A Chef's Tale: A Memoir of Food, France, and America (At Table)

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9780803234697: A Chef's Tale: A Memoir of Food, France, and America (At Table)
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The embodiment of the art and pleasure of French cookery, Pierre Franey (1921–96) was one of the most influential and beloved of America’s culinary figures. Before creating his “60-Minute Gourmet” column in the New York Times, writing his celebrated cookbooks, and entering our homes via television, Franey presided over the cuisine at two of the greatest French restaurants in America: the legendary Le Pavillon, then La Côte Basque.  With style, charm, and affection for his native France and adopted America, Franey takes us into his life in the world of food, interweaving his story with irresistible recipes and, here and there, impulsively giving away a chef’s secrets. He takes us into his childhood in Burgundy, where the bountiful produce and the high respect accorded to the preparation of food grounded Franey in a tradition that would serve him well when he began his apprenticeship at age fourteen in Paris restaurants. In A Chef’s Tale, Franey relives the days of America’s French food revolution and adds immeasurably to our sophistication about the great world of French cooking—and about cooking itself.

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About the Author:

Richard Flaste has collaborated on three previous books with Pierre Franey, including Pierre Franey’s Cooking in America. Bryan Miller is the author of The New York Times Guide to Restaurants in New York City and has collaborated on books with Pierre Franey. Eugenia Bone is the author of three cookbooks, of which the most recent is Well Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Franey, recently retired from his New York Times and syndicated food column, looks back with clarity, precision, and considerable charm on his Burgundy childhood in a food-centered family; his rigorous training in Paris eateries (after leaving home and school forever at 14); and his American career as a French chef making his name in restaurant kitchens, newspaper columns, cookbooks, and television series. ``Anyone who has ever tried to cook well knows that about 50 percent of the job is focus, the willingness to concentrate,'' Franey notes. His own ability to focus on the details of food preparation combines with the specificity of his recollections to make his memoir solidly evocative. Still fresh in his mind's eye, it seems, are the fish he caught and cooked for family lunches when he was eight and even the ingenious devices he and his friends used to catch their prey. He recalls the elaborate dishes (including a boned, stuffed turbot souffl‚) that, as a teenage apprentice, he ``felt I had to master if I was ever going to be anybody.'' And he still remembers his ``effervescent elation'' on entering New York harbor as a fairly lowly member of the hierarchy tapped to staff the French pavilion's kitchen at the 1939 World's Fair. Franey's independent nature informs his story's more dramatic moments: his surprisingly successful defiance of orders in the US Army during World War II; his resignation, after 20 years at New York's regal Pavillon restaurant, following a dispute with owner/manager Henri Soul‚; his painful split with New York Times food man Craig Claiborne after years as an uncredited partner in Claiborne's restaurant reviews and recipe columns. (``I think about him all the time, even now.'') Franey has little to say about his marriage or his personal life in America, if he has had one apart from food and cooking. But his memoir of kitchens past is enlivened with anecdotes and personality sketches and peppered with authoritative parenthetical tips on culinary procedure. Unlike his more recent, eclectic ``60- Minute Gourmet'' entries, the 100 appended recipes, many tied to events reported in the book, are mostly French, though trimmed for current lower-fat standards. And he explains how the others are grounded in the cuisine he knows and does best. (Book-of-the-Month- Club Alternate Selection) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780394586007: A Chef's Tale: A Memoir of Food, France and America

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ISBN 10:  039458600X ISBN 13:  9780394586007
Publisher: Knopf, 1994
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9780517158241: A Chef's Tale

Random..., 1995
Hardcover

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