige in Ocean Springs, you have surely noted that Chef Alex Perry’s cooking style is not typical of local restaurants.

He calls his style Modern American, and he was introduced to that style of cooking through “The French Laundry Cookbook,” written by super Chef Thomas Keller.

For Perry, picking up that cookbook was life-changing.

The style is a departure from the heavy French influence in American cooking, emphasizes fresh, local and seasonal foods, and stays away from heavy sauces. Pay particular attention to the photos in the cookbook and the beautiful plating.

This requires more than an understanding of the kitchen techniques, but also requires a sense of composition. The visual aspect of dining just cannot be overstated.

If you want to make some serious changes to your cooking style, check out “The French Laundry Cookbook.” It’s not cheap, but it is a major departure from classic American cooking and worth having.

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