Ducasse Flavors of France

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Brash, driven, and dazzlingly inventive, fourteen-star chef Alain Ducasse is a larger-than-life figure. At thirty-three, he was the youngest chef ever to be awarded three Michelin stars; and in 2005 he became the first chef in the world to win three stars for three restaurants, with a staggering total of fourteen stars spread across eight restaurants in three countries. He has mentored a generation of younger chefs who have introduced his cooking around the world and he has, ...

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Overview

Brash, driven, and dazzlingly inventive, fourteen-star chef Alain Ducasse is a larger-than-life figure. At thirty-three, he was the youngest chef ever to be awarded three Michelin stars; and in 2005 he became the first chef in the world to win three stars for three restaurants, with a staggering total of fourteen stars spread across eight restaurants in three countries. He has mentored a generation of younger chefs who have introduced his cooking around the world and he has, quite simply, changed the face of traditional French cooking.

In this, his first American cookbook, M. Ducasse shares the principles and techniques of his uniquely elemental cuisine. At its core are clarity of taste, precision in execution, and respect for the food itself, which to Ducasse means retaining its essential flavor. That respect for true taste results in a multitude of simple but striking techniques. Ducasse uses as much of each ingredient as he can—the skins, the shells, the baking juices, the pan drippings, the heads, the cooking broth, all the by-products of the process—in order to capture the truest taste. He incorporates different preparations of the same ingredient into a given dish, each revealing an individual aspect of its flavor—sliced raw artichokes, braised whole artichokes, and paper-thin slices of fried artichoke, for example, might be featured together. The brilliance of his food—apparent in recipes made with no more than two ingredients enhanced by a simple aromatic element, with seasoning reduced to a few grains of salt—explains why he is "the country's star chef" (Wine Spectator) and "the Escoffier of our time" (Le Point).

Ducasse Flavors of France documents, in more than one hundred lavishly photographed recipes, the influences—Mediterranean, Provençal, and classical French—that permeate this extaordinary cuisine. Many of the recipes are simple, others complex, but all can be perfectly accomplished with a little time and patience.With its "alluringly simple dishes, like buttery fork-mashed potatoes, peppered slices of sauteed pumpkin, swordfish with citrus, exquisite chocolate tartlets, and a homey pear and honey cake made with big chunks of pear" (The New York Times), this is the most accessible Ducasse cookbook published. Yet there are still recipes to challenge ambitious cooks and great tips that will make all cooks better in the kitchen.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The legendary Alain Ducasse is the only chef to ever be simultaneously awarded three Michelin stars at two different restaurants, Alain Ducasse in Paris and Louis XV in Monte Carlo. This six-star chef has finally published his first American cookbook, and the coffee-table-size Ducasse Flavors of France is a visual as well as a culinary stunner. This is French cuisine at its best and most refined, with both classic dishes and innovative updates raised to the same sublime height. Though there are plenty of complex creations made with ingredients like truffles and foie gras, there are also simple, homey dishes to be found, from Fork-Mashed Potatoes with Olive Oil and Parsley to Rice Pudding with Marinated Strawberries and Orange Crisps. This is an absolutely gorgeous book that serious food lovers will treasure. — —Kate Murphy Zeman
People Magazine
"A stunner."
People magazine
Time magazine
"Stunningly produced and poetically written."
Time magazine
The New York Times
"Alluringly simple dishes, like buttery fork-mashed potatoes, peppered slices of sautéed pumpkin, and a homey pear and honey cake made with big chunks of pear."
The New York Times
Wine Spectator
The country's star chef.
The New York Times
The brightest seventh star: Ducasse himself.
Le Point
The Escoffier of our time.
Library Journal
Ducasse recently became the first chef in 60 years to garner three stars in two restaurants simultaneously. If you can't take a trip to France to visit them, here is the next best option. Written for an American readership, this cookbook is, quite simply, a masterpiece by a genius. It consists of five chapters: "with aperitifs," vegetables, shellfish and fish, poultry and meat, and desserts. Most recipes are brief, reflecting an orientation rather than a formula, and many suggest wines of widespread availability. Ducasse is, above all, concerned with "clarity of taste, precision in execution, and respect for the product" yet realizes that certain French ingredients are rare in North America. Thus, there is an excellent appendix that provides hints for adaptations: ingredients, including viable substitutes, are discussed at length, as are techniques. A list of sources for kitchenware and specialty ingredients appears at the end. A beautiful and passionate book; highly recommended.--Wendy Miller, Lexington P.L., KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579651077
  • Publisher: Artisan
  • Publication date: 11/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 12.34 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Dannenberg, a contributor to Town & Country, The Los Angeles Times, and Wine Spectator, has worked with and written about many of France’s great chefs and bakers. Her love for the art of French cooking finds expression in her numerous books, among them Paris Boulangerie-Patisserie, Paris Bistro Cooking, and French Tarts.

