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Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia (Anglais) Relié – 2 octobre 2001


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Revue de presse

“Larousse Gastronomique is clearly the best cooking encyclopedia ever, but I also love to open it anywhere and just read. The descriptions are clear and the recipes are easy to follow. Anyone who thinks French cooking is daunting will be forever changed by this book.”
—Ina Garten

Larousse has a place of honor on every cookbook shelf in America.”
—Martha Stewart

“It is critical to have a sound understanding of traditional culinary principles before attempting to push boundaries in cuisine. Larousse Gastronomique helps me execute the progressive cooking we do at Alinea.”
—Grant Achatz

“The bible of cooking. The all-time argument ender. Early in my cooking career, I wielded my Larousse like a weapon and it never let me down.”
—Anthony Bourdain

“Larousse Gastronomique has always been the first and last word on classic European techniques and recipes. I love that it has expanded its reach to cover world cuisines and modern culinary innovations, making it more indispensable than ever.”
—Marcus Samuelsson

“The history of food has never had a better biographer. Required reading for anyone who eats.”
—Dan Barber

“Young chefs, famous chefs, home cooks, and everyone who loves food and cooking–we all depend on Larousse Gastronomique. It is the only culinary encyclopedia that is always up-to-date.”
—Daniel Boulud

“You can’t go into the chef’s office of any serious kitchen and not see a copy of Larousse. A must-have for professional and home cooks alike.”
—David Chang

“The Larousse is the first place I look when I need to clarify a cooking question. The greatest reference book, it is a fascinating read.”
—Jacques Pépin

Larousse is an invaluable tool for any cook. I’ve used this great resource all throughout my cooking career, and of course I look forward to the new edition. New information and knowledge are always welcome.”
—Thomas Keller

“Larousse Gastronomique is a veritable dictionary of cooking terms for the French kitchen. If a chef were allowed only one book, this would have to be it.”
—Mario Batali

Biographie de l'auteur

Librairie Larousse’s Gastronomic Committee includes scores of writers, researchers, editors, photographers, illustrators, and translators who make Larousse Gastronomique the world’s most authoritative culinary reference book. The committee’s president is world-renowned chef and author Jo‘l Robuchon. The author of the first edition of Larousse Gastronomique, published in 1938, was French chef Prosper Montagné (1865—1948).


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Amazon.com: 71 commentaires
212 internautes sur 216 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Tout le Monde 6 juillet 2003
Par Jason_Els - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Certainly the grande dame of cookbooks can't be everything to everyone but what it does do, better than anything else, is teach you the proper way to master the myriad of cooking techniques. If the book is heavy, it's because it's the foundation of every other cookbook you could own. Certianly "Joy of Cooking" is also remarkable in this respect, but if you want to rise about just being good, Larousse will teach you. Yes it is Franco-centric but deservedly, the French have a culinary legacy second to none in the world and the techniques you learn in Larousse will serve you well no matter if cooking Chinese, Italian, or even New American.
The four foundations the book synthesizes are: Technique, Tools, Ingredients, and Creativity. Ever wanted to know the essence of celery? Just how an egg does all the things that it does? Larousse will tell you. Similary, with tools, Larousse is an illumination. If Williams Sonoma ever seemed superfluous, Larousse will shock you into realizing there are advantages to owning copper pots, balanced wisks, and a bombe mould or two. Correct tools are essential to exemplary results.
Larousse is not a dead book of "ancient regime" heavy sauces (though they are included), but rather a living book, inspirational in its depth. If it can be accused of being stodgy, and it has, it's because it wants to emphasize the basics of cooking and, once that is mastered, leaves you free to go out on your own. Once the four foundations have been mastered it's up to you to excel. That's not to say there aren't complex and difficult recipes, there are; but they tend to be more traditional though make no mistake, the top chefs of France have contributed recipes to Larousse.
There are shortfalls. As noted before it does not cover the other grande cuisines of the world (namely Chinese and Italian) with anything remotely resembling a catholic perspective, but then it doesn't purport to be an all-encompassing cookbook. As a book it is dry and its emphasis on exact, rigid technique seems rather imperious. While the haughty tone may seem to be a fault, it's actually worded so as to express the exact requirement of a task in the clearest terms. When you get to the highest levels of cooking techniques there is no room for error. You're dealing with physical and chemical properties that require exact processes to succeed. Pull them off and you'll amaze yourself.
If you learn to cook using Larousse Gastronomique and follow it faithfully, there won't be a cuisine in the world you can't tackle or a cooking task you won't perform without confidence. I can't say that about any other cookbook.
153 internautes sur 157 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Considerably shallower than the 1961 original translation :( 27 décembre 2004
Par Morgan Venable - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I just bought the 1961 first edition for $45 at a used shop. I hadn't noticed that the modern version reviewed here was actually on remainder for 5 bucks less -- the cashier pointed this out to me, and I went back to compare. There was a note in the old edition saying "This (better) ed OP". I trust my local bookshop, so I put them side by side, and was shocked to find that a *large* number of recipes have been excised from the original edition. In some cases it's merely the omission of a few variations under a heading [see "achar" -- from 3 recipes to 1 in the new], but in many cases it's a wholesale excision [see "ketchup" -- no recipe in current version AFAICT].

I believe very much in cookbooks that do one thing and do it right -- ethnic cookbooks dedicated solely to their particular cuisines. A grand unified cookbook is a noble undertaking, but in this edition it appears that depth has been sacrificed to include a broader range of items in less-than-ideal detail.

