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the perfectionistThe culinary book club, “Novel Cuisine,” met this afternoon for an enjoyable feast and discussion. The chosen book, “The Perfectionist,” had some admirers and others who said that reading it was “like eating dry toast.” The cooking part of the class did not include dry toast, but a tasting of French food in the early 1990s, which meant that the vegetable sauces were pureed and strained to a silky consistency.

“The Perfectionist” follows the life of Chef Bernard Loiseau of La Cote d’Or, a sumptuous restaurant in Burgundy that he created. The most popular dish made in class was a sauce which was served with chicken (although in the book the sauce is served with frog legs).

Tarragon-Spinach Sauce

  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 ounces fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the stock to a boil and add the spinach and tarragon and cook until wilted. Puree and pass through a sieve. Gently melt and brown the butter in a skillet. Fold into the spinach puree.

Please join us for future culinary book club discussions:

  • Careme (a biography of the great French chef) on June 10
  • Toast (a childhood memoir of candy from a wonderful and funny English cookbook author Nigel Slater) on July 22
  • Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan (an investigation of where the food that we eat comes from) on August 5
  • The Secret Life of Lobsters (need I say more; the menu is all lobster) on September 16