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Inventing Cuisine: Pierre Gagnaire

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Aug 21, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Made in France, English subtitled. In-depth portraits of internationally acclaimed chefs featuring exclusive interviews. Pierre Gagnaire is a singular chef and #3 on the 2008 World's 50 Best Restaurants chart. He creates in a continual flux: his menu changes every month, and his dishes day-to-day, as he rethinks things while standing in front of the oven. His cuisine is created in relation to the product, its energy, and the person for whom he is cooking.

Review

Television is awash in food these days, most of it utterly forgettable, at best (I'm still
having flashbacks from having accidentally watched five minutes of "The Chew"). Want
to see what food on film could really be like? Check out this series of French
documentaries. There are nine of them so far, each focusing on a different three-star
chef, and they are absolutely splendid - maybe the best food programs that have ever
been made.

In fact, to call them "food television" is to miss their point. On these videos there is no
shouting, no contrived competition, actually, not even any outsized personalities,
despite the fact that the stars are some of the best, most creative chefs on the planet.
At their cores, these videos by director Paul Cotat are 1-hour mediations on creativity
and imagination, with food being the common medium. If that sounds lofty and
intellectual, well, so be it. But that doesn't mean that the shows aren't also a lot of fun,
albeit in a quiet, contemplative way.

Each documentary is different in theme and in tone, varying with the chef. Michel Bras
walks the stark landscape around his restaurant in Laguiole commenting on the
interplay of light and shadow and suddenly his highly abstract plating comes into focus.
Alain Passard contemplates the simple beauty of a roasted onion. Michel Troisgros
emerges as an almost tragic figure as he repeatedly tries to reinvent dishes made
famous by his pioneering father and uncle. Cotat visits Italian Nadia Santini (the only
non-French chef in the series) starting with an attitude that could be most charitably
described as paternalistic (maybe even condescending?), but comes away utterly
seduced by the way she coaxes complex flavors from simple, perfect ingredients.

This is what real cooking is about when done on the highest level. Yes, there are
recipes, and, yes, there are techniques explained. But what the shows are really about
- and what great cooking is really about - is the human element. Anyone can sauté
eggplant, given the right set of instructions and a little practice. But the ability to turn
that eggplant into art is the province of a very few. --Russ Parsons, Food Editor, LA Times

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Pierre Gagnaire
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 1-2-3-4 GO
  • DVD Release Date: August 21, 2008
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WC37TC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,367 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2014
One of my goals in life is to learn how to cook like a gourmet chef. In this excellent presentation we learn some of Pierre Gagnaire's secrets to cooking creatively. This so inspired me I had trouble sleeping after watching it. I was imagining all the delicious things I could be making. While this DVD does not have any recipes you will see how recipes are created in a real chef's restaurant kitchen. Things are sometimes fast and furious and at other times Pierre Gagnaire takes you to a French market or teaches you to be spontaneous in your creations. I felt this was well worth watching and now I'm dreaming of making a chocolate cake with a mandarin orange sauce. So don't be surprised if you are inspired after watching this.

~The Rebecca Review
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Worth it just for this quote

"A craftsman is someone who does well,what they already know. An artist is someone who does things that they do not yet know."

Great fly on the wall insight into a great chef at work. Sometimes a little alien, even comic. But worth seeing if your into understanding food.
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Here we see Paul Ganaire considering new recipes, and designing foods from a dreary basement. Pretty specialized, but where else do we see the cooking creative process on view? The series of documentaries also include one on Michel Guerard (Inventing Cuisine: Michel Guerard). Not for everyone, but an interesting little bit of film.
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We get to see how the famous chef creates new recipes. It's done in what looks like a small basement. It is a genuine attempt to show how one person creates. I would say the focus is more on the creative process than on cooking. I would only recommend this DVD to people that are interested in the creative process or that have a special interest in this chef.
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great
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