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I bought 'in Paris' 'Family Style' & 'Back to Basics' as a Christmas present for my wife. Review for Barefoot in Paris - I read it and just loved the in between sections e.g Cheese section & table dressing, quite interesting & different from most cook books. For me the recipes read OK, but the wife really likes it. Photography is very good too. Negatives are - all her books are designed more towards the American market. There could be a measurement conversion included and little things (this is the wife now) such as the wording i.e 'a stick of butter'? might be better explained or quantified. All said, this book especially, was interesting and I would not hesitate to recommend. A good buy!
I must concur with what others have said. In summary, this book is a very enjoyable read, with fabulous photographs--it doees make you want to hop on a plane and visit Paris! The food styling and photographic manipulation of the food are simply magnificent...Ina owes a HUGE debt to these people! Having said that, I too am getting a wee bit tired of all the name-dropping. Does the fact that Steven Spielberg's wife desires to take classes at a certain cooking school give that school more credibility ?! [and note that she is first of all, Steven Spielberg's wife!...not Kate Capshaw...this is of secondary importance...shame on you, Ina!!!] And, it is wonderful for Ina that she has an apartment on the Left Bank in France...but the majority of us who buy her books do not, and have no access to some of these fabulous ingredients (which I'm sure make a huge difference in the final taste of the recipe, especially when the recipe is extremely simple). I have no other French cookbooks, so I can't evaluate how "French" her recipes are, but I will say that some of these recipes seem like repeats from her other cookboks (with possible slight variations). I heartily endorse her first three cookbooks--especially the very first one. I use them constantly. They compliment each other very well (though there are a few crossover recipes between books--my only complaint). I love Ina. I love watching her show. I have prepared a few of the recipes from this lastest book, and they turned out quite nicely, but I can tell I will not be reaching for this one as often as her others. If you love Ina Garten, love taking vicarious trips through the magic of books, and have space on your shelf for another book, then buy this cookbook. Otherwise, stick with her other books. Bon appetit!
I've had this book for a few years and use it when I want to make a classic French bistro type meal. Last night I made the Beef Bourgignon for the 3rd time and it was a huge success. I learned to cook while living in Paris and used Mastering the Art of Cooking as my teacher. Ian Garten makes the classics easy for busy folks and ensures excellent results. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because I think Ian Garten goes a bit over the top with ingredients from time to time. For instance, her Beef Bourgignon calls for 8 ounces of bacon. If you want an overwhelming bacon flavor to your dish then go for the 8 ounces. I cut it to 4 ounces and there is a subtle flavor of bacon (and less fat) in the finished product and much more like what you would experience in France. She has a recipe for Celery Root Remoulade - a personal favorite and hard to find in restaurants. Her dressing recipe calls for way too much mayo and if you use the full amount your end result will be soggy and mushy. So, think about how you like your food to taste and adjust her recipes accordingly. Her techniques are great and this book includes many of the classic French dishes that reflect the real food you find in France.
The book itself has wonderful recipes and is worth the buy. I gave it 4/5 starts because I bought it used with “very good” quality but the binding is off in the front. Boo. Inas recipes are always amazing.
Reading the reviews, I received what I expected. The price was right. I have some books on french cooking & and some I just looked at where I had to assemble more than 20 ingredients/pluck some fowl myself etc. Sometimes you want it simple. One irritation - not just in this book. What about these green lentils such as du Puy. Where can they be had if you can't cook in France? I stay in Paris a few days on my way back to the USA from Europe. If I got them there they may not be allowed into the USA. Is there a substitute available or if not, is the dish worth doing? Reference to truffels I have to ignore. I would agree that the Ile Flottante recipe could cause an unpleasant surprise if caramel is left at room temperature as suggested. I follow a recipe where the caramel is poured into a pan and the meringue baked in it. This can be prepared ahead and then served with crème anglaise or any other - like raspberry sauce for my family.