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Alain Ducasse Nature: Simple, Healthy, and Good Hardcover – February 21, 2012
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"Health-minded cookbooks can have a whiff of self-righteousness—or be just plain bland. And those penned by Michelin-star-rated chefs can prove intimidating. Somehow, Alain Ducasse's Nature: Simple, Healthy and Good is neither. Published first in France, the gorgeous book—thanks in part to adorable sketches by Christine Roussey—actually made us hungry." ~Wall Street Journal
"Skillfully illustrated by Christine Roussey, the book follows the bespectacled Ducasse, his nutritionist cowriter Paule Neyrat, and Plaza Athénée head chef Christophe Saintagne as they take a conversational tour through an elaborate vegetable patch. And though bucolic, Nature never lets go of Ducasse’s signature finesse, bringing you inspired takes on produce, such as vegetables à la barigoule with vanilla." ~Vogue
"In his new book Nature: Simple, Healthy and Good, inspired by a series he's published in French, Ducasse's recipes are built on ingredients that are both nutritional and flavor powerhouses: whole grains, seafood, and nutrient-dense vegetables. If any chef can make healthy dishes taste divine, it's Ducasse." ~Epicurious.com
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Top Customer Reviews
Almost all recipes containing aubergines, and most containing courgettes, if these watery vegetables are to be sautéed, tell you to salt and then drain them for 30 mins. or so, then rinse and dry before sautéing. Especially in the case of aubergines, this procedure used to be vital, since up until a few years ago, aubergines tended to be bitter, and removing the water also removed the bitterness. From all reports, bitterness is no longer a problem. However, it is still necessary to remove the water, but Mr. Ducasse makes no mention of this procedure. If you neglect to do so, cut the veggies into tiny cubes as illustrated in the photo, and sauté them, in toto, almost 20 minutes, as indicated, you will have watery rather unappetizing mush.
Moreover, Mr. Ducasse tells to to wash the tomatoes, but omits telling you to first remove the skins by plunging them briefly into boiling water and then peeling. So, your aubergine mush will be accented with little pieces of celluloid tomato peel--- yum! He does tell you to peel the peppers, but neglects to tell you how.
Also, aubergines and tomatoes come, of course, in various shapes, colors, and sizes and, frankly, there are some that are more appropriate for ratatouille than others.Read more ›
Through this imposing yet accessible hardback book, one is given direct access to Ducasse and gets the chance to learn a bit about his culinary philosophy and modus operandi as he turns his expert eye to natural, simple, healthy and good-for-you ingredients that can be transformed into some rather spectacular dishes. Proving there is more to Ducasse's repertoire than rich, intricate French dining, the reader can see Ducasse's take on a much more simpler French-dining experience that will still have you wanting more.
In many ways this book is a modern-day curate's egg. It certainly has its quirks such as the cartoon-style imagery that can be found throughout. They just seem to jar the otherwise pleasant flowk, its full-colour photographs and the great text. They didn't work for the reviewer in any case and proved to be a bit of a distraction.
Once you start digging in the book you begin to get on the Ducasse wavelength. Nothing has been taken for granted. Need a chicken stock? Lemons? Ketchup? Yes, there is a Ducasse recipe for that which forms part of its "larder essentials" section. Ducasse is serious about working with only the very best materials and nothing is left to chance. You might think this is fussy and over-the-top but one must presume that Ducasse really does know what he is doing and why. Even a busy chef, no matter how prolific and experienced, would not seek to do unnecessary work if they can avoid doing so as it would be a major draw on their resources. Put your trust in the master.Read more ›
Cucumber and yoghurt gazpacho with fresh mint and a crisp garnish,
served with a N.V. Hartogne-Taillet Champagne
Vegetables a la Barigoule with vanilla
served with a 2010 Domaine Mittnacht Pinot Blanc
Steamed Red Snapper with seaweed and sauteed greens
served with 2009 Domaine de L'Arlot "La Gerbotte" Nuits Saint Geroges
Oeuf en Cocotte with wild mushrooms
served with 2004 Domaine Hauvette Les Baux de Provence
Apples and Pears gently stewed in a Romertopf
served with 2008 Domaine Gresser "Kritt" Gewurtzramniner
The dishes looked beautiful on the table, and we were able glance through a copy of "Nature" over coffee and some special mini desserts served compliments of the restaurant.
We are both very accomplished home cooks, my companion much better trained in French style foods, but I have 15 days of training from the Culinary Institute, which teaches French cuisine at the beginners level. We were struck by several points in this interesting approach -- a "natural" approach to French cooking, focused on 60% ingredients, 40% technique. We both felt comfortable with the techniques described; in many respects Julia Child and Jacques Pepin have instilled those techniques in many of the home cooks we know and admire.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I so love Alain Ducasse but it turned out to be a good but expensive read. I was expecting something a little different and with competition like Yotam Ottolenghi it left me... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Brenda A. Young
It is a fun publication with the art and photography. However, I had higher expectations to learn something from it and use it often in the kitchen. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Wild Thing Foodie
A good book with flaws. The cartoon illustrations are tolerable but the ingredient lists are in the body of the recipe and in COLOR PRINT. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Satan Snata
I am such a fan of Alain Ducasse. I have other books by him which a treasure, and this one did not disappoint. Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by Janet V. Thompson