France: The Cookbook
It’s the home of modern gastronomy, where the brigade de cuisine system and the world’s first modern restaurant were founded.
French
When we talk about good food, we often speak in French. The term chef made its way into the English language during the 19th from the French word for chief; cuisine is another Gallic ingredient, this time dating from the 18th century, drawn from word for kitchen.

This is not the only way this foremost of gastronomic nations has shaped our eating and cooking habits. The first modern, western restaurant, opened in Paris during the 1760s. Today, professional catering is organised along French models. The idea that food can have local characteristics, arising directly from the natural environment, or terroir, is distinctly French, as is the protection of produce from those areas, through appellation controls. Indeed, when brilliant chefs around the world seek to reinterpret their local dishes, they often do this by taking their regional specialties and putting them through the French system.

Yet French food is not only a professional vocation, some of the very best cookery is found in cuisine ménagèrie or French home cooking, as anyone who has enjoyed a simple potato gratin or flan aux pommes will surely attest.

BUY FRANCE: THE COOKBOOK

The bible of traditional and authentic French home cooking, with over 6 million copies sold since its first publication. (Previously published as I Know How to Cook)

With more than 1,400 recipes, Mathiot guides the reader through all the classic recipes and techniques of French cooking (which provide the building blocks for so many other cuisines) with a clear and authoritative voice.

The recipes, which have been fully updated by Clothilde Dusoulie, author of the popular Chocolate & Zucchini blog, prove that authentic French food doesn’t have to be complicated, heavy or too rich.