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James Beard's Menus for Entertaining (1965)

by James Beard

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207397,482 (3.78)None
"Entertaining is my main pleasure, my forte," James Beard wrote in the original introduction to this book. Menus For Entertaining, first published in 1965, proved to be one of James Beard's most popular cookbooks. It showed off his flair for putting together innovative meals for a wide range of occasions. Although it is no longer possible to learn from the great master in person, many of the recipes in this book come from his cooking classes. Menus For Entertaining is as close as we can come to being graced with the well-respected chef's presence and expertise. With chapters titled: Breakfasts (early and late)Luncheons (informal, formal, summer)Dinners (informal, formal, easy to prepare, to prepare in advance, summer)Buffets (luncheon, dinner, supper)Entertaining Outdoors (indoor-outdoor cooking, picnics)Cocktail Parties (large, small)CelebrationsBasic RecipesA Guide to WinesA Guide to AperitifsA Guide to Liqueurs Menus For Entertaining is trulythe only book you'll need for entertaining guests. Beard is a soothing, pleasurable guide to the nuances and the nitty-gritty of entertaining.… (more)

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There are some unique and elegant menus in here, but there are a greater number of so-so and unappealing menus as well. Some of the menus call for ingredients that are not seasonally compatible. Or, in a menu featuring a variety of fish-on-toast slathered in what is basically a lightened mayonnaise, he suggests shrimp dipped in aoili as a first course. A lot of the menus are like this. Not very well rounded. This is an old cookbook, 1962 or thereabouts. And it is an old American cookbook, so the treatment of vegetables wavers between careless and outright neglectful.

That said, most of the individual recipes--especially the fish recipes--are worth the trip to the library. But this isn't a really necessary edition to your cookbook collection. ( )
1 vote la.grisette | Mar 31, 2013 |
book needs repair; old world - 1950s ish ( )
  suki104 | Mar 13, 2012 |
A deceptively small paperback hides within over 100 menus for wildly various occasions. The greatest fun. Breakfasts alone include : Four Light Breakfasts, Four Hearty Breakfasts, Mint Julep Breakfast, Champagne Breakfast, White Wine Breakfast, Vodka or Zubrokwka Breakfast, Sherry Breakfast, White Wine and Cassis Breakfast, Bloody Mary Breakfast, Sunday Noon Breakfast, Elegantly Simple Breakfast, Piquant Breakfast, Italian Breakfast and a Special Omelet Breakfast. You get the picture. Couldn't fail to offer inspiration and ideas galore.
1 vote Carrie.deSilva | Aug 29, 2011 |
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"Entertaining is my main pleasure, my forte," James Beard wrote in the original introduction to this book. Menus For Entertaining, first published in 1965, proved to be one of James Beard's most popular cookbooks. It showed off his flair for putting together innovative meals for a wide range of occasions. Although it is no longer possible to learn from the great master in person, many of the recipes in this book come from his cooking classes. Menus For Entertaining is as close as we can come to being graced with the well-respected chef's presence and expertise. With chapters titled: Breakfasts (early and late)Luncheons (informal, formal, summer)Dinners (informal, formal, easy to prepare, to prepare in advance, summer)Buffets (luncheon, dinner, supper)Entertaining Outdoors (indoor-outdoor cooking, picnics)Cocktail Parties (large, small)CelebrationsBasic RecipesA Guide to WinesA Guide to AperitifsA Guide to Liqueurs Menus For Entertaining is trulythe only book you'll need for entertaining guests. Beard is a soothing, pleasurable guide to the nuances and the nitty-gritty of entertaining.

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