When French Women Cook: A Gastronomic Memoir

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For nearly half a century, Madeleine Kamman has been one of the world's most revered culinary instructors. Known for her unfaltering precision, legendary wisdom, and commanding style, she has been instrumental in the country's culinary revolution and profoundly influential in the careers of many of our most respected chefs. Yet Madeleine's culinary awakening occurred in the modest kitchens of eight unassuming and quintessentially French women, who nourished her appetite for the regional flavors of her native ...
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Overview

For nearly half a century, Madeleine Kamman has been one of the world's most revered culinary instructors. Known for her unfaltering precision, legendary wisdom, and commanding style, she has been instrumental in the country's culinary revolution and profoundly influential in the careers of many of our most respected chefs. Yet Madeleine's culinary awakening occurred in the modest kitchens of eight unassuming and quintessentially French women, who nourished her appetite for the regional flavors of her native country. When French Women Cook, first published over twenty-five years ago and still Madeleine's favorite of her seven books, recounts her girlhood experiences alongside her informal tutors, who unwittingly made her into the cook she became.

Madeleine evokes the glorious countryside and robust country cooking of France as she takes us on a culinary tour to eight regions -- Poitou, Auvergne, Normandy, Savoie, Touraine, Alsace, Brittany, and Provence. She tells of marketing in Paris with her notoriously hard-to-please great-grandmother, Marie-Charlotte. Then there was the lean year she spent at the elbow of Mimi, the cook at the boarding school in the Alps where she was sent for safe-keeping during World War II. Working as her aunt Claire's reluctant butchering assistant evolved into a lasting apprenticeship at Claire's Michelin-starred restaurant in the Touraine. In Alsace, it was a Christmas spent in the fold of her mother's family and the gift of her grandmother Eugenie's diary that reacquainted Madeleine with the cooking of her roots. These experiences, together with warm reminiscences of meals and lessons shared with the other four women featured in the book, paint an intimate portrait of a France -- her France -- that has nearly vanished.

With over 250 recipes, each prefaced by the practical advice of an irrepressible teacher, When French Women Cook is an immersion course in authentic, regional French home cooking. Part social history, part memoir, part recipe book, When French Women Cook tells how one inquisitive, supremely talented French girl became the culinary authority we know and cherish.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580083843
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.35 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

MADELEINE KAMMAN was born in Paris and started her culinary career in 1940 at her aunt’s restaurant in the Touraine region of France. A revered culinary instructor since 1962, Kamman has written two other books: Dinner Against the Clock and The New Making of a Cook.
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Table of Contents

Foreword viii
Introduction xii
Basic Ingredients and Cooking Techniques 3
Marie-Charlotte 20
Victoire 57
Henriette 95
Mimi 135
Claire 172
Eugenie 215
Loetitia 267
Magaly 309
Index 359
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