La Potiniere and Friends

David Brown, Author Random House (UK) $39.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7126-2043-7
While the Browns--proprietors of an award-winning restaurant located in a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland--have poured their combined talents and love of cooking and wine into this volume, the appeal of the ``cookery book'' to Americans may be rather limited. Hilary Brown's recipes, although thoroughly influenced by the great restaurants of France sampled yearly by the Browns, are essentially British--and written for the British. Some ingredients will be totally unfamiliar (Arbroath smokies), others hard to come by (``strong pigeon stock,'' Gressingham duck); no substitutions are included. There are, without a doubt, some superb recipes here, from a delicate aubergine (eggplant) terrine to potato gratin to iced orange souffle, with preparation methods admirably organized. However, unless you are ``a dab hand,'' the cookbook will prove frustrating. Adding little is David Brown's contempt for food writers (``Anyone who cares to write can be a self-appointed restaurant critic'') and celebrity chefs (``The promotion of the ideal of the chef as an artist has done great harm to the craft of cooking in recent years, and has produced countless banalities''). And in the photographs, food plays second fiddle to effects. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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