Last week, in defending the usefulness of Internet recipes after Christopher Kimball dismissed them in the Times, we pointed out that it’s nice to have backup sources if and when an expert recipe fails you — for instance, when the recipe is confusing or when you don’t have all of the ingredients or cooking tools that it calls for. Now, in Publishers Weekly, Thomas Keller takes the admirable step of admitting that while his new cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home, is geared toward the home chef, it might not work for everyone.
I’ve baked chocolate chip cookies at my sister’s house in Florida and they’re just terrible, because the oven’s terrible. So it’s really hard to write a cookbook because you don’t know what products and equipment people have. I’m sure there’s a woman in Florida who buys my cookbook and makes the chocolate chip cookies in an oven just like my sister’s and they come out terrible and she says, “This damn cookbook sucks.”
First of all, after embarrassing her to the nation, we’re assuming T-Kell will do the right thing and buy his sis one of those $6,000 sous-vide machines for Christmas. Second, if you’re curious to know whether you can pull off these tough cookies in your own crappy oven, here’s a version of the recipe.