Usually when i buy the cookbooks of restaurants around the world it is out of a loosely sheathed comviction that I might one day get to eat there. But with Chanterelle, it's different because I will never be able to eat there, since it's closed.
One of the world's legendary restaurants, Chanterelle opened its doors in 1979 and swiftly became a New York institution for exquisite fine food served with charm and unfussied panache. This cookbook doesn't just give you David Waltuck's sensational recipes ( among favourites: Lobster with Saiternes and Curry, Pike Quenelles with Black Truffles and Letuce and Sweetbreads with Sherry Vinegar and Wild Mushrooms) but also the story begin the restaurant, which is basically a story of David Waltuck's love affair with French food and the elegance of French restaurants. It's also a story of the famous artist patrons and the famous artist- designed menus. You also get the inside story, the kitchen jokes and the philosophy behind many of the things that made Chanterelle unique.
But of course , it is the recipes that really make this book. Set out clearly, these fine dining recipes are inviting rather than daunting, even if I'm maybe not quite masochist enough to take Waltuck up on his suggestion of preparing six or seven dishes from the book for a custom tasting menu at home.
This is an idiosyncratically magnificent cookbook from a restaurant that by all accounts was magnificently idiosyncratic.