RENOIR'S TABLE: The Art of Living and Dining with One of the World's Greatest Impressionist Painters by Jean-Bernard; Jean-Michel Charbonnier & Jacqueline Saulnier Naudin

RENOIR'S TABLE: The Art of Living and Dining with One of the World's Greatest Impressionist Painters

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Marketed as a cookbook/art book, this satisfies as neither. There are only 61 recipes, including stocks and sauces, all for classic French fare that has been explained by everyone from Paul Bocuse to Julia Child. And the book is so visually unappealing that few will want to place it on the coffee table. Renoir's Table displays a confusing mix of styles and goals, and it's no wonder, since the creators hail from such diverse backgrounds: Naudin, a photographer, worked on Monet's Table (not reviewed); journalist Charbonnier contributes to French art magazine Beaux-Arts; and Saulnier writes about food for the French women's magazine Marie Claire. The majority of the text is devoted to Renoir's life, from his early years in the Limousin region to his final days in Cagnes. We follow the evolution of his artistic history, peek into his romantic and domestic life, watch him dining with Monet and MallarmÉ in fashionable Paris bistros, and get a few reproductions of his paintings. None of this is particularly engaging or new. The food is basic and often heavy, and while those dishes tested (from the savory baked tomatoes to the slightly bland but not bad onion purÉe) were palatable, the recipes are difficult to follow, with small type and directions given in paragraph form that makes it easy to lose your place between steps. Far from a masterpiece.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster