Les Dames d’ Escoffier International is an association of female culinary professionals founded in 1973 that is dedicated to recognizing and promoting the achievements and influence of women in culinary fields. The book Cooking with Les Dames D’Escoffier is a volume that features the favorite recipes of some of the members of this invitation-only association, women who have changed the way we cook both in restaurant kitchens and at home. It includes recipes from Julia Child, Dorie Greenspan, Marcella Hazan, Alice Medrich, Alice Waters, to name just a few of the contributors, and most of the included recipes were chosen as the make-at-home recipes that they served to friends and family time and again.
The recipes cover everything from appetizers to desserts, with the two largest sections – main courses and desserts – being divided up by type. Some of the recipes are excerpted from existing cookbooks, but many, perhaps most, are not. They’re all well explained and set up so that they are easy to follow. It’s easy to sneak in a moment or two to appreciate what these woman have done for food and cooking today even before you taste the finished dish.
In addition to the recipes, the book contains many cooking hints and suggestions that will allow you to make the best substitutions if you can’t find a particular ingredient, choose a new kitchen tool or shave a few minutes off your prep time. They also answer common cooking questions that may come up as you work to try and ensure that you get results as good as theirs. There are not many photos in the book, but since you know that these recipes can come from sources you can trust without hesitation, it’s not as much of a miss as it is for other books (even though the photos that are included are wonderful and it still wouldn’t hurt to have a few more!).