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La Varenne Pratique

by Anne Willan


Anne Willan, founder and director of the prestigious La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, deconstructs kitchen essentials, techniques, and ingredients to create an all-encompassing manual for modern cooking. Every genre of cuisine is addressed, from filleting fish to making hollandaise to roasting all kinds of meats.

from the publisher

Unprecedented in both scope and clarity, La Varenne Pratique is destined to become the essential culinary reference for both novice cook and expert. Written by the founder and director of Paris's prestigious La Varenne cooking school and compiled using La Varenne's extensive resources, the book brings together a practical understanding of cooking techniques, ingredients, and equipment in an unrivaled guide to classic modern cooking.Here in one volume is the answer to every cooking question: how to make a hollandaise sauce (and why egg yolks will only absorb so much oil before the sauce self-destructs); the difference between entrecote and porterhouse; what marinades to use for lamb; which herbs will turn bitter if added at the beginning of a recipe; how to bone a chicken; the roasting times for venison, pheasant, and even squirrel; how to fillet a fiat fish; when to use a bain marie; and much more.

Throughout the book, techniques are clearly illustrated with specially commissioned step-by-step photo sequences that set new standards for culinary photography. Readers can actually see what texture a sauce should be, exactly where to make the first cut when boning a Chicken, what the "crust" on a clarifying broth will look like, and what larding a roast really entails.

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Original Publisher
Clarkson Potter
Date of publication

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Recommended by

Jennifer McLagan


This book covers everything especially technique and when the lessons of cooking school are hazy I turn to this book to remind me.

John Martin Taylor

Culinary historian

Provides quick answers to technical questions as well as classic proportions for recipes. It's more a dictionary than a cookbook.

Trine Hahnemann

Food writer, Chef and owner of Hahnemannns Køkken

Kind of my school book. My favorite go to cookbook for all basic stuff.

Jennifer Chandler

Cookbook author and restaurateur

My go-to for over 20 years for cooking techniques

Candy Argondizza

ICC's Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts

Sri Owen

Food writer and cook

Árni Ólafur Jónsson

Chef and TV presenter

Aglaia Kremezi

Food writer and journalist