Synopses & Reviews
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 terms.
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.
About the Author
Anne Willan, founder of the famed Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, is widely recognized on both sides of the Atlantic as a leading authority on cooking. She was born in England, and after graduating from Cambridge University she trained at the Cordon Bleu schools in both London and Paris, going on to teach at the London school. In 1965 she moved to the United States. Anne Willan has been an associate editor of Gourmet, and she currently writes a syndicated column for the Washington Post. She has a dozen cookbooks to her name, including the prize-winning Great Cooks and Their Recipes, French Regional Cooking, and the upcoming France Gastronomique. Ms. Willan divides her time between Washington, D.C., and France, where she directs La Varenne teaching programs in Paris and at the Chateau du Fey in Burgundy.