As those who knew him will attest, Francophile and food writer Richard Olney was one of a kind-a writerly cook who had a tremendous influence on American cooking via his well-worn cottage on a hillside in Provence. Born in the Midwest in 1927 and drawn to France at the tender age of twenty-four, Olney was unapologetically attracted to the style, flavors, and tastes of French cooking when most Americans were smitten by the wonders of the new prepared foods in their markets. With unrelenting passion and precision, Olney studied and explored the cuisine, carefully documenting all he had learned for future generations of chefs, cooks, and food lovers. His first of several landmark works, THE FRENCH MENU COOKBOOK, was well ahead of its time with its authentic French recipes and then-unheard-of seasonal approach to cooking. Little did we know then that THE FRENCH MENU COOKBOOK would provide inspiration for Alice Waters and her compatriots as they built the groundwork for a culinary revolution in America. Brimming with the honest and enlightening explanations of how the French really cook and the 150-plus authentic recipes, this book is a masterful resource that is a must for every serious cook.
Not very useful
I found this coockbook mentioned on David Liebowitz’s web site and decided to buy it. Once I got to read through it, I found that most of the rcipes were fairly difficult, and called for ingredients that were either difficult to come by (1 year old chicken for Coq auVin) and/or not appealing (offal, brains, pigs ears). While there are some recipes that I would give a shot (mostly desserts), by and large this is more of a book for reading. I would not recommend it.