From a Breton Garden: The Vegetable Cookery of Josephine Araldo

Josephine Araldo, Author, Gary Bukovnik, Illustrator, Robert Reynolds, With Addison Wesley Publishing Company $22.95 (353p) ISBN 978-0-201-51759-0
Foodies are by now more than familiar with recipe books that double as memoirs, but this one stakes out new territory: that of the biographical cookbook. Araldo (1896-1989) came of age at a time when the cooking of Brittany was just winning high regard among Parisians; a student of Henri-Paul Pellaprat, she was one of the first women to earn a toque from the Cordon Bleu. For most of her life, she worked as a chef in the homes of the wealthy, which may have given her the autonomy she needed to preserve and further her own family's Breton tastes, detailed here by Reynolds, first a student of Araldo's and later a close friend. Characterized by unusual combinations and a passionate hatred of waste, Araldo's recipes use almost every part of every vegetable. Pairings of wild blueberries with red cabbage, beet custards with black currants, and Jerusalem artichokes with bananas may sound outlandish--but the tongue will confirm the correctness of the match, enforced by the tart instructions of the formidable cook herself. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
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