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

Overview

Pierre Franey: embodiment of the art and the pleasures of French cookery, and for four decades one of the most influential and beloved of America's culinary figures. His memoir reflects his relish for life as well as his mastery of his profession. Before he created his "60-Minute Gourmet" column in the New York Times, before he wrote his celebrated (and best-selling) cookbooks, and before he entered our homes via television, Pierre Franey presided over the cuisine at two of the greatest French restaurants ever to...
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1994 Hardcover New. Back of dust jacket has a small crease. 100% Money Back Guarantee! Ships within 1 business day, includes tracking. Carefully packed. Successful business for ... 26 Years! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Pierre Franey: embodiment of the art and the pleasures of French cookery, and for four decades one of the most influential and beloved of America's culinary figures. His memoir reflects his relish for life as well as his mastery of his profession. Before he created his "60-Minute Gourmet" column in the New York Times, before he wrote his celebrated (and best-selling) cookbooks, and before he entered our homes via television, Pierre Franey presided over the cuisine at two of the greatest French restaurants ever to be opened in America - as executive chef first of the legendary Le Pavillon, then of La Cote Basque. And now, with style, charm and affection for his native France and adopted America, Franey takes us into his life in the world of food, interweaving his story with irresistible recipes and, here and there, impulsively giving away a chef's secrets. He takes us into his childhood in Burgundy, where the bountiful produce and the high respect accorded to the preparation of food grounded Franey in a tradition that would serve him well when he began his apprenticeship at age fourteen in Paris restaurants - the first level of his classical training. The lessons he learned there - the simple artistry that results in a fine omelette, the importance of a well-organized kitchen, the esthetics of texture and color and combination of flavors - are as valuable today as ever. And as Franey reveals the essence of French country food - civet de lapin, boeuf en daube, sole meuniere - we begin to understand cooking fundamentals as the masters do. Franey escorts us around prewar Paris as he tells the story of his coming of age in (and out of) the kitchen, and of his true professional beginnings at the fabled Drouant. He shows us the great 1939 New York World's Fair, where Le Pavillon was born. He relives the days of America's French food revolution and speaks with gusto about such celebrated culinary figures as the incomparable Henri Soule, and Craig Claiborne, his longtim
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.
Library Journal
Franey is best known as ``the Sixty-Minute Gourmet,'' but he has also been a top New York chef at the legendary Le Pavillon and other restaurants, Craig Claiborne's long-time collaborator at the New York Times , and the author or coauthor of a dozen cookbooks most recently, Pierre Franey's Cooking in America , LJ 4/15/92. His memoir with recipes covers his early life in France, cooking at the 1939 World's Fair as one of a crew that was introducing French food to Americans, and succeeding career highlights; the sections on his childhood seem somewhat stilted, but once he enters the culinary scene the reminiscences become more vivid. Many of the 100 recipes he includes are real French classics, often from the menu at Le Pavillon, although there are some updated or more recent dishes as well. Franey recently stopped writing his newspaper column, to the disappointment of many readers; his numerous fans ensure demand for his newest book. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/93.
Kathryn Broderick
In these memoirs, legendary chef Pierre Franey reminisces over a rich life, placing an emphasis on hard work, playfulness, and great taste. He begins his story with his childhood in St. Vinnemer, a village in the Burgundy region of France, where his family's lives were deeply linked with the land and the food it provided. Then he takes the reader through his cooking apprenticeship in Paris at the age of 14, his transatlantic voyage on the "Normandie" (where he was one of the 120 top-rated French chefs onboard), and his American debut as a cook at the 1939 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. There, in the French pavilion, he helped introduce French cuisine to the American public. Later, he earned fame working at Le Pavillon and La Cote Basque in New York City. From there, he tells how his column in the "New York Times"--"The 60-Minute Gourmet"--led to more than a dozen books as well as cooking shows on public television. The autobiographical part of the book ends on a peaceful note as the author describes his current lifestyle, with time (at last) to dine among friends. The concluding section, almost one-third of the work, includes 100 of his trademark French recipes, such as his shrimp with tequila, the first recipe he ever did as a "60-Minute Gourmet" chef. Certain to be in high demand.
Booklist
“In these memoirs, legendary chef Pierre Franey reminisces over a rich life, placing an emphasis on hard work, playfulness, and great taste.”—Booklist
Andre Soltner
"I was thrilled to read A Chef's Tale, and to learn more about Mr. Franey's brilliant career. For me and our generation of French American chefs, he was our idol. Not only is he a great chef, but as his book shows, a very special man."

-André Soltner, French Culinary Institute, New York

Jacques Pepin
"Pierre Franey's memoir is very close to my heart. He has been a mentor and an inspiration to me. His recollections are truly a history of the way food has evolved in America during the last quarter century."
Sirio Maccioni
"A wonderful book. A tale of a great chef and a wonderful man."

-Sirio Maccioni, Le Cirque

Andr Soltner

“I was thrilled to read A Chef’s Tale, and to learn more about Mr. Franey’s brilliant career. For me and our generation of French American chefs, he was our idol. Not only is he a great chef, but as his book shows, a very special man.”—André Soltner, French Culinary Institute, New York

Jacques Ppin

“Pierre Franey’s memoir is very close to my heart. He has been a mentor and an inspiration to me. His recollections are truly a history of the way food has evolved in America during the last quarter century.”—Jacques Pépin

Sirio Maccioni
“A wonderful book. A tale of a great chef and a wonderful man.”—Sirio Maccioni, Le Cirque
Andr� Soltner
“I was thrilled to read A Chef’s Tale, and to learn more about Mr. Franey’s brilliant career. For me and our generation of French American chefs, he was our idol. Not only is he a great chef, but as his book shows, a very special man.”—André Soltner, French Culinary Institute, New York
Jacques P�pin
“Pierre Franey’s memoir is very close to my heart. He has been a mentor and an inspiration to me. His recollections are truly a history of the way food has evolved in America during the last quarter century.”—Jacques Pépin
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394586007
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/22/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 259

Meet the Author

Richard Flaste has collaborated on three previous books with Pierre Franey, including Pierre Franey’s Cooking in America. Bryan Miller is the author of The New York Times Guide to Restaurants in New York City and has collaborated on books with Pierre Franey. Eugenia Bone is the author of three cookbooks, of which the most recent is Well Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Eugenia Bone v

Acknowledgments xvii

1 Homecoming 3

2 Reverence and the River 17

3 Paris: From the Bottom Up 35

4 France Is Fading 57

5 Innocents in New York 67

6 War 85

7 Yes or No: The Army 99

8 Soulé and Me 107

9 My Own Column 127

Epilogue: Cooking with Friends 135

Recipes 143

Index 251

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