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An Omelette and a Glass of Wine (The Cook's Classic Library) Paperback – Bargain Price, March 1, 1997
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"Foods of Legend" is a choice example. This essay is astonishingly timely in its discourse on a chef feeling compelled to elevate a humble country dish into haute cuisine. David bases her story on Master Chef August Escoffier's recomposition, over a century ago, of a Provençal favorite: potatoes baked with artichokes onto Carré d'Agneau Mistral, which involved adding truffles and rack of lamb.
Some articles include recipes, but for the most part this is a volume nicely sized to curl up with or to take on a trip.
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Top Customer Reviews
David was hired to write food/cooking/dining articles for various print media and paid very little initially. Her job involved traveling in France and Italy, visiting various inns and restaurants and markets--which she apparently enjoyed. I started to title my review "born to late" as I would have liked her job. Europe in the 1960s--especially France and Italy must have been wonderful (well my husband says it was and he lived there then). Imagine eating French cooking for a living!! Ah yes, another vicarious reading experience.
David tells of her travels to "job" locations--why I think this book is part travelog. Sometimes she has been preceded by Henry James or Marcel Proust, but most often by some obscure person who passed through in the mid-1800s or earlier and recorded their experiences for posterity. David describes the meals she and others have eaten, as well as food preparation (growing, transporting, cooking). Her book includes photographs of a few famous chefs. In most she cases provides information about recipes and lists ingredients--details that might help the reader replicate a dish. She warns the reader it is impossible to replicate a dish exactly owing to many conditions, not the least of which is the quality of the basic ingredients. She finds it amusing when a recipe is touted as being "old" and includes a modern ingredient like margarine.Read more ›
Why? Because most reviewers go out of their way to point out how intelligent she is (true), how ruthless she is in terms of staying authentic, how she fills her books with references to obscure and elite sources. She always seems to be described as less approachable then most food-writers, with a sharp wit and an even sharper tongue.
To that I say...
She's not an elite-writer, she's simply a very smart woman with a deep love for food. She doesn't seem rigid or overly strict with her recipies at all. She just seems like a lovely entertaining expert on all things edible, explaining why things taste better when prepared a certain way, making you ponder the truth in what she writes, and making you realise she's telling you things you should have already figured out on your own. She's a teacher, but a very loving one. Elegant without being prissy, experienced and willing to share.
I wish I had bought this book much earlier. It's filled with wonderful essays, thoughts and descriptions. It made me hungry and happy at the same time! If you like a book with more substance then just a HUGE index of 10.000 recipies -like some cookbooks are- then this is perfect.
Then there are the actual recipes, many of them her own but equally sharing others, be they contemporary peers or, quite literally, the historically famous from history. Few can write so authoritatively on Escoffier or Beeton as Elizabeth who surely earned her own place and standing among the `greats' in cuisine. I had not even finished reading the book before I began cooking from it!
Lastly, despite having been written in 1952, her views and guidance on food, the quality and the care in creation of dishes, of presentation, of the sheer enjoyment of food are very current and appropriate today.
Then there is a bonus for those of us who love France - the descriptions of trips, towns and visits to those compelling produce markets in France ... even if you have not yet discovered Elizabeth David, an author for `foodies', long before our `celebrity' TV Chefs, this book will delight you - on many levels.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was my first introduction to Elizabeth David and now I am a huge fan. You can tell that she's very knowledgeable and took time to be well-researched about everything she... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
My mother introduced me to the wonders of Elizabeth David 50 years ago! In her English country kitchen, with all the rigors of post-war shortages, she would pore over Elizabeth... Read morePublished on September 27, 2007 by Gillian Turner De Perez
Elizabeth David's "An Omelette and a Glass of Wine" is an entertaining read for foodies, although, containing some essays she wrote during the 1950s, it has a slightly dated... Read morePublished on January 21, 2003 by Karen Sampson Hudson
I'm a total foodie and it's painful getting through this book. Instead of simply enjoying the pleasures of food and all the differences, Elizabeth David is defensive at every... Read morePublished on May 31, 1999
While I haven't had a chance yet to read "An Omelette and a Glass of Wine", the review from "cookyoberg" of Dickinson, Texas, made it very clear that this is a... Read morePublished on July 29, 1998