I adore Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking as much as anybody, but Richard Olney’s books about French food are the ones that have made the biggest impact on my cooking. Olney was an American who found his place in the world in Provence, and through his books, brought the joys of French country cooking to American readers. Simple French Food, which Alice Waters credits as being one of her greatest sources of inspiration for cooking at Chez Panisse, showcases seasonal, unpretentious food to perfection.
Richard Olney was considered a culinary genius for his ability to elevate cooking to a practical art. He wrote evocatively about the beauty and pleasure in cooking by focusing on preparing simple foods well. This new edition of his classic cookbook includes a fresh cover, new interior design, and a foreword by Mark Bittman—so that a whole new generation of food lovers can enjoy this inspiring book. Olney’s 175 recipes are so straightforward that cooks will be inspired to go right into the kitchen: herb omelets, fish with zucchini, lamb shanks with garlic, and many more. He also shares techniques (several featuring his own illustrations), such as fermenting vinegar, in line with the back-to-basics trend in cooking. Olney’s emphasis on simplicity and improvisation in cooking will resonate with today’s cooks and food lovers.
About the Author
The late Richard Olney was and is an American culinary icon. He was a member of the eminent Académie International du Vin of Provence for many years. He was chief consultant to the Time-Life Good Cook
series and was the author of The French Menu Cookbook
, a history of the wine of Chateau d'Yquem, and Ten Vineyards Lunches
MARK BITTMAN is the author of thirty acclaimed books, including the How to Cook Everything series, the award-winning Food Matters, and the New YorkTimes number-one bestseller, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00. For more than two decades his popular and compelling stories appeared in the Times, where he was ultimately the lead food writer for the Sunday magazine and became the country’s first food-focused Op-Ed columnist for a major news publication. Bittman has starred in four television series, including Showtime’s Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously. He has written for nearly every major newspaper in the United States and many magazines and has spoken at dozens of universities and conferences; his 2007 TED talk has had more than a million views. In 2015 he was a distinguished fellow at the University of California, Berkeley; he is currently a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Throughout his career Bittman has strived for the same goal: to make food, in all its aspects, understandable. He can be found at markbittman.com, @bittman on Twitter, and @markbittman on Instagram.