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Paris Patisseries: History, Shops, Recipes Hardcover – January 5, 2010
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About the Author
Pierre Hermé, leading French pastry chef, is internationally renowned for the quality and creativity of his pastries. Christian Sarramon is a distinguished lifestyle photographer. His work has been featured in Axel Vervoordt: Timeless Interiors, Provence Style, Living in Paris, Living in Provence, Gourmet Shops of Paris, Gourmet Bistros and Restaurants of Paris, and Yquem. Julia Hung is a journalist for a number of culinary publications in France.
Top customer reviews
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I personally use this as visual inspiration for desserts but it's also a wonderful coffee table book. I couldn't bare other people touching the beautiful photos with dirty hands.
Some will be looking for a cook book - look elsewhere.
Some will be looking for a history book - look elsewhere.
Some will want to have every detail dissected and investigated and analyzed - look elsewhere.
Some will want Paris and france placed into the context of 'Top Chef' or 'Ace of Cakes' - look elsewhere.
For those who appreciate the true visual beauty of pastry, here is an uncompromising book about what is currently the pinnacle of the form.
Top recommendation - no one else, to my knowledge, has made such a book - one dedicated to the visual beauty of pastry, the purity of this French art form. It is loving and comprehensive; I have been to most places and eaten many of the examples in the book - and the author clearly understands beauty as it exists in the daily life of Parisians; something lacking in daily American life.
The book is one of a series put out by an expert team at Flammarion on gourmet shops in Paris. And it truly is a veritable feast for the eyes - the photography allows you to see detailed closeups the naked eye cannot take in.
Anyone who does not love this book, does not love Paris.
When it showed up, I instantly concurred that it lives up to its billing of displaying exquisite photography. While there's plenty of that to be had in the cookbook world -- it's become quite the art, hasn't it, to photograph something as suggestive s a polished spoon or a balloon whip, then wait for the Pavlovian response to follow -- and to not always rely on the spectacular finished product.
This book does photograph the pastries, and yes, they are lovely.
While photography and histories are terrific, I wanted to expand on my kitchen capabilities. The volume did not deliver what I had hoped in the way of recipes and design "how to." As promoted in the product description, there are recipes, but they often duplicate what is already available to us in other cookbooks(recipes for choux pastry and souffles, for instance). My interest is in connecting the dots between recipe and finished product. I am interested in the specifics of the design of the Baiser, par exemple.
In an American world where we increasingly roll our shopping carts across tiled floors in a grocery chain's bakery-deli department to make a selection from a mass-produced confection displayed on plastic and cardboard, this book is an effective reminder that venue, as well as confection, should be a part of the overall experience.
Just Say No to the mass-produced, and I'm guessing I'm preaching to the choir. Otherwise, you wouldn't be considering this book. If you can't, or don't want to create a pastry yourself, find a good bakery. Above all, don't communicate love or congratulations or celebrate with confections produced from a Walmart or another grocery chain. Just. Don't. Please.
Specifics for creating Paris Patisseries in my Kentucky kitchen was what I was aiming for. Again, I was not able to get there.
If it had been scratch and sniff I wouldnt be writing this right now, I would of maxed out my credit cards and been on the next plane to France. I am however starting a batch of my warm chocolate croissants and will sit down ( in two days, after they have proofed,risen and baked to their delightfully crisp, buttery , melt in your mouth I can't stop at just one, oh God I hope nobody stops by and expects me to share)and read thru this book again, the second of what will be many ,many times I'm sure. Life is fleeting, have less so you can enjoy the best, nobody ever said on their death bed "Thank God I shopped at Walmart all of these years".