Basic French Cooking, UK First Edition, 1979
This is the first UK hardback edition of Ou est le Garlic?, completely updated and revised in a new volume. In just fifty strips, you're given enough advice and information to be able to produce about 500 or more French dishes.
For example, there is a chapter called La Carte des sauces, which offers a guide through the complex world of sauces. It starts off with the basic sacues: brown, white, bechamel, firsh, and egg and butter sauces, giving clear instructions about exactly how the chefs des sauces in French restaurants do it. From these basic sauces, Deighton then provides some variations which form the basis of most modern French cuisine. Nothing is left out; there is guidance on choosing chickens, the best implements to have in your kitchen and good wines. Nothing is left to chance.
Why it's interesting
Like the paperback edition of this work, the emphasis is on the simplicity of the approach and the cookstrips. The text and the cookstrips are slightly larger in this edition than in the paperback and, therefore, visually more impressive. This book came about as Penguin had let the paperback Ou est le Garlic? run out of print, despite it's massive sales success. First re-published in hardback in the US, following an article in Village Voice extolling the virtues of Ou est le Garlic?, the UK edition led Deighton to review the whole text and make some minor changes.
'During six years studying art I spent most of my vacation time working in the kitchens of good restaurants. I've never ceased to be interested in cooking, and in the skill that contributes to the succes of a great restaurant (and that by definition means a restaurant in France).
The importance of French cookery is not only due to the taste, texture and appearance of the resulting dishes, but also to the systematic way in which generations of cooks have ordered and classified their knowledge.'
The original cover of Ou est le Garlic? was meant to be designed by a French graphic artist, Jacques Dehornais. He was taken ill during the planning of the book (at least that was his story - in reality, he spent so much time on the designs using the wrong process, and many of the designs were subsequently blown into the Thames on Waterloo Bridge), so Deighton's old friend Raymond Hawkey stepped in to rescue the project.