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The Escoffier Cookbook and Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery: For Connoisseurs, Chefs, Epicures Complete With 2973 Recipes Hardcover – November 13, 2000
"Ingredienti" by Marcella Hazan and Victor Hazan
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Top Customer Reviews
But, like many Amazon.com customers, I found myself in the position of thinking "but it'll cost me half the price of the book to send it back." So I wound up giving it to a friend who likes to cook, but doesn't need the "real thing."
Suffice it to say that if you want the real Esoffier, you're still going to have to drop the $60+ for the Van Nostrand Reinhold edition. Sorry, culinary students, you didn't luck up on a deal.
However, to appreciate this book fully, it's important to understand exactly who it was written for. Escoffier's original guide was never for a second intended for the home cook. Escoffier was a pioneer with respect to the education of professional chefs, and originally wrote this book for the use of those working in grand houses, in hotels, on ocean liners, and in restaurants who might not have had access to contemporary recipes. Accordingly, the original book does not attempt to teach basic cooking or food preparation techniques. The American translation does include some details on cooking techniques and utensils unfamiliar to the average American chef (such as poeleing, worth the cost of the book alone, and the old French form of braising), but even in the translation it is assumed that the reader is a trained, experienced chef.
The recipes themselves are clear and simple to follow, but represent only a small subset of French cooking of the early 20th century. An earlier reviewer mentioned that there was no recipe for onion soup; this is true, but it should be understood that onion soup would never have been accepted by the class of restaurant patron Escoffier cooked for. Much of what has arrived on this side of the Atlantic as "French cooking" - dishes such as pot-au-feu, onion soup, and steak frites - is distinctly middle-class, and consequently would have been rejected by the clientele of quality restaurants of the time as being unspeakably boorish.Read more ›
One of the most reliable symptoms of Escoffier's importance can be found in the first essay of Michael Ruhlman's `The Soul of a Chef' dealing with the Certified Master Chef examination given at the Culinary Institute of America. Whenever the candidates were presented with a problem in an unfamiliar area and had the night to consider the problem, they consulted Escoffier for their preparation. This is because most of the situations in the problems came straight from the practice defined by Escoffier a 100 years ago.
For these and many more reasons, this book is THE standard by which all French culinary issues should be judged. Therefore, my review is less on why this is a good book and more on why you should pay attention to it if you are serious about cooking.
For starters, this 920 page book with 2,973 recipes lists for about $20. Admittedly, the text describing many of those recipes is pretty terse, being based on techniques from one or more earlier recipes. Therefore, you must be committed to really getting involved with this book and mining it for its riches rather than expecting to make a quick search for a particular recipe you can copy or scan at the library on the way home.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a great book that arrived in perfect condition. Love itPublished 1 month ago by Danielle Lynch
Bone broth! Basics! Tuna creme - not just plain old tuna and mayo anymore - this book teaches the basics and allows the cook to take even the simplest foods to another level. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Aquila
as expected...a great basic for all types of methods of preparation and cookingPublished 1 month ago by L. Darby
Buy it, study it, open a five diamond haute cuisine restaurant.Published 5 months ago by Farmer Dan