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Williams-Sonoma Collection: French Hardcover – May 3, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest installment in Williams-Sonoma’s collection of glossy cookbooks presents readers with more than 40 French recipes by food-writer and consultant Rossen-Worthington (The Taste of Summer, etc.). Classic bistro fare is the mainstay of this book; recipes lean toward familiar, well-loved dishes like Pommes Frites, Salade Nicoise, Carmelized Onion Tart, Soupe au Pistou, Sole Meuniere, Coq au Vin, Tarte Tatin and Creme Brulee. Numerous sidebars and make-ahead tips explain such necessary details as the difference between pesto and pistou and the secret to making a good souffle (a spotlessly clean bowl and a big balloon whisk). Clean design and mouth-watering photographs complement Rossen-Worthington’s step-by-step instructions, making this a solid reference volume for any kitchen.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Series: Williams Sonoma Collection
  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (May 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743249941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743249942
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The pictures are great and the recipes are what I was looking for!
Sophia
I think this is a great getting started book as well as a "go to" for inspiration when you're wondering what to make for dinner.
S. Hamilton
Hopefully one day will be able to say I made every recipe in the book which seems possible.
Amber Anastasi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jack Pepper on December 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Get this book for no other reason that to appreciate the excellent food photos, almost 3-D they are so vivid. Even better, the selection of recipes are so clearly described that even I, a klutz in the kitchen, can make the wonderful dishes. This is French cooking at its simplest and best. Buy it and enjoy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amber Anastasi on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved this book. Great pictures. Love the side captions. Wiliam Sonoma does it right with these books. I own the entire collection and plan on having them for a very long time. Hopefully one day will be able to say I made every recipe in the book which seems possible. Some people my not like the limited number of recipes but I feel this is a great example of quality over quantity. Somebody really put some love in this book and it shows. Everything I have made so far has been great. Once you buy one you will want them all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie E on January 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first thing one notices about the cookbook is its brevity. I suppose, had I checked the page count online before buying it (I mean, I'd thought I had..?) I'd have been less shocked by this little detail upon receiving it in the mail. For example, there are only 3 salads (4 if you count the Chilled Artichokes with Mustard Vinaigrette, which I think they did intend to be counted as a salad, but feels more like just a plate of artichokes). There are, in fact, 40 recipes in total. So it's quite short.

However, it appears all the fundamentals, the cornerstones, of traditional French cuisine are what this book has focused on. It may be short, but it's covered the bullet points, or so I would assume.

Here is where I reveal the fact that neither am I a master of the culinary arts, nor was I even remotely familiar with French cuisine before buying this book. I will say, the Potatoes Savoyarde was the best scalloped potatoes dish I'd ever tasted, but the Pork Loin with Apples and Calvados was wholly unappetizing. But don't take my word for it, my husband loved it. Of course, he is French Canadian (who knows if that counts for anything).

The other dishes have felt very hit and miss to me, but by all means, blame my ignorance when it comes to French cooking. After all, it's not like they came up with the most complex methods of food preparation ever put into practice.

The final verdict, it was a bit beyond my reach as a cook of moderate ability. The ingredients tend to be on the expensive/exotic side (duck, lamb, veal), which should be a no brainer to anyone who's aware of what they're getting into in purchasing this cookbook. Heavy focus on slabs of meat and potatoes as the main course.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sophia on March 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I really love this book! The pictures are great and the recipes are what I was looking for! I highly recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gerball on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love all the books in this series. Well illustrated and information is presented in a user friendly format. Specifically enjoy the way each of these books address a cooking style. The "French" copy has some challenging meals which surprised me - but that's the fun of exploring cooking. Some easy ones included too -in case you wondered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Hamilton on February 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think this is a great getting started book as well as a "go to" for inspiration when you're wondering what to make for dinner.
The recipes are clearly written, lots of explanation, more or less like going to one of William Sonoma's in store lessons.
Years ago Time Life had a series of cookbooks from various countries with a similar purpose namely introducing home cooks to how to make standard dishes from each country. I think the gorgeous pictures are perfect for teaching presentation of the dishes, the instructions are complete, sidebars are provided with explanations as well as demonstrations of techniques that a home cook might not be familiar with and the recipes seem to be both emblematic and authentic of whatever the William Sonoma Collection title is.
If you have already covered the basic recipes somewhere else then this is a good go to reminder or "inspire me" while I make a menu and a grocery list for the week.
If you are looking for something more comprehensive then maybe you'd enjoy checking out
Jacques Pepin's "Essential Pepin" which has more than 700 of his All Time Favorite Recipes and has a searchable DVD demonstrating every technique a cook will ever need. Truly a wonderful and comprehensive book.
If Pepin's thoroughness is not what you are looking for...and you want a simple, inspirational, introduction to fundamental
French cuisine and techniques then I'd definitely recommend this book.
I've been a dedicated "foodie" for more than 45 years absolutely love to cook and I'm still buying cookbooks...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ukguyjp on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on a whim and boy am I glad I did! It is an excellent introduction to French cooking. The recipes cover some of the classics of French food plus side dishes and desserts and my guests have always been impressed. The version of French onion soup contained here is awesome and the best I have ever tasted (if I say so myself!) A great addition to any cook's library.
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