Books I recommend #1- The Roux Brothers on Patisserie, My first inspiration.

This is my first post about books that I have found inspiring, part of a new category on my blog. They can be ones from many years ago or recent finds I have come across, they all have one thing in common they have somehow inspired me in my career or ignited a memory of the many things I have done over the past 25 years as a pastry chef.

Let me know if you have any recommendations of your own…I am a magpie where pastry and bakery books are concerned 😉

THE ROUX BROTHERS ON PATISSERIE

One of my all time inspirations, and it still inspires today

Published by Macdonald & co in 1986

Can be found on Amazon, mainly in paperback, priced around £15-£20

Recipe grade: moderate not for the novice

“My body trembles as though I have been beaten, my throat is tight with emotion, my eyes brim with tears – they have just announced my name, my work as a Patisseur-confiseur has received the ultimate recognition…”

These are words written by Michel Roux (senior) in the first pages of the book to describe how he felt when he was given the title of  “un des meilleurs ouvriers de France 1976, patisseur-confiseur” Which meant he was considered one of Frances finest craftsmen in Patisserie.

Now at this point I was a fresh out of college 18-year-old, after completing a two-year  full-time bakery diploma course and was about to embark on the first ladder of my career as an apprentice pastry chef at the uk headquarters of  BP oil’ s dining rooms.

The back cover, featuring Michel Albert roux with their sons Alain & Michel roux jnr

The back cover featuring the family Matriarch Mme Germaine Roux, her two famous sons Michel & Albert and their two sons the NOW famous Michel Roux jnr and Alain Roux

I was given this book which had just come out as a good luck present, and was totally hooked, that first paragraph that I read made me realise I had taken the right carer path and was totally inspired by their passion that comes through in the narrative, the pictures and step by step guides were ahead of their time and still haven’t dated today 25 years on.

I lost my original copy a couple of years ago, but some good friends of mine found an original first print copy from that year in hardback for my birthday, as they knew I was sad about its loss, it felt like something from my career had slipped away, silly to place so much importance on a book you may think but it had travelled with me throughout my career in and out of various kitchens and was a constant reference for me & I still use a lot of the recipes today, sometimes when I need inspiration for menus I just flick through & look at the pictures.

MY favourite recipes are the Lemon tart which I use to this day and the delice au Cassis.

I also use their Pastillage recipe for modeling work ( more on that in detail in a future blog). There is also a brilliant section on boiled sugar work for the more adventurous….but mind your fingers 😉

The book has been out of print now for a for few years, but can be found for sale on the internet, usually on Amazon, although I think it’s harder to get a hardback edition. Have a search, its worth it 😉

Have a go at boiled sugar…but be careful mind, no accidents please 😉

I find the pictures inspiring and not out of date really at all..I love the section on fruit tarts.

© The cake-shaker 2011

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