Friday, July 18, 2008

Cooking with Les Dames d'Escoffier

What if you could invite Julia Childs, Alice Waters, M.F.K. Fisher, and Marcella Hazan into your kitchen as you make dinner? Imagine Julia looking over your shoulder as you prepare Julia's Lobster Newberg, or Gina Batali giving you her prized recipe for Batali Family Stuffed Artichokes. COOKING WITH LES DAMES D'ESCOFFIER (Sasquatch Books; October 2008; $35.00; ISBN 978-1-57061-530-6) assembles a dream team of culinary stars to share their most essential dishes -- the ones they make at home for family and friends. Members of Les Dames d'Escoffier include farmers, founders of farmers' markets, winemakers, horticulturist, world-famous chefs and restaurateurs, educators, and many others. This book is a compilation of their best recipes.

Les Dames d'Escoffier is the premier association of women culinary professionals, started in 1973 in response to the all-male Les Amis d'Escoffier. Their story parallels the feminist movement that began in the 1960s. At that times the food, wine, and hospitality industries were no different from other fields. A woman's place was squarely in the home, and those who ventured out into the workplace were not recognized, not paid as well as men, not allowed the same opportunities. These Dames are responsible for many of the culinary trends so beloved in America today. Grand Dame Julia Child and Anne Willan encouraged our love of French food, Alice Waters and Judy Rodgers taught us about local and sustainable ingredients, and Flo Braker and Leslie Mackie have introduced us to artisan baked goods. COOKING WITH LES DAMES D'ESCOFFIER gathers favorite recipes and food wisdom from the women who shape the way we eat and drink.

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