What a delightful little book! I’ve been needing to brush up on my culinary skills and I came across this gem. Claudine Pepin is the daughter of Jaques Pepin. Not only did she grow up in the kitchens he headed, like Lutece, she also does cooking shows with her father and has been the brand ambassador for Moet and Chandon and Dom Perignon champagne. This book, while geared at children is still quite useful to adult cooks wanting to learn some basics of French cuisine. After an introduction and separate notes to kids and parents, she breaks up the book in sections:
Throughout the book, she gives tips on not just technique but also planning menus, keeping your kitchen clean and organized as well as selecting the proper ingredients. She clearly and simply explains some basic food science, that is great knowledge for cooks of all ages. I especially liked how she stressed the importance of the family table, when everyone gathers over some good, wholesome food and reconnects with each other.
I tried the Chicken with Cream Sauce first. I found the recipe easy to follow, the prep simple and clear and the whole thing was done in 35 minutes, start to finish. While the chicken, onion and bouquet garni simmered gently, the house was infused with a delicately aromatic scent. And that cream sauce? To die for.
I am so charmed with this book, that I have already sent copies to a couple of my young friends and relatives who have an interest in cooking and French culture. I highly recommend it to you, too.