We are entering the last gasps (I hope, hope, hope) of production for Hubert Keller‘s big, exciting new cookbook,
Hubert Keller’s Souvenirs: Stories and Recipes from my Life (Fall 2012 from Andrews McMeel). Of course I would think it big and exciting since I wrote it with Hubert. But G, who is not known for his gentle ways when it comes to critiques, has said—for instance, when asked what might be cut from a description of Hubert’s time in Brazil as chef of Roger Vergé’s La Cuisine du Soleil restaurant—“Nothing. It’s all so interesting and essential.” (Nevertheless, I cut the manuscript by about 50%.)
The book has been several years in the making now. We’ve seen page proofs and been through the first round of proof reading. This is the stage where the process gets very real: we see the photographs (by Eric Wolfinger) in place and how the recipes lay out on the page. Some of them, inevitably, have to go. There are simply not enough pages to accommodate all the recipes we wrote, tested, rewrote, retested, rewrote.
Notice in the pictures that our aprons are clean; we must have just started recipe testing and Hubert is on his cell. Somehow he manages to talk and cook. Kyle Anderson (below, left) was then the sous chef at Burger Bar in Macy’s and helped me test all the recipes. After testing at Fleur de Lys, the recipes went to a group of dedicated home cooks to test again. And then sometimes, again.