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OP: The French Cook or The Art of Cooking

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by Louis Eustache Ude
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One of the generation of great nineteenth century chefs, French-born Louis Eustache Ude (1769–1846) came out of a cooking family. His father had worked in the kitchen of the ill-fated King Louis XVI, and Ude himself apprenticed there. While still a young man, he relocated to England, where he stayed and worked for the rest of his life, both as a personal chef and at Crockford’s, an important men’s club in London.

His major publication (1813) was entitled The French Cook, or The Art of Cookery in all its Branches. A substantial work—its table of contents runs nearly thirty pages—it is a handbook of French cuisine, widely accepted in England as the standard for fine cooking in hotels and clubs, restaurants, and great houses.

Although measurements hardly ever appear in the recipes, the instructions are more detailed than in many works of the period. Ude clearly draws a line between ordinary home cooking and his own offerings. “The Art of Cookery,” he points out in his preface, “is a science appreciated only by a very few individuals; and which requires, besides a great deal of studious application, no small quality of intellect, and the strictest sobriety and punctuality, to be brought to perfection.”

Our copy is a 1978 reprint in Very Good condition with a price clipped dust jacket.  The jacket does show shelfwear.  The interior is clean and unmarked. It does not appear that Ude’s book was ever translated or issued in French.

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