Mr. Beard is the chief eminence here, Alex Bespaloff contributes a chapter and intermittent commentary on wines, and eleven members of the faculty of the Good Cooking School provide most of the 200 recipes in rough order from hors d'oeuvres to desserts although sometimes it's less denominational (Baba au Rhum, followed by Cheese Bread). Throughout there's peripheral instruction, say, on the selection of flour, or tomatoes. For the most part, all except the crudites, the dishes veer toward expense (3 sticks of butter for each version of hollandaise), time and trouble -- but surely well worth it if you are serving something which is alluring and distinctive. Still, for the most part this is within the range of the average cook (the directions are most precise) and the lavish color illustrations may serve as an additional incentive although we find the look of the page, the attractive print and the black and white drawings tonier. A good value.