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Simply French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joel Robuchon [Anglais] [Relié]

Patricia Wells

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Description de l'ouvrage

novembre 1991

How can a good cook become a great cook? It's all in the details.

Becoming a good cook means learning principles that will last you a lifetime in the kitchen; with Simply French, you will never cook the same way again.

  • Knowing when to season and how
  • Appreciating the simple process of reducing a sauce
  • Allowing meats and poultry to rest so they release maximum flavor
  • The simple art of straining a sauce for a refined condensed flavor
  • Knowing why dried herbs are no substitute for fresh

In Simply French acclaimed food critic and best-selling author of Trattoria Patricia Wells works side by side with award-winning French chef Joel Robuchon to distill the best of the French table for the American cook. Among the 125 exciting recipes youll find in Simply French are Potatoes "Chanteduc," a perfect Roast Chicken, Beef Tenderloin Roasted in Herb-Infused Salt Crust, Marbleized Chocolate Wafers, and Cinnamon-Chocolate Mousse.

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Biographie de l'auteur

Patricia Wells is a journalist, author, and teacher who runs the popular cooking school At Home with Patricia Wells in Paris and Provence. She has won four James Beard Awards and the French government has honored her as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, recognizing her contribution to French culture. A former New York Times reporter, she is the only foreigner and the only woman to serve as restaurant critic for a major French publication, L'Express. She served as the global restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune for more than twenty-five years. She lives in Paris and Provence with her husband, Walter Wells.

