Why is it that some recipe books fill you with enthusiasm to fire up the stove the instant you open them while others remain on the shelf, consulted rather than cooked from? Is it the text, the photographs, the design, or because they come from the pen of a trusted cook? In the case of The Essence of French Cooking and The Best of Gretta Anna with Martin Teplitzky, it is a combination of all these qualities, the most important being the sure hand of the author, which instils confidence that your efforts will be rewarded and time not wasted.
Michel Roux is one of the most famous French-born chefs working in England. With his brother Albert, he co-founded two multi-Michelin-starred restaurants – Le Gavroche (London, 1967) and The Waterside Inn (Berkshire, 1972) – both of which continue today, run by Michel (son of Albert) and Alain (son of Michel) respectively. In addition to creating restaurants, Michel Sr has published several cookery books, including Michel Roux: The Collection. Roux's cooking is firmly rooted in the classic French tradition, and the recipes reflect this rich heritage and training. As expected from a chef of this calibre, Roux enhances classic dishes with his own variations and twists.