Long before I worked in commercial kitchens I taught myself at home (as a child and teenager) to cook. To do this I searched and experimented and settled on a couple of classic cookbooks, one of the most important of which for me, was The French Kitchen by Diane Holuigue. The pages of that book became well worn as the writing and instructions of the author were an intrinsic part of my cookery education, my life long love of French cookery and my understanding the French cuisine. You’ll see why in the recipe for Coq au Vin below.
Perhaps Diane Holuigue’s talent for recipe writing was in part due to the fact that she also taught cookery. Her award winning cookery school – The French Kitchen – has taught more than 64,000 students.
As my original copy of The French Kitchen was lost during a move I was really excited to read about her new book: A Lifetime of Cooking, Teaching and Writing from The French Kitchen. Perhaps more aptly named than she realises when Diane Holuigue has given the gift of a lifetime of cooking to so many including me.
The book is the culmination of 40 years’ devotion to food captured in more than 750 pages and 1000 recipes. It comprises elements of three of Di’s beast-selling books The French Kitchen, The Clever Cook and Postcards from Kitchens Abroad, as well as 230 never-before published recipes. With notes on planning menus, tips for the hurried cook and a list of essential tools, A Lifetime of Cooking, Teaching and Writing from the French Kitchen is the complete cookbook and I encourage you to pursue your own copy.
A Lifetime of Cooking, Teaching and Writing from The French Kitchen, Diane Holuigue, The Slattery Media Group ($89.95, 2012)