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OP: The New Making of a Cook

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by Madeleine Kamman

William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1997. Hardcover. Near Fine. First printing.

Regarded by many chefs as their guide and inspiration, French-born Madeleine Kamman (1931–2018) grew up cooking in her aunt’s two Michelin star restaurant in Touraine. She moved to the US in 1960 and launched a career of more than 40 years as restaurateur, author, television cook, and, most of all, as a demanding cooking teacher. 

Her first book, The Making of a Cook (1971), is the masterwork of a woman with a bone to pick and a point to prove. At the time, Julia Child, an American, was the most prominent authority on French cuisine in the US, and French chefs at the professional level—Paul Bocuse being a particularly vocal adversary—decried the natural abilities of women in the kitchen. Kamman confidently counters both, asserting her position as a true French cook with indisputable creative and technical authority.

The result is a resourceful textbook for anyone ready to get serious in the kitchen. Though some of the dishes might prove daunting, Kamman’s role as an educator is evident in the expert advice and navigation through hows and whys.

The 25th anniversary revised edition, which we offer here, updates and expands upon that original book. Kamman recognized cultural changes and preferences and even her own growth as a writer and instructor in the time since she was first published. Forever attentive to her students’ needs, she adapts to the low fat trends of the ‘90s without compromising the integrity of her food, and she expands the range of cuisines to include dishes outside of a strictly French scope.

The addition of tables, charts, line illustrations, scientific material, and a primer on wine shapes the book into an invaluable reference work. Eggs, stocks and sauces, vegetables and fruits, grains and legumes, fish and meat, and all manner of baked goods are thoroughly covered. With no other cookbook on hand, one might still find a lifetime of dishes to explore.

Our copy is a Near Fine first printing with a Near Fine jacket. Minor evidences of shelfwear, otherwise appearing unused

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