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Chicago Cooks: 25 Years of Chicago Culinary History and Great Recipes from Les Dames d'Escoffier Hardcover – August 28, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Women have always played a central role in Chicago’s vast food industry, whether behind a stove, at a journalist’s desk, in front of a camera, or providing publicity services. Several decades ago a group of these women formed an association, Les Dames d’Escoffier, which sought to raise awareness of the importance of women in the city’s culinary life  and to educate and advance their métier. This cookbook recounts the organization’s history, tells of the progress of Chicago cooking, and provides recipes to document this. Besides deep-dish pizza, Chicago has introduced the rest of the world to such dishes as Chicken Vesuvio and Shrimp de Jonghe. Recipes reflect both the wide-ranging tastes of Chicagoans, the immeasurable influence of the ethnic groups that populate the city, and these women’s considerable cooking talents. Color photographs highlight the text and recipes, many of which appeared originally in the Chicago Tribune. For regional collections. --Mark Knoblauch

Review

Chicago brings to mind big-shouldered steaks, old school ethnic traditions, and trendy chefs who use more lab equipment than kitchen equipment. But there are long-lived and less well known traditions celebrated is this book by Les Dames D'Escoffier of Chicago. --Claudia Kousoulas, October 2007 "Appetite for Books Review "

The flowery French name, Les Dames d'Escoffier, might set people wondering exactly what this group is. But on looking into the straightforward new cookbook from the local chapter Les Dames, two words will explain: Serious foodies. --Veronica Hinke, January 10, 2008 "Taste trust - Evanston Review (IL) "
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Agate Surrey (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572840900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572840904
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marilyn Scofield on October 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As stated above, I enjoyed reading the history of Chicago foods and restaurants. I just have a couple of gripes.
Wish they had picked one font size and style and stuck with it. The ingredients list on all the recipes is tiny, one of them magnifying glass tiny. The font size can't be adjusted because they're apparently some sort of picture file which doesn't get any larger. I'm also not crazy about the font jumping from one style to another.

I prefer my recipes to be continuous - some have parts of the history stuck in the middle of the recipe.

I did get a good laugh out of the fact that at the end of the hot dog recipe you're advised on the proper time to make your ganache :)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beatiful book, artwork is great, intro to chapters interesting and informative. Recipes are great, they WORK! Like the menus for the holidays. This one is for seasoned cooks, not for beginners.
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By sandman on November 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is more a history of this group of people that like to
eat together than a cook book. I thought I would find
a lot of interesting recipes. But it is more of a book on who did
what and when...since none of these people are known outside of
the Chicago area, it wasn't that interesting. And the recipes were
few and far between.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chicago Cooks: 25 Years of Chicago Culinary History and Great Recipes from Les Dames d'Escoffier
No pictures and no nutritional information. Book starts out with who 'Les Dames' are and the food they are known for and brought to the table. As time goes on and others are added they bring their own recipes.
There's a LOT of history to this book but it goes along with the recipes.
16 black and white pictures. Lot of different fonts and font sizes that make this book, via a kindle hard to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great culinary representation of a truly great Midwestern city, I like the combination of history and recipes. I tried a couple of the recipes, they were really good. Not the run of the mill, cellar dweller Chicago Bears good, 3 time Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers good. Jokes aside. The book is a great buy and a welcomed addition to any kitchen. North or south of the state line.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I left chi town over 30 years ago so most of the restaurants she writes about we're not yet built. It was an enjoyable read anyways with several nice recipes. Don't know how to print from my kindle so couldn't print out the " keepers" .

Might not be of interest to non-Chicagoans.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A different type of cookbook. It basically discusses the history of the group above along with recipes from their past and present. At the end (which I found to be the most interesting part), menus were given along with wine pairings and why. I will feature a couple of the recipes on The Pub and Grub Forum, but a couple of the recipes were a bit "extravagent" for families and more focused on entertainment. To be honest, I don't know if it is a cookbook I would have paid $30 for, particularly for a digital version. I am not sure if this was originally a cookbook that was done as a local fundraiser and then placed on Amazon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the best-looking books that I have seen on the kindle yet, and should be reviewed by graphic designers and book formatters needing guidance and ideas.

And the recipes are good, too; however, I do think that the book tends to general american. I know that creole red beans and rice is a louisiana dish, and guacamole is a southwestern dish; however, the lemon soufflé crepes seem to be something sophisticated that I should attempt for a fancy brunch.
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