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Great Chefs of France Hardcover – Oct 1978

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Hardcover, Oct 1978

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd; First Edition edition (Oct 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861340086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861340088
  • Product Dimensions: 29.4 x 23.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "ragbec" on 6 April 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have had the pleasure of borrowing the book "Great Chefs of France" from my good friend Chef Johnny. He would rather not lend it, as he consider it a personal treasure. But, I got it, and I rather enjoied it. Even if written as far back as 1978, many of the Chefs is still walking, and if not so, their cuisine and style is here to stay for ages to come. The book is very close up and personal, with a good line and small stories on the side. For a person working with food: this is a basic, it is history, but still living. Today we have "The Naked Chef" and ""Kitchen Confidential" among many. But we all come from somewhere, on our way somewhere. And we all feed from historie. And "Great Chefs of France" is an importent part of that history. Bon Aptetite!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The State of and the Methods of Haute Cuisine 30 Years Ago 12 Dec 2010
By Theseus - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a well-designed, delightful, and comprehensive book on French cuisine from Abrams.

239 pp, cloth with gold print over hardback boards with a sewn binding in dustjacket. 3.25 pounds. Index. Bibliography.

The chefs featured in this book include Madame Point, Charles Barrier, Francois Bise, Michel Guerard, Jacques Pic, Alain Chapel, and Roger Verge among others.

The forces behind the birth of this book are food critic Quentin Crewe, the renowned food photographer Anthony Blake, and art director John Bigg. The level of photography here is quite high -- color and b&w work that covers the subject comprehensively: food "portraits" of plated dishes, chefs at work, chefs at home, kitchen staff in action, photographs of the restaurants and their environs. (The dustjacket makes the claim that Blake produced 30,000 exposures over two years of work!) When the photography is combined with the other graphic elements in this book: maps, vintage prints, excerpts from menus, floorplans, and pen-and-ink drawings of kitchen equipment, the illustrations here move from the excellent to the magnificent.

The subject is simple: every 3 star restaurant in France (but not in Paris) in the late 1970's.

The level of detail here is extraordinary. After 30 pp of introductory material on the life of a chef and the history of French cuisine, one gets 12 chapters profiling each chef/restaurant. And the final section, from pp. 176-230, consists of "Chefs at Work: Menus, Recipes, and Advice from the Great Kitchens" which zeros in on how things are actually accomplished, including such topics as "The Living Kitchen of Bocuse," "Visual Enchantment by Outhier," "Closer to the Land at Troisgros," and "Verge: Wild and Infinite Skill."

All in all, here is great book that celebrates 12 extraordinarily successful businesses and which lionizes chefs, yes, but which also seeks to capture the work of 1978 within the larger framework of the French food culture.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great Chefs of France 3 Dec 2012
By Chrose1201 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay so I'll admit it's been a little while since I read this book, but frankly it's an all time favorite if not a little dated. Before I became a chef it was what helped to inspire me to be exacting in my cooking. Somewhere along the moves I made over the years I lost the book. This was in the days that the internet was still a fledgling enterprise and I actually had to use a letter to the author Mr. Quentin Crewe. He had no copies available but put me in touch with someone who did and I was able to procure another copy. That's how valuable this book was to me.
Like I said the book and some dishes in are is somewhat dated as the old Time Life "Foods of the World" cookbook series might be, but fundamentals, drive and techniques do not change. This is a book about the master Chefs of France and their restaurants. It is a nice peek into the days of Grande Cuisine and the chefs that were a part of it. It is not a technical manual, yet there is much to learn. I highly recommend it as a great addition to any foodies library.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
great Chefs of France 5 Jan 2013
By Vicki Bradley - Published on
Format: Hardcover
almost like a history book from another era. Amazing menus and delicious recipes, accompanied by anecdotes from amazing french chefs.
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