A Chef's Tale: A Memoir of Food, France and America

Pierre Franey, Author, Richard Flaste, Introduction by, Bryan Miller, Introduction by Alfred A. Knopf $25 (259p) ISBN 978-0-394-58600-7
Famed as executive chef of New York City's Le Pavillon restaurant in its 1950s heyday, and noted for his ``60-Minute Gourmet'' New York Times columns and cookbooks, Franey was raised in Burgundy and, at age 14, in 1934, began his classical chef's training in Paris's Drouant restaurant. Occupying the first half of the volume, Franey's memoir, covering his 1939 arrival in America to cook at the World's Fair, his war experiences as a rifleman in the U.S. Army, his sometimes stormy relationships with colleagues--including Henri Soule and Craig Claiborne--is written, with the help of food writer Flaste, in charmingly courtly prose. Allusions found throughout the narrative refer to fondly recalled traditional recipes, many of which appear in updated form in the second half of the book, where he was assisted by restaurant critic Miller. With characteristic respect for both the food and the home cook, Franey offers recipes for such basics as fish broth, Coq au Vin and Creme Brulee and more elegant treatments such as Lobster Pavillon and Quenelles de Brochet Lyonnaise. This is an enchanting memoir and a worthy collection of recipes. Photos. BOMC HomeStyle alternate (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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