Book review: Michel Roux The Collection

21 December 2012
Book review: Michel Roux The Collection

Michel Roux The Collection By Michel Roux
Quadrille, £25
ISBN: 978-1849491853

Michel Roux is a chef who needs little introduction. Together with his brother Albert, he is widely considered to be the doyen of modern restaurant food in Britain and is credited with having changed the face of UK dining.

For more than four decades, he has raised the standard of UK cooking across the board and influenced generations of chefs both inside and outside his own kitchen. He has penned numerous books on subjects as varied as sauces, eggs and desserts to name but a few.

In his latest book, aptly called Michel Roux The Collection, the iconic chef showcases his favourite recipes of all time. Spread across nine chapters, it lists 250 recipes covering all seasons and occasions, from breakfast through to party food, featuring both contemporary dishes and Roux's interpretations of the great French classics.

"This collection is a quantum leap, enabling me to select my favourite recipes and share them in one volume," Roux explains in the foreword. "My cooking never stands still. I am constantly looking for ways to further develop my recipes, introduce new ingredients, new flavour combinations, even refining the classics. These recipes represent the way I love eating today."

Indeed recipes range from classic French dishes such as bouillabaisse, cassoulet, soufflés, terrines or crème brûlée to international flavours such as langoustine and squid, and vegetable tempura or poussins scented with ginger and lemongrass.

With Roux being a master pastry chef, of course a large chunk of the book is dedicated to pastry. There are chapters on desserts and baking that are filled with delicious cakes, tarts and biscuits including step-by-step guides to basic pastry recipes such as rough puff or choux pastry as well as pâté sucrée and pâté sablée.

But the rest of the book is littered with pastry recipes too. The first chapter, Breakfast and Brunch, for instance, showcases how to bake the perfect breakfast pastries such as croissants or pain au chocolat, while remaining chapters on fish and shellfish, or poultry, meat and game list recipes for classic puff pastry for dishes such as sea bass en croute with mousseline sauce; brioche pastry for fillet of beef in a brioche crust; or pâté brisée for Cornish pasties.

While Michel Roux The Collection is primarily aimed at the home cook, featuring very basic cookery tips such as how to poach an egg or make an omelette, the range of recipes is so broad that even the most accomplished chefs will be able to find inspiration.

By Kerstin Kühn

If you like this you might like these:
Pastry: Savoury and Sweet, 
Michel Roux
â- The Complete Bocuse, 
Paul Bocuse
â- Cooking with The Master Chef: Food For Your Family & Friends
, Michel Roux Jnr

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