La Mere Brazier: The Mother of Modern French Cooking Hardcover – Mar 25 2014
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"...extraordinary...La Mere Brazier brings the life, voice and recipes of an iconic French chef to an Anglophone audience at long last. Care has been taken to retain the historical accuracy of the recipes while making them accessible to modern home cooks." -Saveur
"This book, first published in 1977, offers a charming glimpse into those early days and also features recipes that make classic, French cooking a lot more accessible..." -Cookbooks365
"...her cookbook is a classic." -Eater
About the Author
Eugénie Brazier is the mother of modern French cooking. She opened her restaurant in 1921 and went on to earn six Michelin stars—the only woman to do so until 2009. Among the chefs that trained with her were Paul Bocuse and Bernard Pacaud of L’Ambroisie in Paris, both three-star Michelin icons. Paul Bocuse holds three Michelin stars and is renowned as one of the world’s preeminent chefs.
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One of the most rewarding parts of this book is the brief collection of La Mère’s reminiscences and some fine, old photographs. The recipes themselves, written in an off hand professional fashion, are standard fare (poulets demi-deuil, tournedos Rossini) and can be found in many other sources, though it is nice to find them all in the same volume. Combined with a few of her elegant menus, they offer a pleasant, nostalgic tour through a past era of haute cuisine.
The book includes a good many period photographs of La Mere and of her restaurant and of some of her staff. There is nothing pretentious here. Today, three-star restaurants need to have very expensive designer décor and service is much more elaborate than the picture we are given from 'back in the day.' Of course, the cuisine has progressed greatly as well.
This book was first published in 1977 and reflects a career already completed well before that time. Its purpose is to honor a woman whose achievements should not be forgotten and to honor a period in Lyon when the cuisine of 'the Mothers' carried the French culinary banner far forward and in a way both simpler than Parisian style while still remaining satisfying and true to its region. It adds something to a shelf of books owned by a lover of French cuisine but it also adds to my appreciation of the effort and the work undertaken by Julia Child to demystify French traditional cooking for American audiences.