GUY SAVOY: Simple French Recipes for the Home Cook
Like fine cognac, Savoy's recipes distill the essence of French cooking into a deceptively simple package. The French approach is clearly evident on the table of contents, which divides more than 80 recipes into six chapters representing the traditional courses: appetizers (encompassing a variety of soups, salads and side dishes), gratins, fish, meat, cheese and desserts. Rather than simplifying haute cuisine's complex techniques, Savoy chooses dishes that can be well executed with the skills and equipment available to a nonprofessional with only a few years behind the stove. Home cooks can reliably obtain the down-home elegance of Sausage En Brioche, Mustard-Roasted Skate with Lentils, a basic Cheese Soufflé, and Poached Pears in Wine with Savoy's easy-to-follow instructions and straightforward ingredient lists. Novices overwhelmed by the litany of notes and cautions found in many French cookbooks may find their confidence bolstered by the direct approach here; on the other hand, they may feel flummoxed if their hollandaise doesn't quite come together as promised. (May)
Forecast: The book will be best suited to midlevel home cooks in search of a well-balanced collection and to foodies who have been waiting years for one of this three-star chef's cookbooks to finally be translated into English. The beautiful full-color photographs also make it an attractive gift.