Grand Livre de Cuisine d'Alain Ducasse – Alain Ducasse

27 June 2002
Grand Livre de Cuisine d'Alain Ducasse – Alain Ducasse
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Weighing in at just over 5kg, *Grand Livre de Cuisine d'Alain Ducasse* is not designed for the small bedside table. With this in mind, and the fact that it is in bookstores at £148, a little thought has to go into such an investment. As far as I know, it has yet to be translated into English, so only the French or those with more than just holiday language skills need buy it. Even I, a bilingual, had to read the recipes twice to understand fully the sometimes complex assembly of the dishes. This is a recipe book of biblical proportions, with 1,053 pages of mind-blowing recipes and very skilful photography. It aims to put Ducasse on the same pedestal as other great French culinary icons such as La Varenne, Carême, and Ferdinand Point. In my view it achieves this, and taken with the many other books he has published detailing his philosophy in the kitchen, it reinforces the fact that Ducasse has already indelibly stamped his mark on world gastronomy. The preface explains in brief the history of French gastronomy and pinpoints how we are now in an era of simple, uncomplicated cooking, using the seasons and naturally grown produce for inspiration. At the back of the book there is a chart showing ingredients when they are at their best, and in my view this should be given to every chef in Britain, as very few seem to have the slightest idea that even the most basic of vegetables have a season. A glossary and two indexes help you to find your way around the book, and there are two pages on quantities pinpointing the amounts that should be served either as a garnish or as main component of a meal. If you buy no other book (other than mine, of course) for the next 10 years you will not have missed much. Although it is aimed at the professional, Ducasse's book will inspire from the novice upwards. Michel Roux Jnr, chef-proprietor Le Gavroche, London. Grand Livre de Cuisine d'Alain Ducasse - Alain Ducasse. ADF £148. ISBN 2-9516473-0-1
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