Here's a first look inside San Francisco-based chef Corey Lee's new cookbook, Benu. Named for the restaurant he opened in 2010 after spending a decade at The French Laundry, the book is Lee's first. It features forwards from both chef Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se), and chef David Chang (Momofuku). Check out the preview, above, to see the stunning photography that gives readers a sense of place and takes them through the course of a meal at Benu. The end pages of the book include wine pairing suggestions from sommelier Yoon Ha.
This past October, Lee talked to Eater about how the cookbook came together, and how it's helped him understand his restaurant more deeply:
There's a couple things involved in the book. Writing the book and going through the process of writing that book was, I think, really important in the evolution of our restaurant. The moment you start to explain things or articulate ideas that just live in your head, you start to understand them a lot more and I think that's really focused the identity of the restaurant in the past year or two. That book was really a catalyst for the way our food has evolved and the kind of menu that we do now.
2014 was a big year for Lee. In addition to announcing his new book, he opened a second restaurant, Monsieur Benjamin, last July. In October, Benu earned a third Michelin star. This year, Benu raised its prices: joining fellow fine dining establishments like Saison and Atelier Crenn, the menu at Benu is now priced at above $200 per person.
Benu by Corey Lee is published by Phaidon and will be released on April 13.