Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, Éric Poitevin, César Troisgros, and Michel Troisgros
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If, in the words of Chef Dan Barber, "clean plates don't lie," then imagine the stories told in this collection of dishes photographed at the legendary Restaurant Troisgros—after the diners had finished with them.
Photographer Eric Poitevin collaborated with Chef Michel Troisgros and his son Cesar to capture the plates once diners had eaten their fill, leaving behind evidence of their satisfaction.
The book contains more than 40 original recipes, but the unusual approach to photography, while surely not what we would want to see in every book, helps the empty plates resemble canvases. It also brings to the fore the presence of diners, who are sometimes forgotten figures in cookbooks from great restaurants.
Some have very nearly wiped their plates clean. But the person who ordered steak au poivre seems to have had a Formula 1 racetrack on their mind. And who was it who ate nearly everything from a plate of moules et pamplemousse a l'indienne but carefully pushed aside three very thin slices of celery?
One French reviewer, comparing the photos to abstract paintings with a zen philosophy, saw "accidents of fork strikes, gestures of spoons, traces of a titanic battle, ogre delicacies." Such stories on a plate.
In French. Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.