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Gauthier has made the rare achievement of rich and fulfilling veg, this book will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired!
on 9 September 2013
Vegetronic by Michelin-starred Alexis Gauthier seeks to change the traditional equilibrium between meat and veg. Gauthier is not a vegetarian, and this book is not aimed at veggies; it is a celebration of the fruits of the earth and how clever combinations can inverse the old school meat with a side of veg culture.
Gauthier had a classical training, working for the like of Alain Ducasse, but he has become somewhat of a revolutionary making brave and eye brow raising decisions (printing the calories on his Michelin-starred menu). Whilst the catalyst for Gauthier's veg revolution was the shocking (although somewhat inevitable given the tonnes of foie gras he has tested) discovery that he had a dangerously fatty liver, his writing betrays a passion for fruits and vegetables deeply rooted in his idyllic childhood in southern France filled with: apricots, cherries, Herbs and flowers from his Grandmother and fruit from Uncle Henry (and occasionally a grumpy farmer).
The book is split into Juices, Flowers & Herbs, Vegetables and Fruits. The recipes are easy to follow and each comes with the calorific content, prep time and a complexity rating: easy, medium or hard. Gauthier is passionate about using ingredients in season; his enthusiastic writing reminds you each season yields its own bounty to be celebrated. He also explains the nutritional benefits and how to select and coax your harvest to perfection. Each dish is accompanied by a gallery-worthy inventive photograph that pops off the page.
The recipes start with meat and fish Jus and Broth used to enhance the flavour, they are easy to make and can be frozen. Flowers and Herbs, inspired by his Grandmother and traditional combinations from the Middle East and Africa, is an impressive and striking collection of wines, salads, soups, jellies and my favourite: marshmallow and ricotta ravioli, twist on trad spinach.
Vegetables is the heart of the book, packed with innovative combinations that will convert you to a Flexitarian (a lover of veg, who hasn't quite given up meat). Celeriac Purée with Bonito Flakes and Lamb Jus is the perfect autumn starter, not a million miles from a savoury crème brulee. The Umami Bomb (Parmesan and Wild Mushroom Custard) is a showstopper, with a difficult rating it might take a couple of attempts but is definitely worth it.
Move over boring fruit salad! Gauthier's final chapter - Fruits - is a collection of puddings and refreshing savoury dishes, filled with delights such as: compôte of Figs and Almond, which is served on toast with a drizzle of honey and yogurt.
This book is revolutionary, but if you need any extra incentive to add it to your bookshelf visit Gauthier's website and watch the shocking video...