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This vibrant oversize book of more than 400 pages explores the process through which ideas take root, grow, and thrive in the culinary imagination.
Author Anne-Sophie Pic, who holds ten Michelin stars spread across four restaurants, including the 3-star Maison Pic in Valence, describes culinary impregnation as a kind of alchemy in which chefs create something greater than the sum of the individual ingredients they employ; in a series of ten short essays she describes process they can employ and fields where they are likely to succeed.
But the great heart of the book, running from page 50 to nearly page 400, is a collection of dramatically photographed dishes bearing poetic names such as Incandescent Abysse, Emerald Sun, and Lost in Singapore.
These flights of vocabulary fancy sometimes obscure what Pic is doing. Luckily the recipes are also marked with a more straightforward description, such as lamb with fir buds and tonka beans, or mussels in a vinegar tuile with pistachio-coriander pesto, tsukudani, and shiso. Or perhaps tomato in a croquant shell with smoked vanilla and lavender ice cream.
Most assuredly not a rehash of established classics.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout. In French.