REVOLUTIONIZING FRENCH COOKING by Roy Andries de Groot

REVOLUTIONIZING FRENCH COOKING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There's a fundamental problem with this book. Epicure de Greet hails ""la nouvelle revolution francaise"" with the hauteur of an ancien regime grand seigneur. Since this particular culinary turnabout is committed to doing away with sumptuousness and ""excessive waste"" in the form of those sinfully rich sauces, heavy stuffings, and sugar-and-butter desserts, de Groot's ostentatious ode to simplicity is inapt. Nor is the simplicity of the ""Low-High"" kitchen ali that easy to achieve. Pate de fois gras and truffles may not be on the menu, but ""tiny touches of black beluga caviar"" to season the salmon will be beyond the reach of many, and so will lobster (""must be female"") fricasse in sauterne. The new regime which stresses extracting the essence of vegetables and meats rather than covering them up makes use of some ancient Chinese cooking methods such as steaming; fresh aromatic herbs are also crucial. There's no question that many of the recipes--if you can get past de Groot's têtes-a-tête with the ""great,"" the ""magnificent"" chefs of France--are innovative, light, and attractive. Roast duck with fresh figs may not be orthodox but it sounds terrific; so does whole fish steamed on a bed of parsley. On the other hand, an ""almost sugarless champagne sherbert bubbling in champagne"" might make the gorge rise rather than the mouth water.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
Publisher: McGraw-Hill