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on June 25, 2004
If you are looking for loads of pretty pictures and precise recipes this book is probably not for you. But if you have an interest in the true origins of modern French cuisine, herein lie the recipes and the history of one of the most influential chefs of the 20th century. From a small town eighteen miles south of Lyon, he gained three Michelin stars for his restaurant la Pyramide and trained the next generation of French culinary stars, including Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel, Louis Outhier and Jean and Pierre Troisgros. It's a great book but the recipes are more notes on how to proceed, based on an assumption that that the reader will have the level of culinary proficiency required to execute them. They are transitional showing the movement from traditional French cuisine with it's foundation of roux based sauces into simpler builds using tapioca, arrowroot or creme fraiche reductions. And of course what we all now think of as the recent discovery of organic, fresh and seasonal products, was in fact the basis for his culinary mastery as far back as 1920. I am on my second copy, having worn out the first which I bought new in 1974. If you can find a copy - get it!
Patrick McDonnell - Culinary Director, FoodArts Magazine
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on April 5, 2000
Fernand Point was the greatest chef of all time. This is especially evident when one considers that his apprentices included Paul Bocuse and Jean Banchet. Point was so driven a cuisinier that he literally died in his kitchen, of a heart attack. During the German occupation of France, rather than serve the German officers, he politely closed his restaurant, one of few to do so. A master of simplicity, it was he who started the lightening of the heavy classical style, while never compromising essential flavors; in fact, he made the essential flavors come through like they never had before! He embodied all the familiar notions one has of an old-school French chef: Tyrant, drinker, and an absolute fanatic for detail and precision. This book is a must for anyone who is, or takes his or her self as a serious gastronome. An absolute must.
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on April 13, 2010
It's nice to see this book available to the new generation of cooks in the world. I learned a couple of Point's recipes when I was a teenager. They were in an obscure cookbook (even more-so than Ma Gastronomie) left in a house my brother purchased in the 70's. I convinced my mother to allow me to make Volaille Pyramide which would require black truffles, of course. I was pretty ambitious with my new found love of la cuisine, so I then tackled the glorious Marjolaine as made by Point. The accolades I received from these dishes were enough to leave the "Pyramide" imprinted on my brain forever. As soon as I was old enough, I went to Vienne and ate Bresse chickens and other wonderful dishes at this Mecca of gastronomy. Madame Point graciously sat us and signed a menu she had written earlier in the day. I still have it and cherish the memory. I feel sorry for the reviewer who was not inspired by this little book. It is precisely what it needs to be. I think this book says more than enough, and with a little thought and a lot of effort, you can create dishes that are actually great from the words therein. What's more, you will have garnered an understanding of the work required to refine a dish. As in learning to ride a bicycle, your adjustments will become more natural and your balance will come from within. As time goes on, you will improve. Enjoy this treasure and let it soak in; be patient.
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on February 9, 2014
If you have a solid background in traditional cooking techniques and want to explore the great french classic recipes, this is an amazing book. If you have a basic cooking knowledge, are looking to learn to cook in the french style or are looking for well defined, step by step books, you will not like this cook book. It was written by a highly trained and life long chef, and was written for other chefs. This cookbook assumes that when the recipe calls out for a dish to be cooked, say, en cocotte, you already know how to do that.

It has amazing dishes in it. You'll find some very affordable to make, and others stunningly expensive. All are amazing in presentation and taste. Fernand Point was on of the greats, and the vignettes in the book are also VERY entertaining to read. This is an important cookbook for a classic cooking library, and if you follow the careers of today's great chefs, you will find many dishes that are "modernized" versions of these Fernand Point classics.
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on November 23, 2008
I was thrilled to see Chef Point's book in print again. As a culinary instructor, it's a great reference for culinary history, technique and inspiration for classical technique.
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on November 25, 2008
I had heard of the book by way of an intereview I saw of Chef Thomas Keller with Charlie Rose. My son, a big fan of Keller's, I felt, would enjoy it. I got it, read it, and then passed it on to my son who REALLY enjoyed it and was rather amazed by it.

It gives a nice insight into the gastronomy which may no longer exist but can still be aspired to by a few.
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on July 6, 2013
Ma Gastronomie should be required reading for all culinary school students. Fernand Point was a pinnacle and Beacon of culinary finesse and wisdom. In this book he discussed his beliefs in the kitchen and the importance of taking care of the guests. There are also some good recipes provide. More importantly much of the information provided from chef Point although written a very long time ago is still very relevant today. Quite impressive.
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on August 4, 2015
A few of the reviewers seem to miss the "Point" in discussing the charms of this book. Fernand Point was the inspiration for the streams of nouvelle cuisine that would later follow. He was both traditional and yet highly innovative, which inspired most of France's 1970's 3 star chefs who had apprenticed with him. True, he lived at a time when truffles, sole and turbot was more accessible. But the practicality of his ingredients is not the issue. It is the reflections of culinary artistry that illuminate this book. Not a beginner's text, it is a sonnet, so to say, to warm and inspire the hearts of receptive post graduate chefs.
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on July 8, 2013
truffles, truffles, everywhere!
he elevated the importance of the saucier.
most of his observations (rules) hold today.
read and smell the woderfulness coming from his kitchen.
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This book might best be described as a keepsake of the

famous restaurant La Pyramide. Created in Vienne by

Fernand Point, it was the home school of Paul Bocuse,

Georges Perrier, the Troisgros brothers and a whole

generation of French chefs. It wouln't be an

exaggeration to say that nouvelle cuisine began here.

What we have in this book is a collection of aphorisms

from Point himself, a biography, photographs, menus,

sketches and finally some recipes. The recipes are not

intended for beginners-they are notes from one chef to

another about how something is done. If you don't know

your beurre noisette from a sole in the pan, you won't

learn it here.

No matter, this is a chance to find out what you don't

know and to think about what's worth knowing. Think of

it as culinary inspiration.

--Lynn Hoffman, author of THE NEW SHORT COURSE IN WINE and

the forthcoming novel bang BANG from Kunati Books.
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