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French Taste: Elegant Everyday Eating [Paperback]

Laura Calder
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.99
Price: CDN$ 15.67 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

April 5 2010

The time is right for getting back to French home cooking and discovering how it has evolved, how easy it is for anyone to make, and how appropriate it is for the moment. Laura Calder reminds us that we don’t have to commit to mastering the entire canon of French cuisine to make a delectable chocolate mousse or a sole amandine. And just because we’re in the mood for coq au vin doesn’t mean we have to start dinner with a foie gras terrine and end with Grand Marnier soufflé. We can integrate a French dish into the menus already in our repertoire -- serve coq au vin as a main course, with gingerbread or ice-cream sundaes for dessert. Why not?

French Taste is all about simplicity. If we get too caught up in the “how to” of French cooking, we miss the point. Yes, French cuisine has given the world impressive recipes and techniques, but the most valuable things the French have to offer when it comes to food are a sense of how to eat with joyful abandon, how to make food look as beautiful as it tastes and how to take time to enjoy good food in good company.


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French Taste: Elegant Everyday Eating + Dinner Chez Moi + French Food At Home
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Product Description

Quill & Quire

Like her Food Network cooking show, French Food at Home, Laura Calder’s second cookbook, French Taste, is, in essence, a primer on basic Gallic cooking aimed at people who are intimidated by the kitchen. Detractors might say this misrepresents French cuisine, since the book contorts itself to entice the reluctant cook, which is anathema to French gastronomy. But a more positive spin is that the book demystifies French cooking, providing a welcome corrective to North America’s misguided culinary culture of empty junk food, microwave meals, and low-fat paranoia. Without question, however, this is a book for people who need justification to take an epicurean approach to food. Those who already have an appreciation of fine butter, cheese, bread, and wine may find Calder’s attitude somewhat patronizing. Additionally, those who already know how to, say, properly boil a beet or blind bake a pastry shell, might find Calder’s instructions irksome – to say nothing of her mini-essays offering pat cooking “philosophies” and advice on how to shop for groceries. Nonetheless, such people would be well advised to persevere in order to take advantage of Calder’s many excellent recipes. Divided into chapters by menu courses, the book gives us a superb lobster, grapefruit, and avocado salad dressed with almond, hazelnut, or walnut oil. Pork roast braised in milk will be unfamiliar to many but is worth the price of admission, as are such treats as potatoes cooked in duck fat, olive oil and red grape cake, and nougat glacé. Virtually every page of the book, in fact, offers the sort of recipe one wishes their local bistro would adopt. Jean-Pierre Challet takes a more focused and less patronizing approach to Gallic cuisine in One-Pot French. French cuisine has a reputation for complexity, but Challet, chef at the Toronto restaurant A Taste of Quebec, shows us how to enjoy all that France has to offer in a surprisingly diverse variety of relatively simple recipes that employ only a single cooking vessel – be that a pot, frying pan, or pastry sheet. His book offers chapters based on menu courses with additional sections covering discrete subjects such as eggs, potatoes, and sandwiches. Less of a lifestyle lecture than Calder’s book, One-Pot French may be better suited to cooks with more experience. For example, a recipe for salade Lyonnaise – dandelion, bacon, and poached egg – omits instructions on how to poach the egg. Presumably, Challet assumes the reader already has this skill – not necessarily a sound assumption to make. Still, there are plenty of recipes here that just about anyone could tackle, meeting Challet’s stated goal to keep things simple. The vast majority are classic rustic “comfort food” dishes such as French onion soup, cheese soufflé, coq au vin, salade Niçoise, croque madame, pommes Anna, lemon tart, and chocolate mousse. Indeed, if Challet falls short anywhere in comparison to Calder, it is in his lack of creative exploration. Photographically, the two books are similar. The images in Challet’s book, by Gareth Morgans, offer an unaffected clarity and richness well suited to the book’s themes. The photos in Calder’s book, by James Ingram, have a similar hominess, though sometimes feel slightly more staged. For sheer browsing appeal, however, Challet is the clear winner, with over twice as many pictures – an advantage he may need on the sales floor to overcome Calder’s TV-celeb status. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

