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French Cookbooks


FoodMan
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come to think of it, i'd also add georges blanc's new book on the cooking of old burgundy called simply "simple french cooking" in the English translation. everything i cooked from it had that old deep savor.

This is a great cookbook -- Simple French Cooking, Recipes from our Mothers' Kitchens, by Georges Blanc and Coco Jobard -- beautiful recipes and pictures.

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I third the Robuchon/Patrica Wells book. I don't think there is a more user friendly French cookbook. And it's photgraphed beautifully. An underrated but terrific book that we use all the time in our house is Roger Verge's Vegetable Cookbook. Great recipes and also beautifully photographed. The Natural Cuisine of Georges Blanc, which I believe is his first book, is another fantastic book as well.

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An underrated but terrific book that we use all the time in our house is Roger Verge's Vegetable Cookbook. Great recipes and also beautifully photographed.

Roger Verge's Entertaining in the French Style is absolutely beautiful, with recipes that work. I used to cook from this all the time.

Anne Willan's recent book, From My Chateau Kitchen, focuses on the food cooked at (and in restaurants near) her chateau/cooking school in Burgundy. Willan's recipes are always simply written and straightforward; they come out even more beautifully than they sound. Amanda Hesser was the cook for the chateau for a year and wrote a cookbook, The Cook and the Gardener, about the experience. It's funny to see the same characters pop up in this book.

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Anything by Richard Olney, Simple French Food for example.

Interesting the number of titles that include the word "simple" when referring to French food...

Cuisine of the Sun by Mireille Johnston.

When French Women Cook by Madalene Kamman.

These books are a focus more on home cooking than the restaurant fare that has been mentioned.

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Verge's Cooking with Fruit is also very beautiful. Looking at it, the full realization that summer is over has hit me -- too late for all the summer fruits, but pears and apples and blood oranges and papayas and pineapples.

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Gastromie Pratique by Ali-Bab (Henri Babinski), first published in 1907 — 5th edition from 1928 recently republished in facsimile. Still timely.

Cuisine en famile by Bernard Loiseau. A good cross-section of French recipes — all very doable.

Bouland

a.k.a. Peter Hertzmann

à la carte

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Verge's book New Entertaining in the French Style will be published in Noverber this year. It looks like it's a translation of Les Tables de mon Moulin, also published this year.

And what, no Ducasse so far?

This looks like a reprinting of the early book by the same name, which was a re-hashing of Entertaining in the French Style.

Bouland

a.k.a. Peter Hertzmann

à la carte

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  • 2 weeks later...
[Anne Willan's recent book, From My Chateau Kitchen, focuses on the food cooked at (and in restaurants near) her chateau/cooking school in Burgundy.  Willan's recipes are always simply written and straightforward; they come out even more beautifully than they sound.  

Toby, thanks for recommendation: recipes are really good, in addition to great picture and reading. For those who are interested, you might explore the book further using "Look Inside" feature on amazon where it's available for a fraction of it's original price: Anne Willan: From My Chateau Kitchen

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I used to like George Blanc's writing very much & it certainly functioned well as an invitation to haute-cuisine.

However I'm less familiar with the more modern chefs.

One figure of interest is Nico Ladenis whose 'My Gastronomy' is an extended argument for 3* food against Britfood. Though I found it ultimately ridiculous it is immensely readable and does offer a strong viewpoint - both social and aesthetic.

Wilma squawks no more

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  • 3 years later...

My husband recently asked me for the name of a cookbook he wants to buy me for Christmas and my 2 remaining brain cells failed me completely.

It is supposed to be the definitive guide to French cooking - the standard text which everyone should own. Please help jog my memory!

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Is it Larousse Gastronomique you are thinking of?

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I would second Larousse Gastronomique. It is more than a cookbook. It is encyclopedic in nature. Although it has thousands of recipes it also provides definitions and uses for little known ingredients, speaks to the various doneness temps for various meat, fish and fowl, comments on the food cultures of many countries and offers many more benefits too numerous to mention. I cook from it only occasionally but whenever I’m stuck, it is my benchmark. I consider it the most valuable resource in my kitchen. In a way it is my Linus blanket. However I would warn that is your penchant is for Oriental or Indian or other than Western (Europe/N.America) it will be less valuable.

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My suggestion is La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange: The Original Companion for French Home Cooking --Originally published in 1927, it was just released here in the states. It has been to French housewives what Joy of Cooking, or Doubleday Cookbook has been to their American counterparts. Beyond that, I concur: Larousse is wonderful, and a blast to read, especially if you're a gastro-literary wonk (like me).

BeefCheeks is an author, editor, and food journalist.

"The food was terrible. And such small portions...."

--Alvy Singer

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My suggestion is La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange: The Original Companion for French Home Cooking --Originally published in 1927, it was just released here in the states.

is it actually good? I really want it but am still a little shell-shocked at the Silver Spoon. So much so that I'm suspect.

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La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange: The Original Companion for French Home Cooking is one of the best French cookbooks ever written.

Just read the NY Sunday Times opening paragraph.....

December 4, 2005

Holiday Books

Cooking

By CORBY KUMMER

MORE than an irresistible new technique, a fantastically exotic ingredient or even the promise of a better marriage, what inspires us to go into the kitchen is the voice of a writer, seducing and prodding and bucking us up.

The voice that spoke to a generation of cooks is back with the 40th anniversary edition of MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING (Knopf, $40). This time, Julia Child's name is front and center, and her collaborators, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, are listed in small type. But the voice behind the voice is back too: Mme. Saint-Ange, whose BONNE CUISINE DE MADAME E. SAINT-ANGE (Ten Speed, $40) was the inspiration for Child's thorough, encouraging step-by-step approach. For years, readers of the 1927 French edition would marvel - or cluck - at how similar the attitude and even the recipes were. Now that the first English translation, by the former Chez Panisse chef Paul Aratow, is available, anyone can compare - and take life lessons from this delightfully opinionated cook. To make a trilogy and add some gener..............................

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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