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Simple French Food

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  247 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Simple French Food
"For twenty years Richard Olney's Simple French Food has been one of my greatest sources of inspiration for cooking at Chez Panisse." --Alice Waters

"I know this book almost by heart. It is a classic of honest French cooking and good writing. Buy it, read it, eat it." --Lydie Marshall

"I need this new edition badly because Simple French Food is the most dog
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 2nd 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 1974)
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Larry Brennan
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodie-books
OK - I'm really conflicted as to how to rate this one. It's a delight to read. Olney is strongly opinionated, perhaps even a bit of a crank.

The recipe content is anything but simple - it's full of homemade aspics (veal knuckle anyone?) and fancy terrines - but the writing is great fun to read. His rant about pâté had me laughing out loud.

As for his basic techniques, especially for eggs, the degree to which his commandments align with Cook's Illustrated's is uncanny.

I'm not really through with th
Rose Gowen
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Crankiest cook book ever. I love it. I think my husband and I cooked from it once-- a pisaladiere?-- note that simple does not mean easy. Great reading, though. (Also, I am convinced that the Harry Mathews story, Country Cooking, takes its inspiration from Olney.)
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Richard Olney is amongst the best writers in English to translate French food for a non-French audience--this book and Lulu's Provencal Table are must reads for anyone interested in the history of French cuisine
Betsy Montgomery
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's just been reissued, and I was pleased to be able to pick up a copy! I'm not so sure I'd call these recipes "simple", but this is a great cookbook to read and the recipes look delicious-I can't wait to try!
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: food
I haven't tried any of the recipes, but he writes about the "vulgar, rustic, robust" food so ardently that I have to keep dipping into it. My edition has a detail of a Cezanne still life on the cover which somehow sums up the whole experience of this book
Oct 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Let's just say that simple is relative! An interesting book, but not one that I feel the need to buy or copy down recipes from, as I do some cookbooks.
Art Hare
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
More cook books should be written like this -Olney really transports you
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Richard Olney was an American painter, cook, food writer, editor, and memoirist, best known for known for his books of French country cooking.

Olney lived in a house above the village of Solliès-Toucas in Provence, France, for most of his adult life, where he wrote many classic and influential cookbooks of French country cooking. He had first moved to France in 1951, to Paris, where he was close fr
More about Richard Olney