Cooking with the Young Chefs of France (1982)


by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, M. Evans Publishing, 1982. This gem is the author’s most carefree book, based on her own travels throughout France, quite different in purpose and design than her earlier groundbreaking but necessarily studious and probably laborious books on the cookery of Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. She’s having fun this time, checking in first with French hotel and restaurant consultants, then traveling from region to region, chatting up young chefs, cajoling them to share recipes, from the great hotels and resorts to small (if august) family-owned auberges and bistros.

Lucien Ogier of l’Aubergade at Ponchartrain, Jean-Pierre Vullin of the Auberge Bressane in Bourg-en Bresse, Gérard Truchetet of the Releais et Chateeaux d-Isendbourg in Rouffach, and Rémy André of the Au Bon Pasteur restaurant in Carcassonne are just a few of the many she mentions. Of course, now all of those chefs are 30-some years older, nd some, like Lucien Ogier (born in 1904) weren't young at the time and are no longer around. But classics recipes, even updated, don’t age. There are some terrific ones inside these pages, most of them, just as the subtitle says, “contemporary interpretations of traditional cuisine.” That means fresh, regional, in-season ingredients allowed to stand on their own. It’s also interesting to see that Asian and Latin American influences were also beginning to manifest themselves in France even in the early ‘80s (avocado-added mash ups -- no pun-- paired with traditional French dishes were evidently the rage). Not to be contrarian, one of the dishes we’re going to try first is the "old school" Rabbit Stuffed with Prunes stewed in wine, as served up the Le Domaine de la Tortiniere at Montbason. For the "new," we might try Veal Scallops with Avocado and Zucchini (topped with Tomato Slices and Gyruére and baked).

Trade paperback, 330 pages with extensive index of restaurants and chefs and recipes in English and in French. Condition: VG+.

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