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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful and delicious tour of Provencal cooking, February 24, 1999
Provence the Beautiful Cookbook is an outstanding guide to the joys and challenges of traditional Provencal cuisine. I purchased it as my only cookbook for a 3 week stay in a Provencal country house, where we hosted friends from both the US and Europe. Some of the recipes are accessible to beginning cooks, but a few would challenge a Cordon Bleu chef. The emphasis is on fresh, traditional ingredients and techniques, and the resulting meals are memorable in every respect. The only drawback of this approach is that some of the ingredients, such as salt anchovies, a French Mediterranean specialty, are not available in most places in the US. But this small failing is offset by the wonderful results attainable from most of dishes, the best of which are both simple and quick, such as chicken with a basic Provencal sauce, or fresh peaches marinated in a delightful dessert wine available everywhere. One of the traditional recipes, 40-Clove Garlic Chicken, was used by a widely-published wine critic some years ago as a challenge to measure good Sauvignon Blanc: a great wine still shines next to this overpowering dish. This is a great cookbook, and a fine initiation into French provincial cooking, and the accompanying photography and background information are a good introduction to life in Provence. Highly recommended.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh la la!, June 22, 2000
French born and 4th generation provençale, I take pride in the cuisine from my homeland and I have to confess I was a little wary about what I would find in this book. Well, the authors did a wonderful job at promoting the gastronomic traditions of Provence without betraying them. My grand-mother, our family's head-cook, and our culinary inspiration would have given her seal of approval without hesitation, would she have been around to discover this wonderful recipe collection and it is with her and my homeland in mind that I enjoy preparing the recipes featured in this excellent collection for my own enjoyment and the one of my (American) husband and our friends.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This series is a winner!, April 24, 1999
By A Customer
My wife, who is the cook in our home, says of this book, "I love it!" I can attest to the results. The recipes are clear and accurate. The food is superb and exactly matches the wonderful cuisine that my wife and I have enjoyed in Provence. No recipe has disappointed. The presentation of the book, with its beautiful pictures, is excellent. When you've tried Provence the Beautiful Cookbook, explore the others in the series. My wife is working her way through Tuscany the Beautiful Cookbook and I'm loving it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Bible, March 24, 2009
By 
Thomas Crapaud (Youngtown, Arizona) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Provence: the Beautiful Cookbook (Paperback)
This book taught me how to cook. Olney was the Bomb. The glossary in this book has everything from how to cure olives, salt anchovies, explanation of all the major Meditteranean herbs. There's even a cool little section on Provencal and Rhone wines. The pictures are beautiful and Olney's prose evokes the magical Provencal landscape and connects the food with the culture of the region particularily the artists and writers who made Provence home. If you are interested in Meditteranean cooking this is a cookbook you should own.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BIG AND BEAUTIFUL, July 21, 2000
I was a little suspicious of the series. After all, should we trust a book more suitably sized for the coffee table than for the kitchen counter? But my mistrust was misguided. The food is wonderful. All people have assumptions about "others," and one of the assumptions Americans make about the French is that their food is very difficult to prepare and relies on expensive ingredients. The truth is that French food need not be difficult and that it is a cuisine that recognizes the beauty of each season. Since my children bought this book for me, we have been building seasonal rituals around it. For example, we get salt anchovies from the neighborhood Italian deli for our Christmas eve appetizer. At Mardi Gras, we make the oreilles found in this book, which are the pastries sold as "pig's ears" or "angel wings" in the last days before Lent by Polish bakeries in Detroit. Depending on the bakery, they were known as "pig's ears" or "angels wings." My only criticism of the book is that I feel the need to keep it open in the dining room, lest kitchen grease spoils it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deja Vu de Provence, April 9, 2000
What a wonderful, inspirational book. This book showed me how to make the amazing dishes that I tasted during my tour of Provence. I finally know what specific herbs make up the "Herbes de Provence". It was more than a cook book, though. It was a walk down memory lane inspiring me to, not just cook the dishes but, create them! Thank you Richard Olney.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh la la!, June 22, 2000
French born and 4th generation provençale, I take pride in the cuisine from my homeland and I have to confess I was a little wary about what I would find in this book. Well, the authors did a wonderful job at promoting the gastronomic traditions of Provence without betraying them. My grand-mother, our family's head-cook, and our culinary inspiration would have given her seal of approval without hesitation, would she have been around to discover this wonderful recipe collection and it is with her and my homeland in mind that I enjoy preparing the recipes featured in this excellent collection for my own enjoyment and the one of my (American) husband and our friends.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It IS a beautiful cookbook, November 14, 2009
By 
W. A. Greene (New Orleans, LA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Provence: the Beautiful Cookbook (Paperback)
A summer vacation in Provence had interested me in its cuisine, which is tasty but not heavy. Whence my purchase of this cookbook, copies of which I have now also given as a gift to two friends. The recipes are not particularly hard, and it seems every single one of them is also illustrated in a glorious color photograph. The book also has photographic and text introductions to its chapters. These introductions tell about the history, culture, and cuisine of the various regions that comprise Provence. As for the recipes, they sometimes list ingredients which are not readily available e.g., salt cod, salt anchovies), but the author also recommends substitutes. Finally, the glossary at the back explains about some frequently used ingredients (e.g., persillade) and how to make them. This IS a beautiful cookbook, and I have enjoyed trying the recipes in it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, April 28, 2006
"Provence, The Beautiful Cookbook" by Richard Olney is a beautiful coffee table book filled with exquisite views and mouth-watering authentic dishes from this region of France.

Every time I look through this book, I feel like I am on an actual journey to Provence. And each time, I close this book, I feel a strong yearning to actually see this part of France with my own eyes!

This book is divided into food chapters, like most cookbooks, but also, there are chapters about different areas within this region: Alpes-Maritimes; Soups and Starters; Alpes-de-Haute-Provence; Fish and Shellfish; Vaucluse; Meat, Poultry and Gram; Bouches-du-Rhone; Vegetables and Grains; Var; and Desserts.

A wonderful book for lovers of Provence!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, January 4, 2011
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Gorgeous photos of provence, mystical, inviting. The recipes are fantastic and beautifully presented. Makes one want to live in Provence. D.Reid
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Provence: the Beautiful Cookbook
Provence: the Beautiful Cookbook by Richard Olney (Paperback - August 10, 1999)
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