When offered the position of chef de cuisine at the Louis XV in the Hôtel de Paris in Monte-Carlo, not only did Alain Ducasse accept the challenge, but he also committed himself by contract to obtaining three Michelin stars within four years. He beat his own deadline, then went on to receive three stars for his flagship New York and Paris restaurants. At present he has 14 Michelin stars.

Pierre Houssenot is a Paris-based photographer who specializes in culinary subjects. His credits include Roger Vergé's New Entertaining in the French Style and France, The Beautiful Cookbook. His work appears regularly in such international magazines as Elle and Marie Claire.

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Read an Excerpt

Crostini de Pain Perdu, Fruits de Saison Poeles

BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST WITH SAUTEED SEASONAL FRUITS

In this version of the simple pain perdu, the bread is heavily sugared, so when it is sauted, it gets encased in a thin shell of buttery caramel. The sweetness of the bread is offset by a mixture of sauteed fruits sauced with reduced rum and orange and lemon juice. Here the choice of fruits is autumnal. In the summer, you can add or substitute a couple of fresh fig halves, a half cup of whole strawberries, or a quartered peach.

For the fruit:

1/4 cup currants

1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 Reinette apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (see page 237)

1 Bartlett (Bartlett-Williams) pear, peeled, quartered, and cored

1/2 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings

1/2 quince, peeled, cored and quartered

1 pomegranate, peeled and seeds scooped out

Juice of 1/2 orange

Juice of 1/2 lemon

For the French toast:

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, split, or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup milk

Four 3/4-inch-thick slices brioche loaf

4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 to 1/2 pints rich vanilla ice cream (optional)

To prepare the fruit:

In a small bowl, soak the currants in the rum to soften. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and cook, sitrring, until it begins to dissolve, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the apples, pear, pineapple, quince, and pomegranate seeds, stir with a wooden spatula to coat with butter and sugar, and cook until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the currants with the rum and the orange and lemon juices and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To prepare the French toast:

Beat together the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. With a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the bowl; or add the extract. Add the milk and stir until blended. Soak each slice of bread thoroughly in the egg mixture (about 2 minutes). Then remove with a slotted spatula and place on a platter. Using a fine strainer, sift confectioners' sugar over the top of each slice of bread to cover evenly.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the brioche slices, sugared side down, and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Sift confectioners' sugar over the tops, turn and brown on the other side, adding a tablespoon or two more butter if necessary. Remove from the heat and place each slice in a shallow serving bowl.

Spoon the fruit over the French toast and top, if you wish, with the vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction (9)
The Kitchens of Alain Ducasse (12)

[Amuses-Bouches]
With Apértifs (16)

[Le Potager]
Vegetables (34)

[La Mer]
Shellfish and Fish (78)

[La Ferme]
Poultry and Meat (136)

[Les Gourmandises]
Desserts (182)

Basic Recipes (228)

Appendix (236)

Acknowledgments (252)

Index (254)

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Recipe

BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST WITH SAUTEED SEASONAL FRUITS

In this version of the simple pain perdu, the bread is heavily sugared, so when it is sauted, it gets encased in a thin shell of buttery caramel. The sweetness of the bread is offset by a mixture of sauteed fruits sauced with reduced rum and orange and lemon juice. Here the choice of fruits is autumnal. In the summer, you can add or substitute a couple of fresh fig halves, a half cup of whole strawberries, or a quartered peach.

For the fruit:
1/4 cup currants
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Reinette apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (see page 237)
1 Bartlett (Bartlett-Williams) pear, peeled, quartered, and cored
1/2 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
1/2 quince, peeled, cored and quartered
1 pomegranate, peeled and seeds scooped out
Juice of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1/2 lemon

For the French toast:
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split, or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Four 3/4-inch-thick slices brioche loaf
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 to 1/2 pints rich vanilla ice cream (optional)

To prepare the fruit:
In a small bowl, soak the currants in the rum to soften. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and cook, sitrring, until it begins to dissolve, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the apples, pear, pineapple, quince, and pomegranate seeds, stir with a wooden spatula to coat with butter and sugar, and cook until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the currants with the rum and the orange and lemon juices and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To prepare the French toast:
Beat together the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. With a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the bowl; or add the extract. Add the milk and stir until blended. Soak each slice of bread thoroughly in the egg mixture (about 2 minutes). Then remove with a slotted spatula and place on a platter. Using a fine strainer, sift confectioners' sugar over the top of each slice of bread to cover evenly.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the brioche slices, sugared side down, and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Sift confectioners' sugar over the tops, turn and brown on the other side, adding a tablespoon or two more butter if necessary. Remove from the heat and place each slice in a shallow serving bowl.

Spoon the fruit over the French toast and top, if you wish, with the vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Excerpted from Ducasse Flavors of France. Copyright (c) 1998 by Alain Ducasse. Reprinted by permission of Artisan.

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