After reading all the other reviewers who either gushed over or maligned this book, I felt compelled to give yet another opinion which I hope will clarify the polarized opinions on this cookbook. First, if you are looking to find a cookbook on comfort food or "the-way-Mom-used-to-make-it-desert" for your next family gathering, DON'T GET THIS ONE. Also, if you're on a frugal budget or a time crunch, again, LOOK ELSWHERE. This is one of the GREATEST patisserie chefs in the world. And he gives us in his cookbook all the extravagance, style, taste and showmanship that title carries. The recipes are expensive, time consuming and sometimes tricky. They contain specialty ingredients and use specialty tools. Any substitutions based on economy or convenience will probably result in failure. On the other hand, if you long to create something really extraordinary and impressive and have the time and pocketbook to match don't hesitate to get this. Although some ingredients are special, they are not so hard to obtain. If you can read and write, you can cook from this. Both experienced and beginner cooks. I can't account for a previous reviewer who complained about confusing directions. All I can say about that is some people don't bother reading directions thoroughly, make a mess, and then blame the directions. I have baked time and again from this book, from the simple and delicious coconut pound cake to the spectacular and complex "Melody," and never a glitch in the preparation. I have to tell my guests that I made it. They always just assume its created by a professional chef and ask me for his number. So there you have it. Know yourself before you decide to spend the money on this one. Definetely for the serious cook only.
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