The Cook’s Atelier: Recipes, Techniques, and Stories from Our French Cooking School

Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini. Abrams, $45 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2895-2
Mother and daughter Taylor and Franchini—originally from Phoenix, Ariz.—offer classic French recipes based on their cooking school of the book’s title in the Burgundy region. Seasonal dishes such as small galettes with leeks and goat cheese and green garlic soufflé are interspersed with profiles of local artisans, including pharmacist-turned-shepherd Yan Lagouge, whose sheep and goats provide milk for soft cheeses and yogurt. The descriptions and instructions are clear and practical (“The frisee wilts slightly when drizzled with a warmed vinaigrette and topped with a poached farm egg”). Menus are seasonal and thematic: a collection of dishes meant to be eaten by a roaring fire in damp weather includes baked endive gratin, while dinner in a vineyard (which the authors managed to pull off, but acknowledge was probably a once-in-a-lifetime event due to complicated logistics) ends with a buttery cake made moist with peaches and raspberries. Background information is as thoughtfully composed as the recipes: Sections on tools, basic methods and “rituals,” and a brief section on clarified butter and compound butters are helpful. The authors are remarkably adept at conveying what makes their adopted home so special, and their seductive book is likely to have readers fantasizing about their own escapes to France. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 03/20/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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