I have been saddened in recent years to see the great cookbooks watered down or losing focus -- the new Joy of Cooking feels much the same to me when compared to my mother's version.

Bottom line: Larousse had a great vision -- an encyclopaedia of *French* Cuisine. The addition of other cuisines by the editors should not have been undertaken without the same attention to detail. The end result is still a massive and relevant book, but lacks the focus and truly stunning depth of the original.

If they decide to compile a 10,000-page multivolume compendium, then we'll be talking. Until then, I'm sticking with the older editions.
69 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Essential, Exhaustive Reference to French and World Food 26 mai 2004
Par B. Marold - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This weighty, 1200 page volume is a reliable gold standard among culinary works. It should not surprise that it is originally a work published in French (Larousse is a major French publisher that specializes in encyclopedic volumes on many subjects). The inevitability of the volume is based on the premier place of French cuisine on the world stage and on the very European tradition of publishing great omnibus works on just about every subject imaginable. It was Diderot in 17th century France who invented the encyclopedia and great references in most subjects are available in French or German or even Italian long before they are available in English.
The blurb on the front of my edition states that the Larousse Gastronomique is the `World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia'. I cannot judge this statement for volumes available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Hindi, or Arabic. But, in English, this is undoubtedly true. This statement is true not only for the size of the volume, but for the great range of subjects the editors have chosen to include. The entries cover all the obvious things such as vegetables, meats, fish, shellfish, herbs, spices, fruits, and spice mixtures.
On these subjects, the writers do not limit themselves to a simple description of appearance, taste, seasonality, geographic distribution, and a statement of culinary uses. It includes representative recipes for almost all basic foodstuffs, the number depending on the relative importance of the food. The entry for aubergines (eggplant) includes a general recipe for the preparation of the vegetable plus eight recipes within the article itself plus references to eight other recipes under other articles. The drawings or photographs accompanying articles on major foodstuffs like aubergines are truly first rate. I am pleased, but not surprised at this, as I have come to expect European editors to do as good or better job of illustrating books than American publishers, especially where these illustrations are an important aspect of the work. Regarding the illustrations in general, the genius of the editors is in the great variety of media used in the pictures. Where technical detail is important, color drawings are used to focus on the important and hide the incidental in pictures of raw ingredients, for example. Where a prepared dish is pictured, photographs are typically used. Where the subject is a geographical or historical subject, the first choice is usually an historical engraving, painting, or cartoon.
If the book covered no more than these foods, it would be a valuable work indeed, but it also covers such diverse subjects as geographical regions of culinary interest such as Provence, both common and rare kitchen tools such as the autoclave and the bain marie, culinary songs such as chants used by street vendors in Paris, types of eating establishments such as café, bistro, and restaurant. One of my favorite things is to be looking for a particular entry and run across some other totally appropriate, yet totally unexpected entry. My most recent find is an article on the traditional fraternal orders and associations of culinary professionals in place in France, some since the Middle Ages. This relatively long article is accompanied by full color pictures of the robes worn by members of these orders.
The range of subjects covered by the book is quite international, but there is a clear emphasis on French techniques, history, produce, and dishes. The coverage of wine and cheese around the world is extensive, as these products are so important to French gastronomy. Some subjects that are very important to Asian cuisines get relatively little attention. Soy gets a half page article, and miso gets no more than a paragraph. Lemons get a page and a half, yet lemongrass has no article at all. On the other hand, techniques for butchering a chicken get two full pages.
I do not often refer to the Larousse Gastronomique for recipes, but it is always my reference of last resort when all other sources fail. The only culinary question on which it is mute is on substitutions. A replacement for buttermilk can be found in any number of lesser references, yet the Gastronomique simply does not cover this.
The Larousse Gastronomique is simply the essential reference to French technique, ingredients, culinary history, and geography. Get this before you get your Julia Child and your Jaques Pepin and your Patricia Wells. I seriously doubt if the latest editions have any significant improvements over used editions of thirty or even fifty years ago. Just be sure to get one in good condition. You will refer to it often.
Essential.
48 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Broader but not deeper 22 octobre 2001
Par Anthony Ho - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I kept 3 editions of this important title. No doubt on its authoritativeness. This new 2001 edition caught my immediate attention when I first saw it. I browsed thru it nearly from cover to cover. There are some newer entries not listed before (the 1984 ed), e.g., tiramisu. However, information on other cuisines is brief, e.g., only 2 pages on Spanish cuisine. For a serious cook like me who own 100+ cookbooks, this title is not essential. But, if you haven't yet owned previous editions, this is not a bad idea.
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
More bulk, less beauty than the 1988 edition 27 décembre 2001
Par Doktor Octo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I've owned the 1988 edition of this masterpiece for several years. As a combination go-to resource, inspiration, and backgrounder on all things culinary, it is unsurpassed. The typeface, layout, and abundance of perfectly placed color photographs and illustrations make it a warm volume, despite its weight.
However, I recently purchased this new edition as a gift. The recipient is happy, but I'm a bit disapointed. Though the new scheme makes distinguishing recipies a snap (red titles), the typeface is steril and the number and interest of photographs has declined substantially, largely consisting of full-page stock photo stuff.
Nevertheless, a great book, but one that has lost some of its beauty. I'm happy to own the 1988 edition!
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