Women have always played a central role in Chicago’s vast food industry, whether behind a stove, at a journalist’s desk, in front of a camera, or providing publicity services. Several decades ago a group of these women formed an association, Les Dames d’Escoffier, which sought to raise awareness of the importance of women in the city’s culinary life and to educate and advance their métier. This cookbook recounts the organization’s history, tells of the progress of Chicago cooking, and provides recipes to document this. Besides deep-dish pizza, Chicago has introduced the rest of the world to such dishes as Chicken Vesuvio and Shrimp de Jonghe. Recipes reflect both the wide-ranging tastes of Chicagoans, the immeasurable influence of the ethnic groups that populate the city, and these women’s considerable cooking talents. Color photographs highlight the text and recipes, many of which appeared originally in the Chicago Tribune. For regional collections. --Mark Knoblauch
The flowery French name, Les Dames d'Escoffier, might set people wondering exactly what this group is. But on looking into the straightforward new cookbook from the local chapter Les Dames, two words will explain: Serious foodies. --Veronica Hinke, January 10, 2008 "Taste trust - Evanston Review (IL) "