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Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised And Updated

Larousse Gastronomique has been the foremost resource of culinary knowledge since its initial publication in 1938. Long revered for its encyclopedic entries on everything from cooking techniques, ingredients, and recipes to equipment, food histories, and culinary biographies, it is the one book every professional chef and avid home cook must have on his or her kitchen shelf. In fact, Julia Child once wrote, "If I were allowed only one reference book in my library, Larousse Gastronomique would be it, without question."The culinary landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade, prompting a complete revision of this classic work. Larousse Gastronomique has now been updated to add the latest advancements that have forever changed the way we cook, including modern technological methods, such as sous-vide cooking and molecular gastronomy. All-new color ingredient-identification photographs give this edition a fresh, elegant look. And for the first time, Larousse features more than 400 reportage photos–candid images of upscale restaurants from around the world–that give behind-the-scenes access into the kitchens where the finest food is created. Dozens of new biographies of people who have made significant contributions to the food world debut in this revision, including such luminaries as Ferran Adrià, Daniel Boulud, Alice Waters, Gaston Lenôtre, Thomas Keller, James Beard, and Julia Child.With entries arranged in encyclopedic fashion, Larousse Gastronomique is not only incredibly user-friendly, but it is also a fantastic read for anyone who loves food. Skip from Roasting to Robert (a classic French sauce), and then to Robiola (the Italian cheese); or go from Sake to Salad–with dozens of recipes–and on to Salamander, a type of oven used in professional kitchens for caramelizing (and named after the legendary fire-resistant animal). An index at the end of the book of all 3,800 recipes for cuisines from around the world makes it easy to find a myriad of preparations for any ingredient (eggs or chicken, for example) or type of dish (such as cakes or sauces).The unparalleled depth and breadth of information–from the traditional to the cutting-edge–make this newest edition of Larousse Gastronomique indispensable for every cook.

Hardcover: 1216 pages

Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Rev Upd edition (October 13, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0307464911

ISBN-13: 978-0307464910

Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 2.2 x 10.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #48,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #29 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Gourmet #92 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Cooking #115 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > Reference

This a a reference A to Z book on world food, but still overweighted on French cuisine. The earlier editions had even more of a French focus and I would imagine that future editions will be even more balanced. I find this edition superior to the 1961 edition Larousse Gastronomique Encyclopedia of F 1961 Ed, which was 95% focused on French food. The current editions contain fewer receipes than the 1961 edition, but you don't buy this book for recipes. You buy it for A to Z entries. I can recommend this book for French cuisine (more modern coverage) and other cuisines (no competition with previous editions but still not great). Off course, this book is a bit like the winner writing history. The book contains some historical sections and they are not very good because they do not go back to original sources. So if Careme considered a dish French it is likely that Larousse will say so too - even if a more detailed analysis would find strong Italian roots. Still, I don't imagine people would buy this book to get historical information.An alternative is Davidson's The Oxford Companion to Food 2nd Ed. That book is more quirky since it is the work of one person. Both are good, but I would consider the current book as a better general reference.Update 2010: Having given two positive recommendations I must ask myself how much I consult these two books. The answer is 'not very much'. If I want to know something, I do a google-search or I look it up in a more specialised cookbook.

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