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OP: Great Chefs of France

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by Anthony Blake and Quentin Crewe

Galley Press, 1978. Hardcover. Very Good Plus in jacket. First printing.

Published nearly 50 years ago and long out of print, this totally engrossing account of the lives of leading restaurants was once among the bookstore’s most-requested titles. 

Working together, British restaurant critic Quentin Crewe and photographer Anthony Blake undertook to profile the chefs, the kitchens, and the dining rooms of all of the Michelin three-star establishments in France, outside of Paris. The dozen restaurants exemplify—each in its own way—the elements that make for greatness. Blake and Crewe address the origins and development of each restaurant, the personalities and working habits of the chefs, the daily routine of the kitchens, the sources of creativity, and the expectations placed on the front-of-the-house staff.

The cast of characters includes the formidable Madame Point—who ran La Pyramide following the death of her husband, Fernand—Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel, Michel Guerard, the Haeberlins, the Troisgros brothers, Jacques Pic, and other giants of the French restaurant world. And all of that is preceded by an extremely useful brief history of haute cuisine in France and followed by essays in words and pictures on the working methods of each of the chefs, as well as very instructive examples of their menus. 

Highly admired by those working in the field, Great Chefs of France (1978), stands as one of the basic books of the culinary arts. It was published simultaneously in the UK by Mitchell Beazley and in America by Galley Press. We are offering a handsome, unused first printing of the American edition. Book block is in Very Good Plus condition, the jacket lightly shelfworn and softening at the head of the spine.

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