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So few new/newish French chefs cookbooks translated into English


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Hi all,

I found it interesting that there are so few good new books written by current good French chefs published into English. When you look at the 1950s to 1980s you literally see every French chef with good names and famous restaurants rushing to publish English translations of their cookbooks. For example, Raymond Oliver, Paul Bocuse, Michel Guérard, Jean and Pierre Troisgros, all have their signature cookbooks published and English translations are always available. You can even locate Escoffier's translations. It is the same with pastries

Fast forward to 2010, and I found it extremely frustrating to locate any good new French chefs books from the current crop of cooks. Yes, you can find Alain Ducasse's signature compandium books, but he published 5 for the whole Grand Livres de Cuisine series, and only the main book and dessert are available in English. For Joel Robuchon, I haven't been able to find any of his restaurant books in English.

And Guy Savoy only has one "cooking for home" type of book published in English. Guy Martin: same case, just one vegetable cookbook in English. Pierre Gagnaire: he has one yes, but it is a very thin "showcase" publication rather than somerthing like his lifetime complete testimony type of cookbook running to over 900 pages long.

Is there a reason why it is now so? Contrast this with the English-speaking world, where every famous restaurant chef and 90% of good chefs have thir restaurant signature cookbook. From Martin Bolsey in Wellington to Daniel Boulud in New York, from Thomas Keller in North California to Neil Perry in Sydney, from Paul Wilson in Melbourne to Gordon Ramsay, you literally seee cookbooks everywhere, almost to the point of overflow.

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How about "Essential Cuisine" by Michel Bras? "Planet Marx" by Thierry Marx? "Contemporary French Cuisine: Fifty Recipes Inspired by the Sea" by Olivier Roellinger? "At The Crillon And At Home" by Jean-Francoise Piege?

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Is there a reason why it is now so? Contrast this with the English-speaking world, where every famous restaurant chef and 90% of good chefs have thir restaurant signature cookbook. From Martin Bolsey in Wellington to Daniel Boulud in New York, from Thomas Keller in North California to Neil Perry in Sydney, from Paul Wilson in Melbourne to Gordon Ramsay, you literally seee cookbooks everywhere, almost to the point of overflow.

Well, exactly. Publishers can fill their lists with the likes of Keller, Boulud, etc., and translations are very expensive. So many books will go untranslated. Even when there were more translations, they were only a tiny fraction of available books. How many contemporary French chefs have enough name recognition outside of France to make translation worthwhile?

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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  • 5 months later...

How about "Essential Cuisine" by Michel Bras? "Planet Marx" by Thierry Marx? "Contemporary French Cuisine: Fifty Recipes Inspired by the Sea" by Olivier Roellinger? "At The Crillon And At Home" by Jean-Francoise Piege?

I'm not sure what you mean by "how about" but these are all available in English from Amazon.fr... And they'll deliver internationally.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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