Harvesting Excellence

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by pete, Nov 27, 2000.

  1. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Has anyone seen or read Alain Ducasse's new book "Harvesting Excellence"? I recieved a signed copy as a gift from my chef. Although I think it is a really good book (no recipes), I am a little upset at Ducasse's whole attitude behind the production of it. Yes, he travels the country searching out the best ingredients and best producers, but he does so with an all french staff. His editor is french, his photographer is french, the journalist who helped him write the book is french, and all the chefs who offer ideas on how to use the products are french. This is a book about American products written exclusively by french people and chefs for Americans. What, are we good enough to produce great products, but not smart enough to prepare them. If it was the other way around: Americans writing a book on french products, using only American writers and chefs, for the french people and chefs, it would be laughed off of the shelves. What do you think? Am I being overly sensitive about this?
     
  2. isa

    isa

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    Pete,


    It is hard to answer you knowing nothing about this book. Can you tell us more about it? Let me ask you a few questions about this book. Is the book about French people living in the US or about French living in France? Does it make a difference? Yes. Why? Because I just looked up this book. On the cover there is a US flag. Plus on the back cover it talks about Maine and Arizona so you would expect the book to talk about americans.

    What is disappointing to you in this book? I mean lettuce is lettuce where ever you grow it. Granted some products are different depending on the country of origin but weren't you buying this book to read about a French chef and his cuisine?


    Sisi
     
  3. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    The book is about American products produced by American people. And meant to be sold to an American audience. Again, I find the book to be rather good, but I think Ducasses' egotism about french chefs is quite apparent. I would never consider attempting to write book about the french and then selling it to them, at least without having spent years leaving and studying there. Since when does having 6 Micheln stars make someone an expert on all things culinary?
     
  4. isa

    isa

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    Now I can better understand your frustration. Kind of like being slap in the face or being told that everything that is good in your country is good because French immigrants made it good. Am I surprise? No because French can be quite arrogant. You know this book seems to be a advertisement for his friends around the country. Something that is nice if it is given to you as a promotion.

    Are you right to be upset? Yup, because it doesn't sound like the subject was approached with all the objectivity it should have. After all there must be a least a handful of people scattered around that produce high quality products…