am 24. April 1998
This is a modern classic, and regularly acknowledged as such. Its charm is in several parts. First, there is Olney's distinctive prose, which is a literary pleasure in itself, then there is the way he avoids as much as possible set recipes (though there are lots of splendid recipes here): his idea being rather to communicate an attitude towards preparing good food, illustrated with possibilities (if you happen to have some of this to hand, do this, if you have that, then do the other, alternatively, try something else entirely).
It also says something about his definition of simplicity that while he is, to put it mildly, uncompromising in his attitude to food, it is possible for someone living in a shared student flat to learn a lot from him (as I did). I'm currently on my second copy, the first having deteriorated, in the course of years, into a bundle of loose sheets.
am 19. Juli 2000
I bought this book many years ago and it is still close to my heart. Once, a friend was poking in my kitchen bookcase and asked, "Is there such a thing as simply French food?" Yes! I read this book and Elizabeth David's books many time during the first years of my first marriage and both gave me a basis for preparing delicious and non-fussy meals for my family. My only criticism of this book is that vegetable section is weak.