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Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Revised Hardcover – Jun 7 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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...