Brash, driven, and dazzlingly inventive, six-star-chef Alain Ducasse is a larger-than-life figure. At 33, he was the youngest chef ever to be awarded three Michelin stars, and in March 1998, he became the only chef in our time to possess six stars. He has mentored a generation of younger chefs who have introduced his cooking around the world and has, quite simply, changed the face of traditional French cooking.In his long-awaited American cookbook debut, 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 in a multitude of simple but striking techniques, such as combining in the same recipe raw and cooked, hot and cold, fruits and vegetables. Ducasse uses as much of each element as he can--the trimmings, sometimes 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 an ingredient's precise taste. He incorporates different preparations of the same product 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 receipes made with no more than two ingredients enhanced by a simple aromatic element, with seasoning reduced to a few grains of salt.