As those who knew him will attest, Francophile and food writer Richard Olney was one of a kind-a writerly cook who had a tremendous influence on American cooking via his well-worn cottage on a hillside in Provence. Born in the Midwest in 1927 and drawn to France at the tender age of twenty-four, Olney was unapologetically attracted to the style, flavors, and tastes of French cooking when most Americans were smitten by the wonders of the new prepared foods in their markets. With unrelenting passion and precision, Olney studied and explored the cuisine, carefully documenting all he had learned for future generations of chefs, cooks, and food lovers. His first of several landmark works, THE FRENCH MENU COOKBOOK, was well ahead of its time with its authentic French recipes and then-unheard-of seasonal approach to cooking. Little did we know then that THE FRENCH MENU COOKBOOK would provide inspiration for Alice Waters and her compatriots as they built the groundwork for a culinary revolution in America. Brimming with the honest and enlightening explanations of how the French really cook and the 150-plus authentic recipes, this book is a masterful resource that is a must for every serious cook.
From the Hardcover edition.
About Richard Olney
Born and raised in Iowa, RICHARD OLNEY (1927–1999) was one of the most distinguished and influential food writers in recent history. Olney moved to France in his mid-20s, and resided in Paris and Provence. He wrote a column for the journal Cuisine et Vins de France and edited Time-Life’s 28-volume The Good Cook series. Olney authored eight books, including Simple French Food and Lulu’s Provençal Table.
About Paul Bertolli
PAUL BERTOLLI is executive chef and co-owner of Oliveto restaurant in Oakland, California. He has received numerous accolades, most recently the award for “Best Chef: California” from the James Beard Foundation in 2001. He is also known for his tenure as chef of Chez Panisse restaurant, where for ten years he guided the restaurant’s cooking toward Italian sensibilities. Active as a chef, writer, and artisan food producer, Bertolli tends to his garden, bread oven, salumi cellar, vinegar loft, pickle vats, distillations, wine, and other mysterious fermentations from his home base in North Berkeley, California.
“Earlier this year, OFM's expert panel voted this the best cookbook of all time. Only problem was it was out of print. But it has been reissued, so now everyone can delight in Olney's passionate, idiosyncratic rendering of French cuisine.”
—The Observer Food Monthly, 25 Best Cookbooks of 2010, 11/14/10
FROM THE HARDCOVER EDITION:
"Here's a blessing . . . and it's not in disguise."
—Newark Star Ledger
"The writer to whom Olney immediately demands comparison is Elizabeth David. The prose of each is characterized by an aesthetic sensibility enmeshed in the stabilizing regimen of a strictly imposed self-discipline."
—John Thorne, author of Pot on the Fire
"Richard Olney is someone who truly lives what he believes-cooking simply from the garden and drinking wonderful wines from the cellar. His FRENCH MENU COOKBOOK is an inspiration, giving a lasting insight into a special way of life."