In recent years, while food pundits were teaching us to turn ever-more-exotic ingredients into ever-more-expensive instant clichÃ‰s, this restless intellect (The Making or a Cook, 1971; When French Women Cook, 1976) was finding in the same round of fads--raspberry vinegar, beurre blanc variants, wine-based sorbets, green peppercorns--the stuff of honest workmanship and joyous invention. This distillation of many years' culinary thought is both a fascinating collection of recipes and a technical manual attesting to an endless curiosity about how things work. It is solidly based on Kamman's own restaurant and cooking-school experience, and will be of great use to those working to develop a virtually professional technical profiency, especially as sauciers. (If one has a complaint, it might be that ultra-rich creamy sauces dominate one or two chapters--e.g., pasta--rather too unvaryingly,) Kamman is not the cook to scorn either space-age technology (microwaved lobster, forcemeat mixtures shaped into ""sausages"" and poached in plastic wrap) or a plain old-fashioned knife (still her favorite tool for much chopping and julienning). Her offerings are as trendy as consommÃ‰ flavored with Lap-sang Souchong tea and garnished with bright julienned vegetables, as ancient as coarse country bread made with the French equivalent of sourdough starter, as luxurious as smoked oyster soup or trout mousseline with a chervil-hazelnut sauce. There are a lot of robust fish soups and stews, several fine polenta dishes (including, of all things, polenta croutons), unusual stir-fried vegetables (sliced radishes, blanched turnips, Jerusalem artichokes), straightforward directions for a liberally spiced confit. This is food for people with pretty lofty aspirations and lofty budgets; they will get their money's worth in the form not merely of good recipes and good instruction but of renewed interest into the glories of cookery.