Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook

Even as it solidifies the restaurant’s Michelin dominance, Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook has a soft-spoken modesty and grace to it. It might be the book’s layout—a broad, white cover delicately engraved with the restaurant’s logo, wide pages of complex recipes, and vivid, artistic dish shots. The two-year project of Executive Chef Daniel Humm and General Manager Will Guidara, Eleven Madison Park is an embodiment of not only the restaurant’s culinary perspective—as Danny Meyer’s calls it in his foreword, “reinventing the classic four-star experience for a new generation”—it’s a personification of the EMP experience from the inside out. Everything from the staff’s shared Thanksgivings to the mission statement planning meeting of 2009 where Humm and Guidara decide to “reach for the summit” is shared, part of a cultural, culinary narrative that renews itself every season. The recipes are high-caliber, which is why Guidara recommends amateur cooks don’t feel obligated to tackle recipes completely. (Requests for clarification can be sent to cookbook@elevenmadisonpark.com, because, in true Meyer restaurant form, “we are here if you need us.”) Professionals and fans alike will enjoy the “Day in the Life” at the book’s end, where we learn, among other things, some typical choices for the dining room set-up play list (Jay Z, the Rolling Stones, and Arcade Fire).