on 1 January 2012
Michel Bras, like many artists, draws his inspiration from the natural world surrounding him. The shape of a leaf, the elusive scent of a sweet meadow flower, a fir branch or a cloud may prompt him to reach for his notebook to record the fleeting impression or emotion it has stirred.
Upon returning from an energizing hike through his beloved region of Aubrac in southwestern France, he will rush to the kitchen of the three-star restaurant Michel Bras and begin to make his art. Bras is a celebrated chef, and his creations are sublime and unexpected dishes, as beautiful to the eye as they are to the palate.
This is the first of Bras's notebooks to be published in English, capturing the essence of his creative process. The 90 recipes presented in The Notebooks of Michel Bras: Desserts may well be some of the most exquisite and original you have ever encountered. Many are very easy, requiring only a few ingredients and only basic experience in the kitchen. All are clearly explained, with great humor and the unmistakable style and grace that is his hallmark.
"This is a book of gourmet suggestions," Bras writes in his introductory comments. "To ensure that the recipes are within everyone's grasp, I have sometimes departed from professional practice and suggested simplified techniques. It's up to you to put them to use and -- why not? -- create your own!
"Baking a dessert," he says, "can be a moment of pleasure, friendship and sharing. Certainly, you put a great deal of love into the preparation of a cake for your children and friends. Dessert is a special moment in the course of a meal, and it is the last impression that your guests will take away with them."
Michel Bras's Desserts notebook offers 90 joyous and generous recipes -- 90 sweet gifts to delight the eyes, nose, palate and heart.