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The French Menu Cookbook: The Food and Wine of France--Season by Delicious Season--in Beautifully Composed Menus for American Dining and Entertaining by an American Living in Paris... [Paperback]

Richard Olney , Paul Bertolli

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Book Description

March 15 2011
Now in paperback, this landmark, debut cookbook from Richard Olney is brimming with over 150 authentic recipes that capture the flavors and spirit of the French countryside.

Originally published in 1970, The French Menu Cookbook is one of the most important culinary works of the twentieth century. It has served as a foundational resource and beacon to cooks worldwide—including visionaries like Alice Waters—who redefined American cuisine. Well ahead of his time, Olney champions a seasonal approach to cooking and provides thoughtful, intriguing wine pairings. This revolutionary text offers masterfully arranged menus for every occasion, from casual dinners for two to decadent soirees. In paperback for the first time, this celebrated kitchen classic is a must-have for adventurous home cooks, chefs, gourmets, and Francophiles alike.

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“Earlier this year, OFM's expert panel voted this the best cookbook of all time. Only problem was it was out of print. But it has been reissued, so now everyone can delight in Olney's passionate, idiosyncratic rendering of French cuisine.”
—The Observer Food Monthly, 25 Best Cookbooks of 2010, 11/14/10


"Here's a blessing . . . and it's not in disguise."
Newark Star Ledger

"The writer to whom Olney immediately demands comparison is Elizabeth David. The prose of each is characterized by an aesthetic sensibility enmeshed in the stabilizing regimen of a strictly imposed self-discipline."
—John Thorne, author of Pot on the Fire

"Richard Olney is someone who truly lives what he believes-cooking simply from the garden and drinking wonderful wines from the cellar. His FRENCH MENU COOKBOOK is an inspiration, giving a lasting insight into a special way of life."
—Alice Waters

About the Author

Born and raised in Iowa, RICHARD OLNEY (1927–1999) was one of the most distinguished and influential food writers in recent history. Olney moved to France in his mid-20s, and resided in Paris and Provence. He wrote a column for the journal Cuisine et Vins de France and edited Time-Life’s 28-volume The Good Cook series. Olney authored eight books, including Simple French Food and Lulu’s Provençal Table.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reissue of a fine French cookbook March 26 2011
By Steven A. Peterson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A set of basic French recipes. One nice feature: menus are featured for all four seasons of the year, and a series of recipes are presented for each meal menu. To illustrate: One winter menu features an informal dinner--Gratin of stuffed crepes, Stuffed calves' ears with Béarnaise sauce, Molded tapioca pudding with apricot sauce.

The book begins by outlining the approach taken throughout. Then, introductory discussions of wine, reds versus whites versus roses; wine cellars; temperature. Then, a discussion ensues of the variety of wines by region in France. Nice discussions of Beaujolais and Bordeaux. Next, what should go into a kitchen (what types of knives, for instance). Then, on to the menus and recipes.

One thing I enjoy when seeing a new cookbook is to check out any recipes for a dish that I have already cooked. And, here, I enjoyed comparing how my basic Beef burgundy (Boeuf a la bourguignon) recipe compares with the one in this book. Some recipes contain carrots and others don't. This one uses carrots, which is my preference. This recipe calls for cognac, not something that routinely goes into a recipe. Another recipe where I enjoyed comparing what the author, Richard Olney, does with what I do--Coq au vin.

I have always wanted to try making Quenelle. I once had a delicious Quenelle in Dole (France) and have never gotten around to trying to make this (also, I'm not sure my family would be excited by it!). I'll pass on this recipe, since it is much more difficult to make than others that I have seen. But just looking at the recipe has increased my enthusiasm to make some Quenelle!

So, all in all, a nice cookbook, originally published in 1970.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past! Feb. 21 2014
By Pati Malinowski - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been collecting cook books for almost 50 years and this book was in my original collection. Times have changed. The directions are very complete. And very long. So typical of the French method in the 70's.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars parfait! Dec 29 2013
By j - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Richard Olney...French cuisine...need I say more?
...with appetizer to dessert menus that work together beautifully, this collection of delectable recipes takes all the stress out of planning the perfect dinner party.
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard reading, but that's what I expect when I buy a book to learn from! May 21 2013
By R. E Harrington - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The ingredients are often exotic, not readily available in the local market, but worth searching for. In so doing, one learns new sources.
I have only experienced about 10% of the recipes, but it's enough to keep the book on my most prominent shelf in the kitchen.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Oct. 10 2011
By Maja - Published on
As a French person, I so looked forward to this book which was given to me as a gift. However, I found that many of the menus used all sorts of offal and odd ingredients which you really don't find in your average French menu. That's not to say some of the recipes aren't good but I have found the book unusable in the way it was intended to be used for in almost every menu suggestion, there are ingredients which many people would find difficult to deal with. Sorry I cannot be more enthusiastic about what should have been a triumph of a book.

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