The embodiment of the art and pleasure of French cookery, Pierre Franey (1921–96) was one of the most influential and beloved of America’s culinary figures. Before creating his “60-Minute Gourmet” column in the New York Times, writing his celebrated cookbooks, and entering our homes via television, Franey presided over the cuisine at two of the greatest French restaurants in America: the legendary Le Pavillon, then La Côte Basque.
With style, charm, and affection for his native France and adopted America, Franey takes us into his life in the world of food, interweaving his story with irresistible recipes and, here and there, impulsively giving away a chef’s secrets.
He takes us into his childhood in Burgundy, where the bountiful produce and the high respect accorded to the preparation of food grounded Franey in a tradition that would serve him well when he began his apprenticeship at age fourteen in Paris restaurants. In A Chef’s Tale, Franey relives the days of America’s French food revolution and adds immeasurably to our sophistication about the great world of French cooking—and about cooking itself.