Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking French
La Varenne Pratique
Published: September 17, 1989
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From Library Journal
This massive undertaking is a comprehensive guide to the ingredients and techniques of "classic modern cuisine." There are thousands of photographs--of unusual ingredients, of difficult-to-master techniques, of artful presentations
of the recipes included almost as a bonus--and pages of invaluable facts and information. Far more ambitious than the California Culinary Academy's Cooking A to Z ( LJ 2/15/89), this is closer to an expanded version of Jacques Pepin's classics La Methode
( LJ 2/15/80) and La Technique ( LJ 3/15/77) . Fascinating reading for the serious cook, and an essential reference for any collection.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Unprecedented in both scope and
clarity, La Varenne Pratique is destined to become the essential culinary reference for both novice cook and expert. Written by the founder and director of Paris's prestigious La Varenne cooking school and compiled using La Varenne's extensive resources,
the book brings together a practical understanding of cooking techniques, ingredients, and equipment in an unrivaled guide to classic modern cooking.
Here in one volume is the answer to every cooking question: how to make a hollandaise sauce (and
why egg yolks will only absorb so much oil before the sauce self-destructs); the difference between entrecote and porterhouse; what marinades to use for lamb; which herbs will turn bitter if added at the beginning of a recipe; how to bone a chicken; the
roasting times for venison, pheasant, and even squirrel; how to fillet a fiat fish; when to use a bain marie; and much more.
La Varenne Pratique is divided into 22 chapters, among them Meat and Charcuterie; Poultry and Game Birds; Milk, Cheese,
and Eggs; Pastry and Cookies; Preserving, Stocks, and Soups; and Microwave Cooking. Each chapter offers an overview of the food discussed and then explains how to choose, prepare, store, cook, and present it. Recipes are included wherever an important
cooking technique requires a specific example-they are carefully chosen not only to illustrate a particular dish but also to illuminate a way of cooking. In addition, La Varenne Pratique includes a guide to kitchen equipment and a glossary of culinary
The photographic illustrations in La Varenne Pratique are beyond comparison. Throughout the book, techniques are clearly illustrated with specially commissioned step-by-step photo sequences that set new standards for culinary photography.
Readers can actually see what texture a sauce should be, exactly where to make the first cut when boning a Chicken, what the "crust" on a clarifying broth will look like, and what larding a roast really entails.
There has never been a book like La
Varenne Pratique. Comprehensive, authoritative, and eminently practical, it demands a place in the kitchen of every serious cook.
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