Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ma Gastronomie




If you tuned in to Charlie Rose last night you might have seen Rose's interview with Thomas Keller. While the conversation was hardly earth-shattering, Keller did mention Fernand Point as the one person, living or dead, that Keller would most want to share a meal with. Keller went on to mention that Point's Ma Gastronomie is a must-read for all his staff.

Fernand Point, former chef and owner of Lyon's famed Restaurant de la Pyramid (you can see the menu and interiors in Vincent Price's book), died in 1955. After his death, Point's wife kept Fernand's high standards in place and the restaurant continued to thrive. Ma Gastronomie was compiled by Madame Point from her late husband's notes and was published in 1969.

It's not the easiest book to get a hold of. Recently Charlie Trotter mentioned the book in a Wall Street Journal piece, and the book flew off the shelves of used book stores. Rest assured, a new edition will be published this year by Overlook Press. In the meantime, get inspired by Point's gastronomical genius at the Library! We have both the French and English versions in the stacks.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last time I tuned in to Charlie, about a week ago, it looked like he'd gotten into a fight, perhaps fighting over the last copy of Ma Gastronomie a la bibiotheque, peut etre?

Keep up the excellent writing, Rebecca.

JJF

dbf said...

Is it me, or is Fernand Point an inspiration for Gusteau in Pixar's delightful Ratatouille?

Though, as some say, Gusteau's face is closer to Paul Bocuse....

Rebecca Federman said...

JJF: I, too, was stunned to see Charlie's face a few weeks ago. I Googled "what happened to Charlie Rose's face?" and immediately found out that he had tripped on the street (I think it was 57th Street) and instead of dropping his brand new Mac Book Air he sacrificed his face. Although I'm sure he would've done the same for Ma Gastronomie...

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

I saw that interview. I can only say that I was not entirely impressed. And it did look like CR needed to throw a steak over his face.
One thing that is interesting to note is that Keller discussed kitchen philosophies and that when he starts a new restaurant he likes to get a nucleus from a previous kitchen. Makes one wonder about how long a chef's momentum can be carried after death a la the earlier note about the Disney movie that I can't spell. - Adam

laura k said...

I just discovered your excellent blog thanks to my trusty Google Library alert and I love it! You have expertly combined two of my favorite topics: librarianship and food. As a current library school student, I'd love to hear how you got into this whole culinary librarianship thing, and I'm curious, too, about the other aspects of your job as a social sciences bibliographer. Sounds awesome.