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Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home Hardcover – September 14, 1999
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What's most important here--and it shows up in the cookbook--is that there is no one way to cook. The point of the book isn't to follow recipes, but to cook from the suggestions. And Julia and Jacques have many, many suggestions when it comes to home cooking in the French style. And many tips, for that matter.
Take chicken, for example. "Not everything I do with my roast chicken is necessarily scientific," Julia says. "For instance, I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it--and, more important, I like to give it." Julia sets her chicken on a V-rack in a roasting pan in a 425-degree oven that she then turns down to 350 after 15 minutes. Jacques roasts his bird at 425, on its side, right in the pan. "To me," he says, "it's very important to place the chicken on its side for all but 10 minutes of roasting." After 25 minutes he turns his chicken over, careful not to tear the skin, and lowers the heat to 400. The bird finishes breast-side up for the last 15 to 20 minutes.
This book is divided into chapters on appetizers, soups, eggs, salads and sandwiches, potatoes, vegetables, fish, poultry, meats, and desserts. The she said-he said format works throughout, and a lot of what's said you may realize you have heard before. There are no big surprises here. But it's good fun, a decent reminder of some of the classics of French tradition, and a chance to loosen up and simply cook at home with a couple of masters--one to the right of you, one to the left. You decide which hamburger's the right one for you. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I just finished watching all 10 (!) hours of this four-DVD set over several days, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is seriously interested in learning to cook time-tested, delicious meals at home. But be aware: this is old-school bourgeois cookery: roasts, stews, flans and crepe gateaus. This isn't foamed smoked salmon on a bed of organic flower petals or other such nonsense.
Rather, it is gratifying cooking that requires some practice and attention. That's why these DVDs are so great: You can easily play and replay the techniques that are often the most difficult in french cooking. Jacques Pepin debones a duck for an easy stove-top preparation, but if you were watching on PBS, you'd be likely to forget the exact steps and tricks for removing the hip bone or separating the breast from the carcass. It takes a bit of thinking, but if you go out and buy a duck, take it home, and review the DVD as often (and as slowly) as necessary, you will get it right. This is a great leap for home-learning.
These DVDs are a boon for Julia and Jacques's desire to convince America to return to homey, sensible meals, because it makes learning the techiques less forbidding. (I did the "serious amateur's" Saturday cooking classes at the French Culinary Institute in SoHo, where Pepin is a dean, and I especially appreciate the reminders that the DVDs provide; his technique and style is 100% FCI.Read more ›
There is a lot of information here, not only on how to cook but also on how Julia and Jacques think and feel about food, in the margins and in the recipes. They don't hesitate to explore their differences of opinion, from seasonings to what to do if you make a mistake. As a weekend gourmet cook, I find this extremely helpful. It has already enhanced my comfort and ease with the food I cook, and that, to me, is worth it.
I have two opinions of this 4-disc set, with the first being the positive; the second opinion I label as OK, not negative, because there are no negatives when you watch these two veterans of classic French cuisine.
To begin with, you have an beautifully filmed series that brings you into the home of the great Julia Child, so you feel very much a welcomed guest. And the grand dame of French cooking has invited Chef Pepin to join her in teaching you the finer points of this marvelous cuisine, so you have much to anticipate for both eyes and palate.
They play off each other as old friends would, and you will be entertained as well as taught. You'll see Julia in a firefighters outfit ready with the extinguisher as she prepares for Jacque to make a flaming dessert or "calling all ducks" with a duck whistle; then you have Jacque in a Julius Caesar ensemble to introduce the namesake salad...............all of it as corny as you can get, and all of it exquisite morsels that hint of the friendship that existed between these two icons. You also cannot help but notice that our Julia has aged, and that makes the friendship between her and Jacque all that more touching. He shows his admiration and his loving respect for her by doing much of the physical work, but do not fret, she is as fiesty as always.Read more ›
It is probably pure destiny that these two culinary legends should collaborate on one or more projects. Pepin came to the United States in 1959 and almost immediately got a position as a chef at La Pavilion, based on his great good luck of being the chef to the family of Charles DeGaulle while DeGaulle was President of France. Three years later, Julia Child's book was published and Pepin was dumbstruck, as he felt that this is the book he should have written himself. Pepin was lead from the strenuous world of the professional kitchen to a career of writing and teaching when he was seriously injured in an automobile accident and he could no longer spend the long hours of standing.
This volume is a delight to read, even if you prepare none of the recipes in the book. In fact, the recipes tend to take a back seat to the dialogue between the two principles credited with the creation of the book. The book also enjoys one of the best possible support staffs available for culinary literature. Alfred A.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
classic cooking books, his take and her take from the great maters of french cooking...Published 22 days ago by A. Tu
I gave this as a gift to a friend who is a huge fan of Jacques Pepin and he loved it!Published 3 months ago by Danette M. Emoto
Not too many recipes. I expected more interesting recipes from this two mastersPublished 7 months ago by Noem