I was at two book launches in the last two weeks, both in New York: the official launch of The PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan and the launch of New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park’s cookbook.
The latter was also a celebration of Eleven finally achieving the coveted third star from Michelin and the announcement that owner Danny Meyer was selling Eleven to his protégés, the authors of the cookbook, general manager Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm.
Jim’s book is gorgeous – beautiful, heavy and brilliantly written. It’s a manual too, detailing the philosophies of PDT, the tools and equipment they use, even diagramming their mise-en-place. An amazing achievement. The Eleven Madison Park book is, if anything, even more mind-bogglingly good than their party was, and their party was at least as good as Jim’s book. (How cool was their party? Well, Jim was bartending there!). The Eleven book weighs more than 3kg, and is as beautifully photographed and typeset as any such high-end food-porn cookbook from a posh restaurant you’ve ever seen.