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The Hotel St. Francis Cook Book Paperback – June 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Fredonia Books (NL) (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589633024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589633025
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,719,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By friendlyintexas on July 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have a 1918 original book that I purchased in a book store in Westwood in LA while apprenticing at the Century Plaza Hotel in the early 70's. It has been with me as I worked all over the world. Along with Modern French Culinary Art by Peleprat, Herrings dictionary of classical cookery, The New International Confectioner, it has been a mainstay of my culinary corner. I apprenticed under Walter Roth, a Swiss that was very much like Victor Hirtzler. The old way of training by apprenticeship under chef de partie that knew their craft was de rigour. When I travelled I had to open my knife case as well as my curriculim vitaea in order to get a job anywhere in the world. Now they go to school and pay exhorbitant sums of money that isn't nearly as erudite as learning under the old apprentice system with commis and chef de partie. This book is written in a proper chef style without alot of measurements so you have to know what you are doing as it is alot like a chef's reminder. It is a wonderful gem, it is a must for budding chef's who want to grow in their craft.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Kientz on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have an origional issue of the St. Francis Cook Book given to me by my Uncle, Joseph Meyer. Chef Meyer and Chef Victor Hirtzler came from the same town in Alsace, France. They were close friends and at the time the book was written Chef Meyer was #2 to Hirtzler at the St. Francis. Both Chefs were Black Hats. My Grand Daughter has reciently graduated from the San Francisco Cullinary Achademy, at her graduation party she saw my origional and became very interested in it, I had heard that it had been republished, and went to Amizon and found it. I have given it to her as her Graduation Present. The book for its age is very up to date in the various foumulas I have used through the years. It is a wonderful history of typical cusiene used during the days when the St. Francis, The Palace, etc. were the places to go to get spoiled with service and delicious food.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Theseus on June 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a classic artifact of America's Gilded Age. This book hails from the time when if you wanted fancy food you went to a fancy hotel and ate fancy French-derived food from a menu that changed all the time (thus showing the chef's virtuosity.) Sure, you could go and eat remarkable Chinese, Italian, and seafood in 1919 San Francisco, but if you aspired to be of a certain class, class could be purchased from one of San Francisco's most grand hotels, hotels that served as cultural touchpoints for the city.

At the same time, this is a modern book which is one of the first examples of a "celebrity chef" working his mojo in America. Hirtzler was an innovative chef to be sure, but he was equally adept at self-promotion. He dresssed well and worked hard to stay in the public eye. One of his techniques was to name dishes after celebrities (Caruso, Berhhardt.) He also named dishes after himself! And he was quite successful at publishing.

This book is as much a collection of menus as it is a collection of recipes. Why? Because the experience of dining is as important the experience of cooking. 365 menus with recipes x 3: breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

In this book appear the first or early recipes for Crab Louie and Celery Victor. And I'm sure that if I knew more about the history of cuisine, I could identify more bits of historical significance.

Hirtzler published. There are two St. Francis books. The first, Hotel St. Francis Book of Recipes and Model Menus L'Art Culinaire, is commonly known as The 1910 Hotel St. Francis Cookbook. In 1919 this book, The Hotel St. Francis Cook Book, was released with over one hundred more pages than the book released in 1910. So don't be confused: two separate books, not one book in two different editions.
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