King's second class presented a bountiful French meal based on recipes from her newest work, Pampille's Table (Faber&Faber, $24.95, hard), the sensitive translation and adaptation of one of the few historical source books on French regional cooking. King came across the 1919 classic Les Bons Plats de France by Marthe Daudet while researching her first book Dining with Marcel Proust (Thames & Hudson, 1979). Proust himself described Marthe Daudet's (nicknamed Pampille because of her butterfly-like delicacy) recipes as "incomparable," and indeed, they are. King dazzled her lucky students with steamed mussels filled with spinach, an incredibly flavorful french onion soup, tasty red mullets a la nicoise, a braised lamb shoulder with garlic cloves, fava Beans tourangelle and petit pois parisiene and the piéce de résistence, a chocolate-coated Savoy cake doused with orange liqueur and filled with creme fraiche. These and many other traditional French regional dishes are included in the book, but the recipes are not the only important attraction. King has artfully managed to capture the "voice" of Pampille, rendering her descriptions of the diverse regions of France, her opinions of Parisian butchers, and her hilarious essay on "The Awful Dinner" for American readers to treasure. -- V.B.W.
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