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on 25 August 2012
A little background information: Alain Passard removed all red meat from his three-Michelin-starred Paris restaurant L'Arpège in 2001, intending to concentrate predominantly on cooking with vegetables, the restaurant world was shocked.

At the end of summer 2002, Passard opened his own kitchen garden 150 miles from Paris, in Fillé(Payes De La Loire), on the grounds of an old chateau. The produce grown there are organic, without the use of any machinery. The only help the gardeners receive during harvest is the use of a draught horse.

To celebrate the restaurant's 25th anniversary, Passard gives homage to the humble vegetable and his love of art and collage in his new book, The Art of Cooking with Vegetables.

Most notably, Passard has chosen his own collages to illustrate each of the 48 recipes. (sounds great but did it work?)

Organised into seasons, within each recipe Passard includes a commentary on how he brings the ingredients together to share a relationship on the plate - in taste as well as visually. Each recipe also has a recommended wine (always a great bonus)

Recipes include herb-filled peppers on warm crusty bread or beetroot with leek, green apple and green tea; and red beetroot with lavender and crushed blackberries. There are also desserts, such as avocado soufflés with dark chocolate and baked apples with Hibiscus petals and sugared almonds so some "way out there combinations" I hear you say, but hey tried & tested and yes that's why he is a master chef fantastic...
The recipes are distinctly innovative, full of unexpected combinations and complex flavours and Passard has elevated the simple vegetable to an ingredient that can stand up on its own a master stroke.

Combining his passion for fresh and seasonal ingredients and art Passard has created a book that will change how many look at the humble vegetable.

However, I was disappointed by the collages. Although they were attractive in their own right, they did nothing to whet my appetite to try what were otherwise interesting-sounding recipes.
So you may say that I am old fashioned but I do love a great photo or fantastic picture of the finished item just to help the salivation process to start...
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on 28 September 2012
These people complaining about no pictures have no imagination, and are typical of our cook book porn culture vultures.
A picture of a finished dish is like hearing the punchline to a joke you haven't yet heard.
i can't tell you how many times I've been served up laughably bad looking dishes by people trying to recreate a book's photograph, when the flavours were great and the cook should have just plated up as they saw fit.
I am a professional chef and the subtle touches in this guy's approach are inspiring, the collages are beautiful and if you appreciate the man and his cooking, the book is a must.
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on 16 August 2012
I was drawn to this by the funky collage illustrations, by chef Passard himself. Now, some will insist that a cookbook must have photographs, but I think this gives the book a fresh, playful and imaginative feel, which is just right for the recipes: these are thrilling. Arranged season by season, they aren't technically complicated, but rely on striking combinations. My current favourite is pyramids of pineapple with a sort of mahonaise of good olive oil, acacia honey, lime and sea salt - alchemy on a plate.
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on 22 November 2012
It's a collection of lovely recipes, grown up food for us vegetarians but, although I'm a fairly competent cook and the illustrations are beautiful, I like to see what I'm aiming for and the collage pictures of the dishes didn't give me that.
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on 28 December 2015
A bit of a shame this one. Roughly half the book is a self indulgent waste of space in the form of bad representations of food instead of photographs; whereas the other half is full of good & accessible recipes. It's a real shame the collages were given the approval as a quick look at the Arpege twitter feed shows how lovely some of Alains dishes can be.

Of course not every book has to follow the same format but the collages take away more than they add to the point where I'd rather they simply sold a book with pictures and let the recipes stand on their own - albeit at a greatly reduced price. It feels like they were added to bulk out a still very thin book of only 48 recipes
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on 1 September 2014
It's a great book for flicking through to look at Alan passards illustrations and philosophy of food. However it is the only cook book I have not made anything from as it is all about the presentation and not the flavours or satisfaction of a filling balenced meal.
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on 27 September 2015
Absolute must have, no pictures so his plating remains a secret! Not the books fault but I had real issue with delivery
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on 1 December 2015
awful​ book from a serious talent
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on 8 June 2012
I am sorry to say this, as I have been waiting for this book for quite a while.When it arrived I was very disappointed. The recipes are excellent (I have already tried one) the lack of photographs is a big no no to me. I like to see what the finished dish should look like, or at least have some inspiration on how best to plate it up but to use collages representing the colours of the food on the plate? Come on! A case of "the emperor's new clothes" if ever I saw one It feels like there were not enough recipes to fill a book but someone was too cheap to employ a photographer. Definitely a book for the kindle!
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on 3 March 2015
Summary: cook vegetables in vast amounts of butter for hours and they will taste nice. Pretty illustrations but I'd rather see photos of how it should look on the plate.
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