In this companion book to Pierre Franey's new Public Television series, he revisits his native land to bring to the American home cook some of the classic regional specialties of France -- and to search out some of the latest and most brilliant culinary refinements.
Franey reports on each of France's major gastronomic areas. He includes his own recipes as well as specialties confided to him in grand restaurants, bistros, and out-of-the-way villages: such mouth-watering delights as cassoulet and confit from Languedoc, hearty choucroute from Alsace, ratatouille from Provence, coquilles Saint-Jacques from Normandy. He revels in foie gras in Gascony and visits the luxuriant grazing land of Charolles that produces the famous charollais beef. We watch the harvesting of truffles in the Perigord, discover the secrets of the rich sauces of Burgundy, and relish the culinary wonders of Lyon. We discover the Cognac country of Charente, the vineyards of Bordeaux, and the precious caves of Champagne.
The France we visit here is a land flourishing with cooks of every category, from the practitioners of traditional peasant cuisine to the most innovative chefs at work today. Franey meets -- and presents recipes from -- the legendary Pierre Troisgros and Alain Ducasse, as well as Pierre Gagnaire, whose restaurant in St. Etienne recently received a coveted Michelin third star. We share the secrets of Jean-Marie Miquel, whose restaurant in the town of Najac is one of France's newly discovered treasures, and of Marceline Jacomet, a fabulous cook in a rustic corner of Provence, who prepares duck as you've never tasted it. In Paris we learn about the explosion of new bistro cooking from great chefs like Joel Robuchon and Michel Rostang, whose hearty stews, pates, and roasts are taking on new and deserved cachet.
In this book, the American cook (and reader) gains a greater appreciation of the French ardor for produce -- cheese, wine, meat, fish, herbs, vegetables, everything that makes eating in France the great joy it is today -- which underlines the principle, too often paid only lip service, that at the heart of great cooking is the use of the best possible ingredients, fresh as can be and with a minimum of processing.
Here we have the very best of French cooking from one of America's great chefs. [via]