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The Maîtres Cuisiniers de France (Master Chefs of France) is the oldest organization of Chefs worldwide. Its motto is “to preserve and spread the French Culinary Art, encourage training in cuisine and to assist in professional development”.
Only 500 Chefs worldwide have been admitted to MCF since its founding in 1951, with 81 Chefs currently in the USA Canada Chapter. These Chefs are the authors of the recipes in this book. Some you may recognize from TV, some have won prestigious Culinary awards, and some are simply well-loved by the loyal patrons in their local neighborhoods. But all of them share a respect for the seasonality and quality of the ingredients they use and a commitment to paying it forward by mentoring and transmitting their knowledge to the next generation of chefs, Maîtres Cuisiniers or not.
This cookbook, more than just a collection of recipes, shares insight into what makes us Master Chefs of France. It showcases the rich variety of our culinary heritage, while making the recipes accessible to you in your kitchen. Some are gourmet recipes, others traditional bistro fare, some classical and others more contemporary. Together, they embody the expertise that identifies us and showcases the beauty and diversity of French cooking.
This book provides you with the instructions to prepare dishes as we prepare them in our kitchens. We hope you enjoy them with friends and family, for cooking is sharing your love of life with others. All our Chefs had help in the preparation and savoring of these recipes, whether from their Sous-Chef (literally second in command), other colleagues, and often family members. Throughout the process, each Chef made sure to maintain the core values of MCF. Foremost among them are: respect for the work it takes to produce good food; respect for the seasonal-ecological-local footprint of products; respect for the diversity of good cooking, executed by professionally-trained chefs; and respect for continuing our culinary traditions by sharing these core values with you.
The idea for this cookbook has been with me for many years, but it only became a reality thanks to the participation of my fellow Maîtres Cuisiniers de France from the US-Canadian chapter. Thanks, too, to Battman who willingly and happily travelled to three countries and across 20 states to shoot beautiful ph’ood, and to my wife Karen who reviewed the recipes one by one. I had the thrilling, emotional, mouth-watering and oh so difficult time selecting 174 recipes and photos from the 400+ submitted. Now I am enjoying preparing them in my own home, and I trust that you will enjoy them also.
Thank you to all of you, chefs and patrons. Bon appétit and Cheers!
President, American and Canadian Delegation
Maitres Cuisiniers de France (MCF-USA)