Crave: The Feast of the Five Senses
Ludo Lefebvre & Martin Booe
Regan, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
f the provocative cover photo of Chef Ludo Lefebvre doesn't induce you to open this cookbook, the scrumptious photos on the back cover should titillate your taste buds. '
Cook with love
' is Ludo Lefebvre's mantra told to him by one of his mentors, Alain Passard. Which, Leefbvre says '
means a commitment to excellence and a passion for perfection. On a deeper level, cooking (and, of course, eating) with love means opening up all of our senses to each step of the process.
his lovely cookbook is divided into five sections, each corresponding to one of those five senses: sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste. Be sure to read the introduction and you can then understand this chef's love affair with cooking. He says it so much more eloquently than I ever could. His words about buying your ingredients border on the lyrical but are bursting with good sense. His tips on cooking follow and you'd be wise to read this short section. For instance, don't salt the water you cook your vegetables in. It will make the vegetables tough. Salt sparingly after cooking.
hat chef could cook without herbs and spices? Lefebvre lists his favorites along with their proper uses and properties. He states that '
Before the first forkful of food enters our mouths, we have already begun eating - with our eyes.
' He also concedes that our noses might lead the way to a particularly aromatic dish. The book continues on, through the senses. Page 32 is not to be missed. Lefebvre's choice of words reveals the reverence he feels for the art of cooking. His cuisine is that of today's French style – not the old way of hiding everything with sauces.
ow to the wonderful recipes with gastronomically gorgeous photographs accompanying the text. Bring on
Yellow Peach Tart with Lemon Verbena
Gently Cooked Ahi Infused with Vanilla
Escargots with Shallot Mousse and Parsley Coulis
Duck Dusted with Grand Caravan Spices with Caramelized Spiced Pears and Baby Root Vegetables
Jubilee of Cherries with Kirsch, Mint, and Vanilla Ice Cream
Napoleons of Puff Pastry with Vanilla-Whiskey Cream
could easily continue, but you get the idea.
is filled with a man's love for his work and the fine food that love has produced. It's a book sure to get dog-eared from use. What a lovely gift it would make.
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