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CKatCook

Education In Classic French Cooking At Home...

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One of my favorite things to do is armchair travel and try foods from all over the world, at home. So I got to thinking, what would it take to give myself an education in classic french cooking at home. What kind of books, websites, reading and cooking would I need? I already have a pretty well stocked kitchen pots, pans, knives, etc. But what books would get me there? 

 

Thanks in advance for your kind replies! 


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Buy Julia and Jacques' books to start.

 

Probably enough, actually.

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I just love Stephane Reynaud "Ripailles" but I think French feast is the same book.

http://www.amazon.com/French-Feasts-Traditional-Recipes-Gatherings/dp/1584797940/ref=la_B0034P4DRY_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393819481&sr=1-1

It's very homey kind of bistrot food. Living in France for 4 years gave me the opportunities to find some of the ingredients that are hard to find outside: ah, ah it's no easy to buy in the States a tete de veau. And he is not the most precise.

Blogs?

Mercotte.

And I like Variations gourmandes because she is from around Nice. I have some other blogs saved somewhere that I really enjoyed...

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Thomas Keller will walk you through everything. Practically textbooks. The French Laundry and Bouchon. Go big.

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I'd second the Keller. But this is coming from someone that has cooked a fair bit from Escoffier and Larousse. If you mean classic French in the, well, classic French sense of the term you would do well not to overlook the mother texts.

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Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I'd second the Keller. But this is coming from someone that has cooked a fair bit from Escoffier and Larousse. If you mean classic French in the, well, classic French sense of the term you would do well not to overlook the mother texts.

Yes, classic French in the sense of the term. Like if I was to go to a classic french cooking school, what kind of education would I get? -> those are the books I want to start cooking and learning from. 


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I just love Stephane Reynaud "Ripailles" but I think French feast is the same book.

http://www.amazon.com/French-Feasts-Traditional-Recipes-Gatherings/dp/1584797940/ref=la_B0034P4DRY_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393819481&sr=1-1

It's very homey kind of bistrot food. Living in France for 4 years gave me the opportunities to find some of the ingredients that are hard to find outside: ah, ah it's no easy to buy in the States a tete de veau. And he is not the most precise.

Blogs?

Mercotte.

And I like Variations gourmandes because she is from around Nice. I have some other blogs saved somewhere that I really enjoyed...

 

Do you know of any blogs to recommend?


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Yes, classic French in the sense of the term. Like if I was to go to a classic french cooking school, what kind of education would I get? -> those are the books I want to start cooking and learning from.

I graduated from the French Culinary institute. Definitely the Techniques from Pepin is a good start.

For blogs. What I like

http://www.mercotte.fr

http://variations-gourmandes.blogspot.com

Not blogs

http://chefsimon.lemonde.fr

http://www.marmiton.org

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I really like my copy of The Complete Robuchon. It might even be a better starting point than Escoffier or Larousse. The latter two have hundreds of recipes that ... well, no one really makes any more. Complete Robuchon distills these to the ones that at least someone, somewhere is making. 

 

Still, making demi-glace the old, many-steps way is kind of fun.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I graduated from the French Culinary institute. Definitely the Techniques from Pepin is a good start.

For blogs. What I like

http://www.mercotte.fr

http://variations-gourmandes.blogspot.com

Not blogs

http://chefsimon.lemonde.fr

http://www.marmiton.org

 

Awesome websites! Thank you! I want to learn french now so I can read them in french. :) 


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I would also recommend Richard Olney's French Menu CB and Simple French Food.  His directions (and taste) are impeccable and it's very much home cooking.

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I was going to suggest Peterson for both Sauces and Soups, but I don't have Glorious French Food.

 

In addition to the Pepin books and DVDs I would suggest Madeleine Kamman's New Making of a Cook.

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I was going to suggest Peterson for both Sauces and Soups, but I don't have Glorious French Food.

 

In addition to the Pepin books and DVDs I would suggest Madeleine Kamman's New Making of a Cook.

 

 

How do people feel about Peterson's Glorious French Food?

 

I have Peterson's sauces, but none of this others. I will look into that. I have not heard of Glorious French Food. Another one to look into. 


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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My passion for French cooking followed a series broadcast here in England in the 1980s. Albert and Michel Roux, brothers from France, were well established through their restaurants Le Gavroche and The Waterside Inn when their TV series was shown, linked to a book 'At Home With the Roux Brothers' which can be found still for little money on Amazon.

The series has never been released on DVD (as far as I know) but it is now available on YouTube, albeit that each episode is divided into two or three segments.

It is possible to play the series from start to finish if you know how to drive the YouTube app, I managed this by accident once, unfortunately I have yet to work out how to do it by choice. The segments are well labelled though so it isn't difficult to navigate through. If the link doesn't work a search 'Roux brothers BBC' should get you the list. Grantmk999 is the pseudo of the person who has uploaded the videos.

The series goes through the basics of French cuisine topic by topic. I learnt so much from these programmes when they were first broadcast, knowledge that has been of huge value throughout my cooking life. Perhaps the recipes are no longer fashionable but the techniques are extremely useful, you might find the programmes a good supplement to Julia and Jacques.

Albert's son, also called Michel, is very much a media figure in the UK now. I'm sure he is a great chef but I don't think any of his programmes have been as thorough, or as useful, as those of his father and uncle made so long ago.

The brothers published a second book, Roux Brothers on Patisserie, which can also be had on Amazon and which is worth having just for the lemon tart recipe....

ETA I had no idea the link would give a video in the middle of my post. Hope I haven't broken any rules with this post! I will remove the link if anyone tells me it shouldn't be here.


Edited by DianaB (log)

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Yes, classic French in the sense of the term. Like if I was to go to a classic french cooking school, what kind of education would I get? -> those are the books I want to start cooking and learning from. 

 

This was the precise purpose of http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Art-French-Cooking-Set/dp/0307593525/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395597268&sr=1-2&keywords=mastering+the+art+of+french+cooking/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Art-French-Cooking-Set/dp/0307593525/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395597268&sr=1-2&keywords=mastering+the+art+of+french+cooking&linkCode=as2&tag=egulletcom-20">Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.  I know Julia and Jacques were mentioned earlier, but I'm surprised I haven't seen this masterwork named thus far.  Have I missed something?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Julia was mentioned very early on.  by name I think only

 

one assumes that M.t.Art is well known.  in college, Vol II came out.  my copy was still warm from the press when I got it and I read it cover to cover.

 

I coulnt put it down.  Id lived in FR for two years and had many of those very dishes in the mid '50.s

 

not in restaurants, but in peoples homes.

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The Peterson book is excellent, but I think of it as a modern Julia Child ... it's rooted in classical French, but liberally updated both for the realities of home cooking and for contemporary tastes, ingredients, and techniques. 

 

At the very least I think you should have a copy of Escoffier's Guide Culinaire. Almost everything is conveyed in a kind of shorthand, so it reads more like someone's notes than like a textbook. But the scope is encyclopedic. It can answer all your questions about what a particular term means, or what ingredients were traditionally used in a certain dish. Classical French is an autocratic cuisine, and Escoffier was the 20th Century autocrat, so it's maybe the one cooking tradition where there's such thing as a definitive answer.

 

Larousse Gastronomique is also a good reference.

 

Both of these can be grabbed for pennies on ebay.

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Notes from the underbelly

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