LIVING Lola Cristall checks out the new book from celebrated chef Gabriel Kreuther, showing his craftsmanship and culinary delights, which readers can attempt to re-create
Photographed by Paul Wagtouicz and Evan Sung
Chef Gabriel Kreuther personifies epicurean ingenuity. His cuisine at his restaurant in New York (www.gknyc.com) demonstrates his profound skill, making it an essential destination in the city. Gabriel’s grand experience near Bryant Park in Manhattan awaits within beautifully crafted walls and an immense space for both indoor and outdoor diners to enjoy. The main dining room, the bar, the private dining area and the welcoming kitchen table flaunt beauty and grace. Choose from a selection of à la carte dishes or allow yourself to be transported by chef’s exquisite imagination by opting for his gourmet tasting menu.
From a restaurant experience to one’s own kitchen, Chef Gabriel launched his mesmerizingly influential cookbook, Gabriel Kreuther: the Spirit of Alsace. This magnificent book is an invitation into the chef’s childhood culinary delights as well as experiences, while delving into his professional background as a renowned chef inspired by his Franco–Swiss–German training. Chef Gabriel is a true master of his craft, applying culinary techniques and meticulous methods to create outstanding artistry. His recipes are simple yet greatly profound in flavour, with ingredients to accentuate tastes and textures in each creation. The hardcover cookbook, co-written with author Michael Ruhlman, is beautifully adorned with detailed gold storks, a symbol of Alsace.
Before delving any further into the book, Chef Gabriel links the symbolism of the stork to ‘birth’ and ‘new life’ vis-à-vis the ‘rebirth’ of traditional Alsatian flavours that are brought forth in New York. The dashing ‘spirit of Alsace’ soars from page to page.
Focusing on the beauty and exquisiteness of Alsatian cuisine, it is only fitting to find a foreword by fellow Alsatian chef Jean Georges Vongerichten, also a renowned chef from France with whom Chef Gabriel worked as chef de cuisine before setting out on his solo venture. While he maintained the quality, flair and dynamics that Chef Jean Georges evoked, he was prepared to spread his wings on his own, starting at the glamorous Ritz–Carlton on Central Park’s Atelier followed by his executive chef role at Danny Meyers’ the Modern, located inside the Museum of Modern Art at the time. Gaining tremendous well deserved prestige, recognition and a slew of accolades, Chef Kreuther opened his first restaurant in the heart of New York in 2015 for his avid fans, gourmet aficionados and many more to appreciate and admire.
From his extensive selection of prime wines to his precisely paired savoury creations, Chef Gabriel proves to what extent the arts and food go hand-in-hand. While many look forward to delving into his remarkable gastronomy at the restaurant, they can now re-create numerous masterpieces as his craftsmanship and culinary workmanship are unveiled within the exquisitely detailed cookbook.
The 368 pp. book is a tribute to authentic artistic skill that revives classic and much celebrated Alsatian dishes, from a deliciously delectable apple cider and cumin-pickled rainbow trout to Chef Gabriel’s applauded tarte flambé topped with onions, bacon and silky fromage blanc.
Before delving into each recipe, necessary ingredients and detailed instructions, a brief description of the chef’s personal experiences and background are presented. The readers, as well as potential cooks, can thoroughly understand the author’s perspective while creating their own. A traditional home-made pretzel recipe is presented to accompany a tangy horseradish and mustard. The palatable kougelhopf, a traditionally delicate bread of the Alsace region, is one of many intriguing recipes available. Chef Gabriel applies straightforward techniques to display invitingly flavoursome dishes to the table whether for family gatherings, intimate business dinners or a solo dining experience. •
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