Review: Grand Livre De Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Culinary Encyclopedia

nicko

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Alain Ducasse is the lion of his generation of French chefs, a master of haute cuisine  with elegance and taste. His Grand Livre de Cuisine  is an extraordinary statement of what he does, how — perhaps why.

As a cookbook, though, it’s got major problems.

Here are more than 700 recipes, organized by primary ingredient: porcini, then pork, and so on. There is an index, recipe list, and terrible glossary to help navigation. Also in the back are basic recipes (stocks, jellies, doughs), seasonality calendar in France (thanks a lot!), measure conversions, and portion sizes. At 1100 pages this is massive, with heaps of pretty photos.

Skimming for ideas, it’s terrific. Where else would you find 44 lobster preparations?

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