Bouchon 790 xxx
all photos by george billard

4.13.10 Shop Talk: Bouchon Bakery

G did a bad thing. He went to Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center and came home with all these goodies. I mean baddies! He claimed they were for our guests but a few crumbs fell into our mouths as well. Do you love Thomas Keller? (If you don't know who I'm talking about, Rip Van Winkle, you can read his bio on the Bouchon Bakery website.) I had an incredible lunch at the French Laundry in the spring of 2001 and even went into the kitchen to have Thomas sign a copy of his recently published cookbook of the same name. It was immaculate in there and quiet as a tomb. But the food that came out was hardly demure. For such a serious chef, he loves his little food puns: oysters and pearls (tapioca); coffee and doughnuts (cappuccino semifreddo), etc. He opened Bouchon Bakery right outside Per Se—his magnum opus where I have dined in splendor overlooking Central Park—so that it could provide bread for the restaurant and also "add an additional layer of cafe life to the surrounding area." So thoughtful. There, you can grab and go, perch on a stool, or get a real table at which to enjoy light fare, including soups and sandwiches, quiche, wonderful breads and all manner of sweets. I once had a huge coconut-dusted doughnut stuffed with passionfruit curd that nearly did me in. They even bake dog treats for New York's most pampered canines. My personal favorite from the selection shown above happens to be the frisbee-sized Nutter Butter. It's unwise to eat more than a quarter of this creamy, peanutty travesty at a time. I've even posted the bakery's recipe for it should you be reckless enough to want to try this at home.
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