Great book!I read this book about a year ago and it is a great biography of a great chef. The guy was an ophan/street kid in prerevolution France and somehow got hooked up with a major pastry chef in Paris. Learned how to make these giant tableau desserts for the aristocracy and royalty---we're talking recreations of the Roman Forum in spun sugar and marzipan. He was able to avoid leaders (kings, popes, bankers) who were on their way out and glom onto the ones with real power and money.
The book includes his recipes---fantastic, out of this world stuff. We're talking a fish stew that requires 10 bottles of champagne, 20 eels, 20 flounder, 50 lobsters, a bushel of scallops, a bushel of oysters, 10 lbs butter, etc.
He was so reknowned that there were bidding wars for his services. He also was a kitchen architect who was allowed by his patrons to design and build kitchens---complete with cold rooms, hot rooms and greenhouses---he grew pineapples in France!
A great book that anybody with an interest in food would relish!