This cookbook has a copyright of 1982. I don't know where I got this book. I have cooked from this book before.
I think this was one of the first "big" cookbooks I bought. Big in that everyone seemed to be buying it and cooking from it back in the early 80's. Except me of course. But I remember all the cooking magazines talking about it and of course I had to have it in my collection. It was fascinating to me because there were all these tips and tricks tucked into sidebars on each page. Like a little blurb on chives, telling you how to select them and how you should use scissors to cut them or a description of the differences of colored peppercorns. There were also lots of quotes about food which are still fun to read today. It was one of the first cookbooks I got that I actually "read". All sorts of interesting information was between it's covers. I dreamed of having fancy dinner parties cooking from this book. I believe I have pretty much any cookbook that either of these women have written.
Though back then, some of the ingredients might have seemed a bit "out there"....freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese (you mean I can't just use the stuff in the green can?), Szchuan hot chili oil, Kalamata olives, Creme Fraiche...today these things can be found in pretty much any grocery store and yes, even in my pantry.
The chapters are divided into standard sections with each chapter subdivided a bit more (under Soups On you find a section on Soups to Start, Soups of the Sea, Summer Soups and Sunday Night Soups). The instructions have always seemed pretty easy to follow and with the sidebars there are lots of tips to help you understand what's going on. There are more complicated recipes in the book but most I think are doable for the not so experienced cook. And though the Chicken Marbella seems to be legendary, I have yet to make it.
The new 25th Anniversary edition came out last year. I understand it's the same book I have only with photos. Even though I've only made a couple of dishes from this book, it's worn and looks like I've cooked from it a lot. It's one of those books I can get lost in, looking at all the recipes and thinking when I will make them!