From Publishers Weekly
Robuchon might be a three Michelin-starred chef-owner of an empire of restaurants, but in this back-to-basics compendium of classic French recipes, he shows that he still knows how to cook at home. He also knows how to teach: though the book has no illustration and his instructions tend to be terse, a cook with basic skills should make great progress just by cooking through the book's pages, from stock to meats and fish, every kind of vegetable and pastries. Robuchon features each ingredient (e.g., turbot or cauliflower) or food category (e.g., cold cream soups or fruit-based desserts) in several treatments to show its versatility, building on his introductory tips for sections and certain recipes. Most dishes are as French as can be, including worldwide standbys like sole meunière and beef bourguignon and regional treasures like John Dory with almonds and tomato confit or Hare Royale. But reflecting the passage of time and the influx of immigrants into France, Robuchon also includes some unusual recipes such as Tunisian-inspired langoustines in brik packets with basil. Cooking from this book certainly makes the full breadth of refined French cooking seem more within reach for the nonprofessional. (Nov.)
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Superchef Robuchon has fashioned a massive record of his cuisine that will appeal to fellow chefs and to highly skilled amateurs. His worldwide empire of acclaimed restaurants has brought him fame and established him as one of the leading exponents of contemporary French gastronomy. As this cookbook testifies, Robuchon adheres to current taste with lightness and an emphasis on superior, fresh, and seasonal ingredients. He keeps sauces on his dishes simple, not eschewing flour to thicken sauces but using such thickeners with restraint. Few unusual ingredients appear, the most exotic being pineapple. He loves to work with game, especially birds such as partridge and pheasant. Chefs replicating recipes for meat cookery will need close cooperation from a skilled and accessible butcher. Robuchon’s many ways of preparing potatoes offer enough familiarity to home cooks to encourage them to step up to the challenge of the master’s recipes. --Mark Knoblauch