. . . Mr. Ducasse says that all the ingredients at his New York restaurant are American, but the experience of eating there combined with an inspection of his very French cookbook "L′Atelier of Alain Ducasse" (text by Jean–Francois Revel, recipes by himself and chefs he has taught, Wiley, 247 pages, $60) helps to explain why people immersed in the food life of New York have found it hard to accept this French transplant at this own supremely high self–estimate. In Paris, he stands out, as a remarkable practitioner of a great tradition making his talented way into the French future. In New York, with its stunningly diverse, eclectic, cosmopolitan food scene, Mr. Ducasse can look a bit narrow and provincial. . .
by Raymond Sokolov
From the Back Cover
L′Atelier of Alain Ducasse The Artistry of a Master Chef and His Protégés Alain Ducasse, the charismatic, innovative and demanding master chef, invites us to enter the prestigious world of French haute gastronomie. Brilliantly guided by the distinguished author, Jean–François Revel of the Académie Française, we follow this champion of the highest standards in food and its preparation as he creates new recipes, continues his constant search for the finest ingredients, and discovers new techniques and new domains in which to practice his art. Hervé Amiard′s photographs illustrate all four sections of the book, providing the backdrop to this fascinating journey. L′Atelier, where we witness the creative process and catch the spontaneous gestures and glances of the master chef and his pupils as they exercise their skills. Here too, we meet Alain Ducasse′s five star pupils : Franck Cerutti, Jean–Louis Nomicos, Jean–François Piège, Sylvain Portay and Alessandro Stratta. Products and Producers, in which Bénédict Beaugé visits Alain Ducasse′s suppliers and hears from the master chef why olives, asparagus, wheat, white Alba truffles, sea bass, turbot, lamb and Menton lemons are his favorite ingredients. Vegetables, where we learn why these products play such a crucial role in Alain Ducasse′s culinary vision. Recipes, where the master and his students create delicious, stylish dishes from the eight chosen ingredients. Ceaselessy striving to achieve perfection, Alain Ducasse offers the reader a magnificent lesson in gastronomy. For the first time, Alain Ducasse gives gourmets the opportunity to put themselves in the place of his brilliant pupils. A privilege to be enjoyed to the fullest!