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OP: Essential Cuisine

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by Michel Bras

The name of Michel Bras (1946– ) has inspired respect, and even awe, for the past thirty or more years. His three-star eponymous restaurant at Aubrac near the village of Laguiole in the southern French district of Aveyron is a place of pilgrimage for both culinary tourists and for his colleagues from around the world. 

Bras’s restaurant, now operated, along with some newer affiliates, mainly by his son Sébastien, has been renowned for the imaginative use of foraged ingredients, openness to adventurous new approaches, and breathtaking, seemingly unplanned presentations. Bras’s style has influenced the work of countless other chefs in the last decade, and there simply is no better window on his approach than this arrestingly handsome volume. 

A magnificent production, teeming with ideas, it includes a number of fine photographs of landscapes and people by Bras and many others of his food creations by Christian Palis and Jean-Pierre Trebosc. These are often dramatic, airy foodscapes, frequently deconstructions of Bras’s dishes that show off the ingredients even as they exhibit the chef’s considerable skills. Long after its first appearance, it continues to excite professional cooks who walk in the door here and see it.

The book was published in 2002 in France, with the English-language rights going to a new American publisher named Ici la Press. That edition continued for a year or two before Ici la Press discontinued publishing it. In due course the rights reverted to the original French publisher, Rouergue. In 2008 the English edition became available, and went out of print once again in the last few years. We have sold nearly 900 copies of this title, the demand never diminishing. The copy we offer here is of that scarce Ici la Presse edition which is the true English language first printing. It is a magnificent book and is in Very Good condition. The jacket is also Very Good with light shelfwear.

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