Le Gavroche Cookbook
By Roux, Michel, Jr.

Le Gavroche cookbook is truly a beautiful book. On one hand the recipes are classically French but there is defiantly a lightness that is added with a Pan-Asian touch. Michel Roux, Jr. covers all methods and techniques of cooking, with an eye for lighter fare, peppered with hearty cold weather dishes meant to warm and satisfy.

The recipes are relatively easy if you know how to cook and ultimately worth the effort. Many of the ingredients are hard to find, especially in the United States. ( D'Artagnan and Urbani Truffles and Caviar will certainly be your friends.) That’s the nature of this kind of cookery, though. If you ever tried to find the ingredient to cook from the French Laundry Cookbook this one will seem easy to shop for. Though some of the recipes are a bit vague. It might help to know exactly how long, for example, to steam the lobster in spinach on p230. Should it be eight or 11 minutes? Though he goes into the exact time for mixing for the dill bread which turned out beautifully when I made it last night.

The opening recipes for canapés and petits fours get you in the mood for what follows. Your really will not need another horderve cookbook. The book is organized seasonally, with an emphasis on the freshest and finest ingredients. Gulls' Eggs with Caviar, Roast Black Leg Chicken with Fresh Pasta, Foie Gras and Truffles from the Spring section; Stuffed Sea Bass with Fennel from Summer; smoked eel and carrot salad, Lobster Soufflé with Quail's Egg and Brandy and Rich Braised Stuffed Chicken from Winter. The final chapter, on stocks, sauces and pastries, is excellent, answering questions in a straightforward manner.

You learn about the history of the restaurant which was really delightful. I really liked the part that mention Michel's mother, Monique, going to France two or three times a week to pick up goodies for the menu.

This book has made the first slot in the French cookbook category on my bookshelf and has been all I have been reading since it arrived. 60% of the recipes make me want to rush to the kitchen to cook while 30% make me wish I could find the ingredients. 10% of the recipes fall into the category of this is an item I would never eat like rabbit.

A friend who was visiting over the weekend grabbed my copy in amazement that they had actually written a cookbook. Her exact comment was; "Le Gavroche food makes the French Laundry look like cafeteria food." She proceeded to cook all night long in true delight. We still are enjoying the 5 different kinds of ice cream she made.

Review by Priscilla Meredith