?Laura Calder?s french approach to food is refreshing and smart. . . . She shares her delight and enjoyment of the pleasures of the table with us, making this a book for everybody who loves to eat.?
-- Jennifer Mclagan, author of Fat and Bones ()

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacularly simple! May 6 2009
Format:Hardcover
This is the best kind of cook book - beautiful and useful. It offers easy, elegant cooking and shows that it's simple to have a dinner party-worthy meal on a Monday night (and Tuesday, and Wednesday...). I had a week's worth of meals planned within 30 minutes of first opening it. Be sure to read the little essays. They're delightful and make you stop to think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another terrific Laura Calder volume May 22 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you enjoy watching "French Food at Home", then owning Laura Calder's books is a "must". She is the same person in print...not automatic, by the way. The same engaging one-on-one style comes through. She always communicates that you really CAN make these dishes, and encourages you to try new things.

Being in the U.S., her books are hard to find and sometimes quite expensive. Cheers to Amazon.ca for making them available at good prices!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous cookbook Nov. 2 2009
Format:Hardcover
My husband and I are both avid cooks and we purchased this book because we were so pleased with Laura's first one. The pastry recipes quickly became the household classics. These are wonderful, tasty and uncomplicated recipes for truly delicious food. We'd highly recommend this book to any foodie out there.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book Feb. 15 2014
By sandu
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are many recipes I tried (delicious) and many other I'm going to try. Great book, the only reason I give 4 stars is the lack of pictures. I like to see the dish before I decide to spend a few minutes to read the recipe (unfortunately the time is quite limited in our days) and is a good tool to see how the result should be. Otherwise, it worth 5 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Companion to the Televsion Show June 28 2013
By Mapsman
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like cookbooks to give me a sense of place and/or occasion along with relatively easy to produce recipes. This book does so. I enjoy seeing Laura Calder make the recipes on the show, French Taste at Home, and this book acts as a memoir of the episodes, as well as being a well-rounded stand-alone cookbook.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love French Cooking at Home March 11 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Many of the recipes from her tv show are included in this cookbook : French Taste: Elegant Everyday Eating". Love to try the recipes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What fun! Jan. 19 2013
By G. Clay
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Since discovering Laura Calder, I turn to her recipes first and usually find the perfect idea. My dinner guests have thoroughly enjoyed her meals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The kind of cookbook you keep forever. July 13 2012
Format:Paperback
This is my favorite cookbook (besides Laura's other ones). Each recipe has a wonderful anecdote or description to go with it. All the recipes are straightforward and easy to follow. Most of the ingredients I can find in my kitchen already. I have yet to try a recipe from this book that I don't like. It is also easy to modify the recipes or add things to make it your own. The most important thing I get from this cookbook is inspiration; every time I flip through it I feel passionate about cooking beautiful, simple, delicious food.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Laura Caulder
This book is a no nonsense cookbook and is a great companion to her show French Food at Home. Unlike the the some other shows =that are on Food TV she is unpretentious and very... Read more
Published on April 21 2012 by squire
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy relaxed cooking
Good cooking in the final analysis, depends on two things: common sense and good taste.I like to cook and I enjoy eating good food, and Laura Calder's Good Taste includes recipes... Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2012 by David E. Joel
4.0 out of 5 stars A must have for the home cook
Laura has a way of making French food so easy for anyone! This book contains many of the recipes from her Food Network Show French Food at Home which is on in the US on the Cooking... Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2012 by Ann W
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny!
I received this book for Christmas. Not only is Laura Calder's French Taste a beautiful presented book, it is also a very well written book with wonderful, tasty, easy-to-follow... Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2012 by The Elegant Gourmet
5.0 out of 5 stars A taste of French basics, with a much-needed simplicity
I grew up in a former french colony (Lebanon) where we had plenty of French classics to savour (the Nicoise was on almost every menu). Read more
Published on June 16 2011 by Yasmina
5.0 out of 5 stars great!
Laura Calder takes "fancy" French cooking and makes it very accessible. She is great, and all of the recipes I've tried of hers are fabulous!
Published on Feb. 25 2011 by bahibektoi
3.0 out of 5 stars French cooking made easy
After watching Laura Calder's cooking program on television, and seeing how easy and fun she made cooking look - I decided to purchase one of her books. Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2011 by Marsbarsreview
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