French cooking

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by nathan kreider, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. nathan kreider

    nathan kreider

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    Hey guys, I'm currently doing my apprentice at a mediterranean fine dining restaurant, but when I've finished my apprentice I want to get into French fine dining, and I want to start learning techniques and basics straight away. I already own Larousse Gastronomique, and it is a massive insight into gastronomy, but what other cookbooks/glossaries would you guys recommend to a first year apprentice?
     
  2. coup-de-feu

    coup-de-feu

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2014
  3. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    2 older books I have used over the years    Guide Culinaire by   A Escoffier refered to by many as the bible.  and Modern French Culinasry Art  by H Palapratt...all scratch ,no shortcuts, old school.
     
  4. nathan kreider

    nathan kreider

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    Harold's book I will definitely be purchasing! But Pauli's is still a maybe just due to the price tag, once I have money in the bank, it will be heading to my collection.
    These two books, so old and elegant, but so pricey, even for second hand copies. Haha. These books will be on my long-term savings list. Thank you for these recommendations. And I definitely do not plan on taking any shortcuts, when I open my restaurant, I won't accept anything but perfection. :D
     
  5. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Bettcha a nickel that time will change that to I won't accept anything that doesn't make a PROFIT! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I accept cash, credit cards, and personal checks /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif
     
  7. french fries

    french fries

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    This is the book all French culinary students have to study. It's an excellent reference, but AFAIK only exists in French. Still if you're going to get into French Fine dining you might want to pick up on the French terms. 

    La Cuisine de Reference, by Michel Maincent Morel: 


    Let me know if you'd like to see an example of how a certain topic/dish is explained in the book and I'll post a picture. 

      
     
  8. nathan kreider

    nathan kreider

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    The restaurant I currently work in, the executive chef double checks every dish before it leaves. Sometimes even pulling the dish itself apart to be sure (Mainly salads and stuff). So perfection is a must for me.
    Ah, if only I spoke French. I want to learn the basics, but that will take some time as languages aren't my forte.
    +1 for humor. ;D
     
  9. coup-de-feu

    coup-de-feu

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    BPI has cuisine de reference in English.  I can't remember what it is called in English, but the title is printed in the first page where all their other books are listed. Here is BPI's web site: http://www.editions-bpi.fr/Produits/E0184.asp   FrenchFries, look in the first few pages of your BPI book and you will find the name of the english edition.

    You can legally get Escoffier's book for free and in english: http://archive.org/details/cu31924000610117   (you have no excuse not to read it now)

    Paulli's book is only $14.00.  IMO it is the best starting out book written.  It has been refined over 3 generations of father to son and every Swiss cook starts with it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  10. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Nat  Thats the way it should be. Never put out or accept 2nd best.  Your chef deserves to be the chef.
     
  11. french fries

    french fries

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    I looked at the first page where all their books are listed and the only one listed in English is the one you link to, which is not Cuisine de Reference. Apparently Cuisine de Reference was never translated. :(
     
  12. coup-de-feu

    coup-de-feu

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    FrenchFries:

     I have the 1993 Cuisine De Reference - the white one.  I am sure there is a version available in English because I ordered one for a friend less than a year ago.  But I have looked and looked on the web now and just can't find it.  -bummer.

    It will show up one of these days.

    CDF
     
  13. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The closest thing to an English translation of Cuisine de Reference is:  Practical Kitchen Work; The Basic Arts of Cooking, by (duh) Maincent-Morel.  It's a very expensive book, but a web check for used copies shows they're around for well under $20. 

    A friend has it, I borrowed it to look it over, and think the book is stuck in the eighties -- but to each his own.  On the one hand, the most basic techniques don't change much, even if presentations and styles do; but on the other, we're not talking about a fried pork chop and two veg -- high end food is very trendy.  It's a good idea to find a few books which are good on technique AND au courant

    I'm all for reading the classics from Escoffier, Pellaprat, Mme St Ainge, etc., but don't think you'll get much insight into modern cooking or garner many recipes which are usable today.  There are just so many things we don't do or serve which were popular before WWII.  I learned quite a bit of what I know from Pellaprat in particular, but there are easier and more efficient ways to go about learning

    As an observation:  When someone recommends learning to cook from the classic writers, Escoffier in particular, he's usually (but not always) saying more about himself and/or the type of food he likes than about learning to cook at home or professionally in the modern world.  After all, why not recommend Careme as enthusiastically?  One thing you do learn from the classic chefs is that each was a revolutionary force in his or her own time, and that the essence of each chef's revolution was a celebration ingredients and simplicity.  Certainly, there's no better lesson than that.  Nor can it be denied that the classic writers are good for modern inspiration.  BUT it's a good idea to bear in mind that there's not a lot of demand for cuisses de nymphes à l'aurore any more.  

    For someone like Nathan, Mastering the Art of French Cooking I and II, by Julia Child, et al is going to be a helluva lot more useful.  But sad to say, while it's a lot more practical Child is quite dated as well.  

    I recently received a Modernist Cuisine At Home, by Myhrvold and Bilet, and it as up to date for both techniques and recipes -- although it's also quite expensive.   The professional, 5 volume version is more complete, but is impractically expensive and probably inappropriate for Nathan's skill level.  He can dip a toe into it and see if it suits for free by downloading the .pdf version.    

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  14. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Jacque Pepin's Complete Techniques is a decent way to get started too.
     
  15. french fries

    french fries

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    Hi BDL, where would find a downloadable .pdf version of that book if you don't mind me asking? Thanks! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  16. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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  17. french fries

    french fries

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    Thanks but that looks like a scam (after you download a password protected PDF you need to go to a new URL where you have to fill out all kinds of personal information (email, address, name, age, sex etc...) before you can get your password, my guess is they then sell that info to spammers.... :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  18. nathan kreider

    nathan kreider

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    This is spot on. Many people still fall for it though. And generally if it asks for a mobile number, they will charge you like $10/week.
     
  19. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    There's a new, rather massive French cookbook in English by Paul Bocuse called The Complete Bocuse, which might be worth a look.

     
  20. nathan kreider

    nathan kreider

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    Well, I found a version of Le Guide Culinaire for $60, but the website is out of stock for now. Think I might buy The Complete Bocuse.