Yes, we know how much you like your tattered and demi-glace-stained copy of The Joy of Cooking, or maybe How to Cook Everything, but there is another book that you would do well to add to the kitchen library, if you don't already have it. The new edition of Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire, the book that codified French cuisine when it was first published in 1903, is being published today by John Wiley and Sons, with new forwards by Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America, and Heston Blumenthal, chef of The Fat Duck Restaurant and, well (to paraphrase the Coen Brothers), you know who he is.
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This edition, a relative bargain at $70 and on sale at Amazon for far less (context: Larousse is $90; Modernist Cuisine is $625), is an unabridged translation of the 1921 fourth edition, and includes Escoffier's original foreward, a memoir of the chef by his grandson Pierre, and more than 5,000 recipes. Yes, they're in narrative form. So is Proust.