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TDG: Is Glorious French Food Glorious?


Fat Guy
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Suzanne -

Well done. Very very well done.

Brava!

:rolleyes:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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We didn't invent this format. There are many newspaper and magazine discussion sites where you'll find message boards dedicated to discussion of the articles and issues in the publication.

A key difference here, however, is that the authors of the articles we're discussing will actually participate in the follow-up dialog. I see this as a natural extension of the message board format -- think of the articles in TDG as something akin to really detailed first posts on the types of threads we've always had. Remember, we're not old media with a wannabe new media overlay. We're new media all the way, and we're fitting everything into that scheme.

You may even find that the subjects of some of our articles will appear here from time to time. I can't promise Peterson, but I am in communication with his people at Wiley and hope to get him on here for comment or maybe even a Q&A in 2003. We shall see.

Britcook: If you come to New York I just might give you my copy of the Peterson book.

Mamster: People seem to have a lot of trouble with this title. I think it's actually wrong on Amazon too.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Suzanne, thanks for your excellent and detailed review. One nice thing about internet media is that the length of a review is not necessarily determined by page size etc. How refreshing to have a longer article on the book...Suzanne really gives me enough information to make my own decision on whether or not to read it.

A question: Suzanne, have you read Essentials of Cooking? What did you think of it? It was the first cookbook I read that really helped me grasp some of the basic techniques of French-American cookery as practiced by most in this country. I haven't picked it back up since I did my turn in school and now am curious if my perspective on the book has changed. And as you are a more seasoned professional with much more experience, I'm interested in your take on the book.

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No, it's the photograph-packed book by the same author. You said he refers those desiring illustrations of basic techniques to this book of his. It's not at all comprehensive, it's just a getting-your-feet-wet look at several techniques. Not all that dissimilar from Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques.

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Essentials of Cooking is not bad at all. I mean, it's good. Not worthy to subtitute for the Gospel of St. Jacques, mind you. But I often lend my copy around.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Thought I'd give an update on some of the recipes I tested:

Both batches of mayonnaise are holding up nicely after 10 days; neither has broken. The difference between the two is very clear, though: the blender version, to which I had to add water, is softer in texture, noticeably whiter and (to me) less appetizing in appearance. The food processor one is more golden, and much stiffer. Seems like it would make a better base for a flavored mayo. I used some of each in a tuna salad (canned albacore [in water], chopped celery, sweet pickle relish, and a few drops of key lime juice), which definitely lacks that sourish tang one gets from commercial mayo. This is a good thing, I think. Have not yet had He Who Only Eats taste it; he's not much fond of tuna salad anyway.

I used the carcass of the roast chicken to make stock, which I mixed with some brown chix stock I had in the freezer. (So the flavor of the resulting stock owed little to the roasting method.) Steamed some of the breast meat, shredded, over the stock, and served the 2 together with some (bought) chicken-and-herb tortellini. The important thing is that the breast meat was not overcooked by the steaming, since it was just à point from the roasting.

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No, it's the photograph-packed book by the same author. You said he refers those desiring illustrations of basic techniques to this book of his. It's not at all comprehensive, it's just a getting-your-feet-wet look at several techniques. Not all that dissimilar from Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques.

Malawry, I edited that reference in. Suzanne's review noted (correctly) that there are no illustrations in Glorious French Food. He does at one point refer you to Essentials of Cooking which demonstrates some of the meat fabrication and prep techniques in particular, and I wanted that to be explained in the review. Perhaps I went overboard and made it sound like every technique described in GFF is illustrated in EoC, which is of course not so.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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  • 1 month later...

Nice work! This book's been nagging at me for a while, but after reading this, I don't feel compelled to get it now. Not because it's a bad book, it's still on the lust list, but just that it's not really what I'm interested in at this point. You did a great job of talking about the book without simply saying "it's great" or "it sucks" as too many reviews do. It wasn't a dry, simple summary of the contents either. You struck that balance between your personal taste and the book itself which too many food writers can't seem to do. You were definitely part of the review, but it wasn't about you, it was about the book. I think some professional writers could take lessons.

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  • 2 years later...

I'm bumping this because this week I saw a pile of these going for $7.99 at Border's. They were right next to the those "no-name" value cookbooks with all the pictures that typically go for about $5. This was at the store across the street from SBC Park in San Francisco but I bet these books are on sale throughout the chain. The structure of the book is somewhat odd but the content is a good update on French cooking. I think it's quite a good value for the price.

Edited by esvoboda (log)
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