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