Great, Grand & Famous Chefs and Their Signature Dishes
chefsI attended a book launch at Tetsuya’s eponymous restaurant in Sydney. This was not just any old book launch, though. Tetsuya himself was being celebrated too, as well he should be, because the book, Great, Grand & Famous Chefs and Their Signature Dishes includes him and his famous confit of ocean trout.

 

This large book traces the story of the 20th century’s most famous chefs, beginning with the incomparable Antonin Caréme and the roots of French cuisine. In doing so it provides the reader with an understanding of how modern cooking came about by describing the forces that drove them to push the boundaries of cooking in ways their predecessors would never have imagined.

Great, Grand & Famous Chefs and Their Signature Dishes is not a recipe book as such, although there are twenty great, grand and famous chefs’ signature recipes in it. The dishes are used to focus on the personality of each chef, and in a brief biographical essay the reader is led to an understanding of why it was Paul Bocuse who succeeded Point as the most famous chef in the world, or how a near-fatal plane crash was the seed of Alain Ducasse’s vast culinary empire. There are many surprising stories – for example, that Raymond Blanc began his cooking career after being hospitalised by a chef wielding a copper frying pan.

OK, let’s face it, there’s no guarantee that reading this book, or even attempting the recipes, will make me or any other reader great, grand or even famous, but it should certainly help us to respect the industry, talent and – yes – genius, that has seen these twenty great chefs attain their status.

Great, Grand and Famous Chefs and Their Signature Dishes, Fritz Gubler, 2009, rrp $49.95, www.greatgrandfamous.com 

 

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