Most helpful positive review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding & inspiring -- my favorite French cookbook!
on December 29, 2003
...Top reasons why I turn to this cookbook more than any other:
* The recipes WORK! And they are GREAT! Some recipes I've tried: Shrimp Bisque (amazingly, in comparison to a recipe I tried from Cook's Illustrated, the one here is a bit simpler AND tasted better!), Apple and Parsnip Soup (great Thanksgiving soup!), Duck Salad with Plum Dressing (if cooking this for appetizer, I would use a lot less duck breast than asked for in this recipe--7 oz per person is too much), Duck a l'orange (awesome! My guests loved it!), Cider Apple Chicken with Mushroom Sauce (delicious--I substituted regular brandy for Calvados, a French apple brandy which I couldn't find), Roast Pork with Prunes and Armagnac (truly a hit when I cooked it as the entree for Christmas), Pears Poached in Red Wine (better than a recipe I got from a class).
* Each and every recipe is beautifully illustrated with a picture of the dish. For me, the "occasional but serious home chef", the pictures inspire me and quickly give me an idea of what to create for the finished product. None of the other books have such beautiful pictures for every recipe.
* Each recipe comes with an estimate of Preparation Time and Total Cooking Time. This gives me a quick idea of how complicated the dish is gonna be. A word of caution though: the given times are for pros! When I first started cooking French, I found that I had to DOUBLE the times given in this book; now I add an extra 50%! However, on a relative scale, this feature is still helpful.
* It's mostly adjusted for ingredients available in USA (at least in Northern California) and terminology is mostly American.
Like Lindaï¿½s review below, I think Adrianaï¿½s review below is unfair--the book does state that it is a collection of Le Cordon Bleuï¿½s best recipesï¿½-thatï¿½s one of the reasons I wanted it and do not have an issue with it being a ï¿½copycatï¿½. Ultimately, I am grateful for this book because it has helped me create many successful menus and dinner parties. So much so that it compelled me to write my first review on Amazon.com! Bon Appetit!