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  22 commentaires
54 internautes sur 56 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Classic Addition to the Understanding of Fine Food 4 mars 2004
Par B. Marold - Publié sur Amazon.com
This third book by food journalist and teacher, Patricia Wells is a presentation of the Cuisine of Joel Robuchon, who is, next to Paul Bocuse, the best known French chef alive today. As Bocuse appears to have retired, the book touts Robuchon as the best working chef in France.
I am always suspicious of a book's quality when I can't find something new or remarkable to me in the first few pages. I had no such problems with this book. The depth of insight into fine cooking from Robuchon was easily equal to some of the best I have seen from Thomas Keller, Jeremiah Tower, and Richard Olney. Robuchon's contribution to the words `simple' and `French' together is an emphasis on a style of cooking which preserves and enhances the flavors of each individual ingredient rather than letting their properties be lost in a great gemish (that's German, not French) of indistinguishable flavors. Robuchon cites this as one of the great contributions of `nouvelle cuisine', although he claims that French cuisine has moved on from the excesses of this movement and now seems to be on more rational ground. He makes the remarkable observation that French cuisine before 1950 was intent on making food soft enough to satisfy a population with poor teeth. This is the reason for all the thick, smooth sauces and probably the reason why the braise is the most distinguishing method of French cooking. One may say that the braise is to French cuisine as stir frying is to Chinese cuisine.
This book is filled with little techniques that seem so unusual at first encounter. Given the least amount of thought, the methods become so obvious one cannot see why they (I) did not think of them ourselves. One example is in the preparation of a simple pastry crust (Pate Brisee). The problem is that no matter how closely I follow Martha Stewart's or Wayne Harley Brachman's or Nick Malgieri's instructions, I always seem to get some shrinkage of crust when I blind bake it in a tart pan. Robuchon's solution, which I have seen nowhere else, is to begin the blind baking BEFORE trimming of the excess dough around the edge of the crust. By baking with the overhang still on, the shrinkage will draw in some of the overhang to compensate for shrinkage in the pan. On the other hand, the recipe for Pate Brisee in general is not nearly as fussy as many other techniques when it comes to quickly working with cold butter. I will have to try this on my next crust.
There is no lack of truffles and foie gras in these recipes, although one of Patricia Wells' objectives in translating these recipes from the French restaurant kitchen to the American home is to remove as many of the hard to find and expensive ingredients as possible. My impression is that she has done a brilliant job of making the recipes accessible to the home cook. That is not to say that these recipes are easy. As Wells says on the first page of her essay on the cuisine of Robuchon, `good food is no accident', meaning that it takes work to achieve good food. She immediately says also that good food is not impossibly difficult.
The recipes in the book all seem to be classics. There is no evidence of fusion ingredients or techniques and there is little evidence of any other type of invention. The chapter contents are purely traditional, being: Salads, Warm First Courses, Cold First Courses, Fish and Shellfish, Poultry and Meats, Vegetables, Side Dishes, and Pasta, Desserts, Basic Recipes (Pantry), and Basic Pastry Recipes. The procedure description for many recipes is fairly long. For poultry, this may be simply because poultry techniques can be tricky. For many other dishes, it may be because the preparation of a vegetable garnish may be included with the preparation of the protein. In all cases, the recipes are a bit longer than most due to the extra attention to maintaining ingredients' integrity.
The recipe for the old standard Ratatouille is a perfect example of Robuchon's attention to detail and his devotion to bringing out the best in fine ingredients. One difference from conventional wisdom is that he does not draw moisture out of vegetables (disgorging) with salt, as he claims this makes the vegetable too soggy. Typical techniques that mark the gourmet dish are slicing vegetables to fine sticks and cooking vegetables separately to preserve their individual flavors.
The book contains several sidebars on general techniques. These notes are rich in explanations for why particular techniques are important. Each course includes a modest little wine suggestion. These will certainly be useful to anyone who uses this book as a resource for entertaining; however, making the most of these suggestions may require an exceptionally well-stocked and knowledgeable wine merchant. Residents of Pennsylvania with our rather ill informed State Store clerks might have a problem with this.
This book is a `must have' source for anyone who wishes to improve their understanding of fine food preparation. It is a fine resource for anyone who is looking for small dinner party dishes. It is a fine companion to works by Julia Child, Richard Olney, and Elizabeth David. It is probably the next best thing to being able to read Robuchon's works in French. I am looking forward to seeing what Patricia Wells can do in her later books on less demanding subjects.
Very highly recommended.
40 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If I could have only one cookbook 18 novembre 2002
Par Ronald M. Spiegel - Publié sur Amazon.com
I'm a professional private chef with an international clientelle. This book is more than just a cookbook, it's a way of life. Its all about paying attention to details.
The book is worth every penny just to read the interview with Patricia Wells; and Joel Robuchons' thoughts in the introduction. I've been re-reading just these two sections for over ten years now and am continuosly inspired.
The photographs are amazing, even frameable. One in particular I have removed and used as a cover shot for my private notebook. Its of a bottle of wine, a piece of cheese and loaf of bread. But oh..... what wine, cheese and bread! I always look at that picture to remind me whats its all about.
My copy has fallen apart long ago. The pages are now in clear sheet protectors and I travel with this book in this condition all over the world. I never leave home without it.
34 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great, but not for beginners 8 janvier 2002
Par William Richards - Publié sur Amazon.com
I have the French version of this book (it sells well here in France - a good sign) and have just sent the English version to my US-based daughter at her request! It's really excellent, the recipes are delicious (do them once as prescribed, then adapt according to your own inspiration) and beautifully presented. One word of warning, it's not a basic cookbook; although some recipes are simple, it's more a book for an experienced cuisine fan (hence my four star rating, rather than five). Bon appetit !
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good writing, good food, but complicated and expensive. 4 décembre 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
I won't tell you you can't do these recipes - with some hard work and time you can. Furthermore, the recipes are delicious. But this is celebration cooking - and I just can't afford the time or money to go elbow deep into this book very often (with the exception of a few recipes) the way I can with Ms. Wells Trattoria cookbook. So when you buy this, look forward to the tips, the good writing, some mouth-watering ideas, and some wallet lightening trips to the store for oysters and truffles and fattened goose liver. And then set aside some major amount of time to 1) plan out how you are going to get a full meal to the table in the right order and 2) cook, cook, seive, and cook some more.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Must for the Home Chef 9 décembre 1999
Par "kusinero" - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book taught me the importance of even the smallest of details in cooking. Most of the recipes have that "extra step" that a lot of people just don't bother to do because it seems trivial. But they do make a lot of difference.
The recipes here are refined, even the more rustic ones are elegant enough for a nice formal dinner. And best of all, they are all easy to do!
Ms. Wells did a wonderful job at translating Monsieur Robuchon's three star cuisine for home cooks. This book is a must.
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