Backstory on the English Edition of Fernand Point's Ma Gastronomie
The LA Times' Daily Dish blog has some great backstory on the oral history contained within the English edition of Fernand Point's Ma Gastronomie:
The first English edition of about 30,000 books had been sold out by the early '90s. It was published by Lyceum, a small imprint run by Frank and Patricia Shannon Kulla, who persuaded Charles Flammarion -- publisher of the 1969 French edition -- to sell them the rights for an English version. They wrote and adapted much of the text. "They made the book happen," says Carns, who decided to publish the new edition after taking note of "Ma Gastronomie" on chefs' lists of favorite out-of-print books...
The Kullas spent the spring of 1974 in France, interviewing Point's wife and his disciples... "There was almost nothing said in the French edition about Point’s disciples -– Paul Bocuse, Jean and Pierre Troisgros, Alain Chapel. At the time, there were 18 three-star Michelin restaurants and seven were run by his disciples. That was really remarkable – hadn’t happened before and hasn’t happened since."
So from about 10 hours of the Kullas' taped conversations came two of the most compelling chapters in the book -- the funny anecdotes included in "F. Point, Restaurateur" and "A Day at Chez Point," which depict a generous practical joker who also was a demanding taskmaster.
Earlier on Eat me daily:
On Fernand Point's Ma Gastronomie