Published in 1651, this revolutionary recipe book represents a move away from peasant traditions, and lays the foundations of classic French cuisine. La Varenne's was the first recipe book to receive international acclaim, and influenced European cookery for many centuries to come. Little is known of La Varenne's life, or if he was responsible for the considerable innovations that appear in his books, but he was certainly the first to write them down. They include recipes for omelettes, ragouts, bisques and caramel, new ways of spicing and flavouring dishes, many new technical terms and such as a la mode, au bleu, and au naturel, and countless other ideas that had not been known before and have now become part of our repertoire. Introduction by Philip and Mary Hyman, whose knowledge of Varenne is unrivalled.