The Complete Bocuse

Flammarion

In shops now

The Black Friday emails have already begun.  Though we have just passed the American election, it seems as though Thanksgiving Hannukkah and Christmas are already on top of us.

One of the best items to file under “Kiss the Cook” for this season’s gift guide is “The Complete Bocuse,” a hefty and indispensable volume that promises a lifetime worth of recipes from the French master.

The book is beautifully produced, no doubt, but it also cuts right to the point.  No introduction or asides about the man’s acclaim or how hard it might be to get a reservation – only a thick stack of gorgeous and surprisingly simple recipes for us to try out in the comfort of our own home.

Having not visited the restaurant in Lyon, I was surprised at the simple presentation and Norman Rockwell-ness of the dishes on display: Squab with Peas, Baked Cod, Cauliflower au Gratin, Chocolate Genoese Sponge, Orange Blossom Crêpes, Peach Melba.  From Soups to Ice Cream (and a whole section on Veal), each colour-coded recipe is short and sweet with loving attention paid to all the basics.  We should all aspire to make this our weeknight cookbook.