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Escoffier Hardcover – June 13, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

H. L. CRACKNELL and R. J. KAUFMANN spent their early years working in the kitchens of several large hotels in London and Europe. The translators met when they were both working at London's Savoy Hotel in the late 1940s: a kitchen where the shadow of its first chef, Escoffier, still cast its influence. They subsequently became lecturers in cookery in a number of technical colleges where they endeavoured to maintain the importance of those fundamentals which Escoffier saw as necessary to the profitability and success of any catering enterprise. The translators have been on the staff of leading centres of catering education in the United Kingdom. H. L. Cracknell is a member of the Association Culinaire Francaise, founded by A. Escoffier and E. Fetu in 1903. and they are also holders of the Maitrise Escoffier and Cordon Culinaire, both awarded by the Conseil Culinaire Francais. The translators have acted as consultant editors to The Illustrated Escoffier, also published by Heinemann, as a selection of several hundred of the more popular recipes from this book, many of which are illustrated with superb colour photographs and contain more detailed information for their preparation.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 680 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (June 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047090027X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470900277
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for the "1,2,3's" of cooking, this is not the book for you. This book assumes you have, at the minimum, a basic command of culinary skills, terms and techniques. If you can look in the mirror and say "I have that!" the book is brilliant. It's the pinnacle of classic french cooking. There is a lifetime of recipes and challenges to be had within it's covers.

You'll find most of the bad reviews are from folks that are looking for a "step though" cookbook. Please understand it simply isn't that. It's a chef book, written for chef's - although "dangerously" well educated home cooks will have a blast roaming it's pages and plotting their next culinary conquest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderfully enjoyable. . . . A foreword by Heston Blumenthal puts this edition in context: "[Escoffier] said he wanted the book to be 'a useful tool rather than just a recipe book,' and that's exactly what it is." Another nice grace note--a very brief biography of Escoffier on pages xx-xxii by his grandson Pierre P. Escoffier.

While Escoffier may have said that this is not a recipe book, the recipes are delightfully straightforward. I have made Cerise jubilee any number of times. His description of how to make this is one of the shortest and most direct. That impressed me!

To the extent that it is relevant, the chapters are organized by various obvious categories: sauces, garnishes, soups, hors-d'oeuvre, eggs, fish, butchers' meat, poultry, game, composite entrees, roasts, vegetables, sweets and desserts, ices, sandwiches, and fruits, jams, and drinks. Covering the waterfront, in short.

Each section, of course, features many recipes. But the short introductory comments are also worthy of note. Here, Escoffier provides general statements about how to approach matters. Sauces? He speaks of basic preparations, such as stocks, glazes, mirepoix, and so on. Back to basics. Then, some general principles on preparing sauces. In short, one gains his perspective on sauces before actually exploring individual recipes.

All in all, a most enjoyable volume for an amateur cook like me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The ONLY thing different in this edition of Escoffier's amazing work is the introductions! If you own a previous edition of this translation, you've got ALL the useful content that's in this edition. Nothing has changed.

Well, one little change in this edition that's kind of nice -- the recipe titles are now in red instead of black.

Is this edition worth buying? ABSOLUTELY if you don't own another edition already. Escoffier's book is outstanding and worthy of a place in any serious cook's library! If you own another edition of this translation, you'll have to decide if getting recipe titles in red (and new introductions <yawn>) is worth the money.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
5,000 recipes from the grandfather and king of French Cuisine. No pictures. An excellent index and word for word translations from the original French to English. This is not for beginners in my opinion as it does not coddle the reader with detailed explanations as to why things are done the way they are and the author assumes you are familiar with the basic techniques of French cooking. Probably best for intermediate to advanced cooks? An absolute must for anyone serious about cooking.
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By Amazon Customer on September 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a tough book to understand on first read, but once you understand how the recipes build on each other you can make some incredible food. Your family and friends will beg you for more.
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Format: Hardcover
Rather, this is the codification of modern western gastronomy and it should be read that way! Like a set of rules with a manual and thousands of examples of what can be done with them.

Another review below said the same, but it should be emphasized that prior cooking experience, or at least the ability to practice often and research ingredients or technique, etc. are required. This book is absolutely fantastic, but not necessarily a book for beginners as many recipes and even instructions and descriptions assume the reader already possesses a great deal of knowledge, skills, and ability.

That being said this is still the go to book; the trunk which supports the gastronomy family tree. All others stem (no pun intended) from here...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I do love this even though recipes are kept very simple and somewhat lack of details. But this is proper if you are serious cook and have basic knowledge of French cooking and want to do French cooking at home. As an amateur self-taught home French cook, this is just right for me. I can just look up for what I need to do cooking and use my imagination to get details. Cooking is a science but it is also an art after all. This book could have been even better if the names of each recipes are kept as original French names. It makes it hard to look up for the recipe in English when you know the original French name and don't come up with the names in English. However, my French knowledge is not good enough to read all recipes in French. This will be my great asset in my kitchen. It's like Auguste Escoffier will be standing next to me to teach cooking with simple instructions. And it's up to us cooks to figure out what the details are. If you are serious cook and need basic French recipe, go for it!
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