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Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery Hardcover – June 15, 1983


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 646 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 15, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471290165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471290162
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Here, for the first time, is presented to the English-speaking public the entire translation of Auguste Escoffier’s masterpiece Le Guide Culinaire. Its basic principles are as valid today as when it was first published in 1903. It has successfully withstood the test of decades and remains a nonpareil among cookery books. Escoffier was personally involved with each new French edition of his work right up until 1921, when the fourth edition appeared. He altered and improved it over the years in line with his ideas of modification and adaptation. It is the fourth edition which has now been translated into English for the first time by H. L. Cracknell and R. J. Kaufmann. This translation supersedes A Guide to Modern Cookery, the English version first published in 1907; it contained a fair percentage of Escoffier’s recipes but was not, unlike The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, the comprehensive collection which contains some 2000 additional recipes. Great care has been taken to use the original metric measurements and to give accurate conversions to Imperial and American measurements in brackets. Le Guide Culinaire is described by Escoffier himself as ‘a useful tool rather than just a recipe book’. It does not go into minute details of preparation, but offers to those who practise the art of cookery — whether they be professional chefs or managers, housewives, gourmets or students of haute cuisine — invaluable guidelines culled from more than fifty years’ experience. The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery is therefore a repository of all that is best in Classical French and International cookery and should be kept close at hand and referred to constantly. A Memoir of Escoffier by his grandson, Pierre P. Escoffier, appears at the beginning of the book. An exhaustive index is also provided.

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 Française, founded by A. Escoffier and E. Fétu in 1903. and they are also holders of the Maîtrise Escoffier and Cordon Culinaire, both awarded by the Conseil Culinaire Français. 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.

Customer Reviews

I had been looking for a decently priced copy of this book for some time.
Matthew mcknight
Very handy for historic and traditional cooking techniques as well as a handy reference guide for meal ideas.
Ashly
I teach Culinary Arts and this is a must have for every serious cook and future Chef.
Elena Hernandez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 118 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 2002
Many of the reviews I've read about this book are inexperienced and ignorant. They claim that it is "...a bit out of date..." and "...cryptic...", when in fact it sets the standard for French Cuisine, and much of American Cuisine. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, I can say that this book has been infinitely helpful as both a text book and a source for research and reference. It is only as difficult to read for someone who has never cooked, as music is difficult for someone who has never played an instrument. I own three different translations of Escoffier's Cookbook and this copy is by far the best.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Elena Hernandez on March 9, 2003
I teach Culinary Arts and this is a must have for every serious cook and future Chef. You must have some knowledge of professional culinary techniques to be able to understand and use this book. As one reviewer wrote, this is not a cookbook, it is a reference book, and my students use it when they have to do research work.
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143 of 161 people found the following review helpful By jerry i h on June 16, 2006
For this new translation, the dust jacket proudly proclaims 'Here, for the first time, is presented to the English-speaking public the entire translation of...' The copy on these dust jackets is usually just ad copy written by the sales department, and I would not take what it says too seriously. When I was much younger, I had the Crown version of this book as I happily puttered around in my kitchen. I no longer have it, and am unable to verify claims as to the superiority of this new translation over the older version (according to the editorial page, this translation dates to 1979 and is based on the 1921 French edition).

Escoffier was today's equivalent of a master chef in the finest hotels in England and France during the days of Edwardian elegance. That is the best quality ingredients, time, and resources used in unlimited amounts, costs be damned. He is also credited with formalizing classic, haute cuisine. The dedicated cook (home or professional) can always learn from such a talented chef as Escoffier, but Escoffier's roots must be taken into account when attempting his recipes. This is cooking for restaurant kitchens, not home ones.

Just for fun, I costed out a recipe for pheasant and truffles. I estimated the labor and ingredient cost for a service of 4 at $200. Assuming an industry average for food cost of 35%, this entree would go for $150 per person, not including soup, salad, appetizer, wine, dessert, beverage, or gratuity.

For the amateur home chef or foodservice professional, this book is an important one to have on your shelf. Many of the recipes are no longer current, but up until a couple of decades ago it was a standard professional reference book everyone was expected to have and be familiar with.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By James R Nardulli on January 8, 2000
Auguste Escoffier brought the cooks of his age hope for a better, more respected life and the cooks of our age an amazing collection of wisdom and know-how. This book together with his memoirs published in 1997, Memories of my Life, will provide the essential resource for anyone with the desire in his heart to become a chef. I buy a copy of each for all of my chef apprentices.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By I. Seligman on September 1, 2005
This is THE book on Classic French Technique and Cuisine by the Master chef, Auguste Escoffier.

This the English translation of the 4th Edition of the Guide Culinaire by Cracknell and Kaufmann, and it supersedes translations of the Guide to Modern Cookery (1907).

This is the "real" English translation with over 5,012 brief recipes for sauces, garnishes, soups, hors d'oeuvres, eggs, fish, poultry, game, garde manger, vegetables, desserts, ice creams and ices...on and on!

Don't waste your money on the new abridged versions which have less than 5,000 or less than 3,000 recipes, as you'll be missing thousands of recipes and their commentary, for no good reason!

Classic terms are clearly defined and described, and just about any recipe you have heard of in French cooking is here.

This is for intermediate level and up cooks and chefs, as unlike conventional cookbooks, a knowlege of cooking is presumed, lest this be far more than than it's 646 pages in length. There are no pictures, none are really needed. Some recipes do make a gallon of sauce, rather than just enough for a couple or foursome to enjoy, so scale back or freeze a lot!

Why read it?

For me, it's living culinary history, and the recipes can make one drool with their simplicity or lushness...It's the source of thousands of "tried and true" recipes, unsullied by "fusion" fads or foolishness, where a "souffle" defines anything from a pancake to a meringue topping, and even "molten chocolate brownies" are also called "souffles" by food knowledge-challenged "writers" who apparently do not bother to read a recipe, nor have made or tasted a true souffle.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Orleans on September 30, 2001
This book has pretty much every recipe you will ever need. I tend to use this book only as a reference, though, as the recipes are a bit out of date. The recipes provide only the basic ingredients, so beginners may not find the book very useful. For advanced cooks, the Game and Fowl sections are particularly excellent. Also a good resource for French technique.
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