Drawn from three classic bistros which Chef Ducasse operates in Paris—Allard, Benoit, and Aux Lyonnais—the recipes in this book are presented with very little comment. They certainly seem to offer the requisite standards: duck terrine, salade frisée with lardons and croutons, sole meunière, flambéed crêpes. But it will take a somewhat experienced hand to recognize the reference to, say, chicken velouté "in the style of Mère Brazier" (the first woman to hold three Michelin stars and a significant figure in Lyon's enduring reputation as a culinary destination, to say nothing of the training she provided Paul Bocuse).
That is, perhaps, a long way of saying that this book is probably best suited to someone who knows the way around a kitchen and is already familiar with French cuisine and the hallmarks of bistro cooking. For that kind of cook, there are many rewards here in the form of explicit recipes that have been selected without regard to safe and easy choices. You'll find duck legs, tripe, and periwinkles, along with snails, calves feet, and kidneys. The calf's head with ravigote sauce takes two days to prepare and a trio of terrines from Benoit require pheasant, wild boar, and venison. At its heart, this is a wonderfully detailed book that offers just what it claims to do.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.