Mr. Roy de Groot is a food grandee -- a host with a hand for the unexpected (Tortellini al Brodo perhaps, topped off with his delicate Saint-Emilion au Chocolat -- splendide!), a diner with an eye and turn-turn for the haut monde (that ""still wonderful"" little restaurant above Androuet's cheese shop on the Rue Amsterdam, for instance), and a gourmet guide completely devoted to satisfying your palate, coute que coute. Mr. Roy de Groot is also a snob, a name-dropper, and something of a rogue. Which means that this handbook -- full of menus and recipes and equipment pronunciamentos and restaurant strategy and outrageous stories and personal puffery as brazen as an ignored R.S.V.P. -- is a wonderful entertainment. One questionable, irresistible tale: the time Hemingway came to a de Groot dinner party under doctor's orders to eat only lean meat and fresh fruit. ""I couldn't possibly offer that to the other guests."" The solution? A ""brown-gold"" baby suckling pig for everyone except Papa, who got a modest beef casserole dish -- all calculated to entice him off his diet. It did and ""I virtually snatched his wine-poached beef from under his nose and slapped it on the floor at my feet. It was the best dinner that my German shepherd bitch, Nusta, had ever had."" Call it outlandish, call it elan, call it fun, but enjoy it as a swell (as in popinjay) chef's oeuvre.