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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  43 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating entree to the thinking of Escoffier June 6 2011
By Steven A. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderfully enjoyable. . . . A foreword by Heston Blumenthal puts this edition in context: "[Escoffier] said he wanted the book to be 'a useful tool rather than just a recipe book,' and that's exactly what it is." Another nice grace note--a very brief biography of Escoffier on pages xx-xxii by his grandson Pierre P. Escoffier.

While Escoffier may have said that this is not a recipe book, the recipes are delightfully straightforward. I have made Cerise jubilee any number of times. His description of how to make this is one of the shortest and most direct. That impressed me!

To the extent that it is relevant, the chapters are organized by various obvious categories: sauces, garnishes, soups, hors-d'oeuvre, eggs, fish, butchers' meat, poultry, game, composite entrees, roasts, vegetables, sweets and desserts, ices, sandwiches, and fruits, jams, and drinks. Covering the waterfront, in short.

Each section, of course, features many recipes. But the short introductory comments are also worthy of note. Here, Escoffier provides general statements about how to approach matters. Sauces? He speaks of basic preparations, such as stocks, glazes, mirepoix, and so on. Back to basics. Then, some general principles on preparing sauces. In short, one gains his perspective on sauces before actually exploring individual recipes.

All in all, a most enjoyable volume for an amateur cook like me.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: Not a beginner's cookbook. June 17 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for the "1,2,3's" of cooking, this is not the book for you. This book assumes you have, at the minimum, a basic command of culinary skills, terms and techniques. If you can look in the mirror and say "I have that!" the book is brilliant. It's the pinnacle of classic french cooking. There is a lifetime of recipes and challenges to be had within it's covers.

You'll find most of the bad reviews are from folks that are looking for a "step though" cookbook. Please understand it simply isn't that. It's a chef book, written for chef's - although "dangerously" well educated home cooks will have a blast roaming it's pages and plotting their next culinary conquest.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content, unnecessary new edition July 31 2011
By Andrew P. Vogel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The ONLY thing different in this edition of Escoffier's amazing work is the introductions! If you own a previous edition of this translation, you've got ALL the useful content that's in this edition. Nothing has changed.

Well, one little change in this edition that's kind of nice -- the recipe titles are now in red instead of black.

Is this edition worth buying? ABSOLUTELY if you don't own another edition already. Escoffier's book is outstanding and worthy of a place in any serious cook's library! If you own another edition of this translation, you'll have to decide if getting recipe titles in red (and new introductions <yawn>) is worth the money.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow Sept. 20 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a tough book to understand on first read, but once you understand how the recipes build on each other you can make some incredible food. Your family and friends will beg you for more.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a cook book May 19 2011
By Roman M. Plachy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Rather, this is the codification of modern western gastronomy and it should be read that way! Like a set of rules with a manual and thousands of examples of what can be done with them.

Another review below said the same, but it should be emphasized that prior cooking experience, or at least the ability to practice often and research ingredients or technique, etc. are required. This book is absolutely fantastic, but not necessarily a book for beginners as many recipes and even instructions and descriptions assume the reader already possesses a great deal of knowledge, skills, and ability.

That being said this is still the go to book; the trunk which supports the gastronomy family tree. All others stem (no pun intended) from here...

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