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French Cuisine Book Reviews

Cuisine Naturelle: More Than 140 Simple, Elegant Recipes That Bring a Revolution in French Cooking to Your Kitchen
by Jean Francois Meteigner & Brigit Binns

From celebrated chef Jean François Méteigner, Cuisine Naturelle is a uniquely accessible cookbook that features the best of French fare with all of the flavor, but only a fraction of the fat. Renowned for his revolutionary approach to French cooking, Méteigner shares 140 time-tested recipes from contemporary interpretations of the classics to adaptations of Mama Méteigner's comfort food dishes that are as light and delicious as they are rich in the tradition of French family-style cuisine.

Jean François Méteigner is the chef/owner of La Cachette, which was named by Esquire as one of the top French restaurants in Los Angeles and one of the best new restaurants in the country when it opened in 1994. Since then, La Cachette has won many culinary awards.




A Culinary Journey in Gascony: Recipes and Stories from My French Canal Boat
by Kate Hill

Kate Hill is a gourmet chef who teaches cooking classes internationally and runs culinary tours on her 75-year-old Dutch barge in the Gascony region of France. Kate shares 80 memorable recipes inspired by the region’s farm-fresh ingredients.






The Art of French Vegetable Gardening
by Louisa Jones

Gardening is one of the most popular leisure pursuits in America. The hit trend in the U.S right now is "kitchen gardening" which the French embraced centuries ago. The kitchen garden includes vegetables, herbs, and flowers that create a beautiful and useful garden. This wonderful book combines dazzling photographs with eighty classic French recipes with all the helpful tips on how to create the perfect garden.



Bistro Cooking
by Patricia Wells

The French version of comfort food is brought to life in this book. The small bistros of France generally produce that country's least-complicated and heartiest cooking. It's home cooking at its best, from wine-scented stews to rustic salads and robust soups. Over 200 recipes share the secrets of bistro owners, French housewives, farmers and many others. Straightforward, satisfying fare.


Bistro: The Best of French Cooking
by Gerald Hirigoyen

Gerald Hirigoyen, Executive Chef and co-owner of Fringale, introduces us to the elegance of informal dining.

Cafe Boulud Cookbook: French-American Recipes for the Home Cook
by Daniel Boulud

Modeled after the menus of his New York restaurant Cafe Boulud, Chef Boulud's book shines with a simple love of food and respect for ingredients. Dishes are listed in four categories and the reader is encouraged to skip from category to category with his/her taste buds as the only guide. Taking liberties with traditional recipes, he embellishes simple peasant dishes, but claims that the spirit of the original farmhouse dishes inherited from his French family members are intact. While they may appear complicated, that is so becuase Boulud gives us the whole dish, including side dishes and garnishes--a fine idea if you wish to recreate the whole experience of a meal. While he may show the reader a way to achieve an elegent meal, Boulud's practical bent will endear him to home cooks.

Chez Nous: Home Cooking from the South of France
by Lydie Marshall

A lovely, well written book with which to curl up and dream of summers in Provence is Chez Nous by eminent cooking teacher and author Lydie Marshall. Basically, she describes how she entertains at the vacation house she shares with her husband in the south of France. Needless to say, anyone with a house in Provence must get a lot of visitors. And who wouldn't want to visit with Marshall in the kitchen? Her food is simple, flavorful, and one need not be dependent on Provencal markets to reproduce these dishes in an American kitchen (although a good local farmer's market helps). Keep this book around and stretch summer out for a few month longer this year. Goodbye A Year in Provence, hello Chez Nous.


The Cuisine of Hubert Keller
by Hubert Keller with John Harrisson

Born in Ribeauville in the heart of Alsace, the son of patissiers, Keller has gone on further and farther than his parents could ever dream. The chef at Sutter 500 and Fleur de Lys, both in San Francisco, got his start at L'Auberge de L'ell and La Cuisine du Soleil, and the French influence is strong, yet sensible. After all, this is the chef who helped create low-fat recipes for Dean Ornish's Eat More Weigh Less. Keller covers the basics and lots of wonderful breads, and offers many unique combinations from French lentil and sorrel soup to a coulis with shitake mushrooms, black pepper, polenta and red bell peppers, to name but a few. A book to challenge the dedicated home chef.


Culinaria: France
edited by Andre Domine

Against the backdrop of the beautiful and varied French landscape, Culinaria illuminates how nature first creates the right conditions for many foods and drinks, be they butter or biscuits, Camembert or Champagne, lobster or lentils. Then, this lavishly illustrated volume conveys the recipes of specific regional specialities, redefining the French regions into twelve culinary havens and giving a true impression of French lifestyle.


French Food/American Accent:
Debra Ponzek's Spirited Cuisine

Debra Ponzek and Joan Schwartz

Debra Ponzek, combining French tradition with American perspective, skillfully blends elements to create dishes that dazzle with originality and clarity of flavor. Building from basic cooking techniques Debra Ponzek displays more than 160 recipes that encourage cooks to experiment with dishes, mixing and matching components to suit ones own tastes.


Paris Out of Hand
by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

It looks like a similar, but smaller Michelin "red book," and it covers a major European city, but nothing at all is similar in this mind-boggling book. If you loved the whimsy and fantasy of the Griffin and Sabine books, you will adore this! The art and illustrations are Bantock fanciful and the text, primarily by Gordon, is informative, innovative and tongue-in-cheek hysterical. After a few descriptions of restaurants and hotels, you can actually believe you were really there and slept on that funky or perfect bed. The copy is so downright fascinating, we caution all to not read it while on the Paris Metropole as you're sure to miss your stop and end up in Arles. Forget the universal signs, this book has dingbats coded for thin walls (yours and theirs), cupid stayed here, and the more prosaic, hotel dentist available. A treasure of facts illustrated with collages of fancy.


Patricia Wells at Home in Provence
by Patricia Wells

Patricia Wells moved to France in 1980 and started her love affair with a region, Provence, which is blessed with natural beauty, delicious foods and stunning wines. Her nearly 200 recipes will allow you to bring a touch of the French countryside to your table. Vegetables and soups reach new heights here. If you do cross the pond, Ms. Wells opens her country home to guests for week-long cooking sessions.


Patricia Wells' Trattoria
by Patricia Wells

If you can't delight in a home-cooked meal at a charming trattoria in Venice or Florence, Patricia Wells' book is the next best thing. Over 150 recipes will guide you in the art of preparing honest and flavorful Italian food with a minimum of fuss. There are special sections on breads, pizzas and condiments, and the desserts are bellissimo.


Simply French
by Patricia Wells

In this book, Patricia Wells collaborates with Joel Robuchon, owner and chef of Jamin, one of only 19 restaurants in France to hold three stars from the Michelin guide. The dynamic duo start off with the basic principles of cooking and proceed to translate French cookery into something the American chef will understand and master. Wine selections are part of the lively text.


A Wine and Food Guide to the Loire
by Jaqueline Friedrich

Interested in visiting the Loire? You should not visit the beautiful French countryside without this book, "A Wine and Food Guide to the Loire." Jaqueline Friedrich, an American freelance writer has lived in Touraine, France since 1989 and it shows. Her familiarity with the people, the places, the food and the wines is demonstrated on every page. The Loire is France's longest river, starting in the remote Auvergne and rolling through such wine regions as Sancerre, Vouvray, Chinon, Anjou, and Muscadet, on its way to the Atlantic. The Loire wine regions enjoy a widespread reputation for stellar wine quality. For someone trying to get a grasp on the Loire, this is an invaluable book.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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