Grand Livre De Cuisine: Alain Ducasse’s Culinary Encyclopedia

Grand Livre De Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Culinary Encyclopedia

Grand Livre De Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Culinary Encyclopedia Rating:
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Product Description

World-renowned French chef Alain Ducasse believes that food arouses all the senses. In this sumptuous book, he takes us on a culinary journey for both eye and palate. Here he shares the culinary experience, knowledge and love of ingredients he has refined over the past 25 years. Today, Ducassse feeds his passion for cooking though restaurants all over the world and a professional-level cooking school. He is now ready to bring his know-how and enthusiasm to all professional chefs and experienced home cooks, providing 700 recipes from French and Mediterranean cuisine that incorporate 100 basic ingredients and use 10 major cooking styles. Each dish is described in full, with recipes for accompaniments included; complete instructions for plating the entire dish are given as well. An appendix offers an encyclopaedia of ingredients in addition to basic recipes (sauces, stocks and so on). Illustrated with more than 1,000 photographs and original drawings, "Grand Livre de Cuisine" will be an indispensable reference and inspiration for years to come.


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  1. Rating

    First and foremost this is a cookbook for serious cooks/chefs. No compromise in the ingredients or the techniques required executing the dishes. The recipes are very detailed and very complicated, and, as with many chef cookbooks, it assumes you know how to cook! Don’t be in a hurry to produce the dishes, read many times, absorb the essence/idea of the dish and then you should go!

    I’ve just started ‘wading’ through it and expect to be checking out the ideas here for a many weeks (I read most cookbooks in a day!). I have been waiting for this book for over a year (when the English translation was supposed to be published), and expect it be my new cooking/ideas reference.

    For someone seriously into cooking this book is worth every cent (dollar?), especially with the amazon price! There are some translation/execution errors but to be honest anyone who knows how to cook and is used to Haute Cuisine style cookbooks can work the problems out fairly easily. And it is more usable than the more expensive (though interesting) Adria’s El Bulli book.

    I give would probably have given it 4 1/2 stars if it was an option, but it gets 5 for the shear quantity and quality of ideas, and the photography is superb.

  2. Steven A. Peterson says


    A quotation from the Introduction, written by Jean-Francois Revel, of the Academie Francaise: “By imitating the masters, one cannot of course reach their level of perfection, but one often escapes the routine of one’s own banality. You are going to discover the French art, one which has never been so alive, in the following pages. May then and from now on your dream, inspired by Alain Ducasse, direct your hands, as fallible as they may be!” Rather edgy, I think, but probably accurate.

    First, this is a thousand page volume, genuinely a Culinary Encyclopedia, pulled together by a team of chefs under famed chef, Alain Ducasse. There are some wild elements to it, such as lobster recipes from page 422 through page 491 (almost 70 pages worth of lobster works!). Some nice features at the close of this volume: a glossary of terms, some basic recipes (consomme, stocks, jellies, juices, etc.), serving quantities associated with different dishes, and a seasonal table of meats, vegetables, fruits.

    Second, though, it’s the recipes that make this book fascinating. Here, I’ll say it at the outset. There are some (many, even most) recipes here that I would never try. I’m too impatient and don’t know all the skills needed for some of the dishes. Take, for example, Wild Roasted Hare Saddle. The process of preparation and cooking is complex–from cutting up the hare and reserving its lungs, kidneys, heart, etc. Next, each segment of the recipe is complex, with steps one does not usually experience, such as shredding the hare’s shoulders with pliers. You create a sauce, with a first and a second thickener, plus a garnish for the finale. I imagine that this would be delicious when eaten, but I get exhausted looking at the process of preparation.

    However, there are some recipes that seem like they are doable and would be fun and taste good. Acacia Blossom Fritters for one. You begin with a bunch of acacia flowers and then create a fritter batter Put the acacia flowers in the batter and fry in grapeseed oil. Looks tasty!

    This is an absolutely massive volume, and even though many recipes won’t get into my household’s menus, they are enchanting to read. For one thing, I admire the work of the team that would put these dishes together in a restaurant. For another, it makes me appreciate more what goes into the work of a “starred” restaurant.

    So, even though the bulk of these recipes don’t fit my modus operandi of cooking, I will try some and will appreciate what goes into fine dishes more than I ever did before.

  3. Rating

    A must have book for any passionate Chef that takes their career serious.

    The book contains some of the most spectactular pecipes and th photos are truly picture perfect.

  4. R. J. Hollands says


    This is a brilliant reference for Professional Chefs, I say Professional chefs because of the basis knowledge one would need to really appreciate the valve of this superbly constructed piece of work.

    This book is more than a book it is an investment for Chefs, especially for the next generation of young chefs. For the amount of information one can extract and the quality of photos and recipes the price is not to heavy.

  5. Danyelle Forte says


    The book came quickly. It was packaged very well. The product was in excellent condition and I wouldnt know the difference beween a the book I recieved and one purchased at full price

  6. E. Wunderlich says


    the best and most comprehensive to date from the ever sprawling alain ducasse library. very good, very heavy (like 11#) and every recipe is a jewel. use for any upscale event, or even just to show yourself how far you have to go to be world class. the subrecipes are great, if harder to access as they are not individually listed in the index or table of contents. the definitive master work, a must for any serious collector…

  7. Christopher F. Orman says


    High priced absurdity? Hardly. Compared to Adria’s or Pierre Gagnaire’s texts, Ducasse’s tome reminds me of a blown up, bulky version of the French Laundry. There are no foams. There are no overtly experimental techniques; save the odd sous vide recipe.

    What it does include is classical french cuisine, refined and recontextualized. I completely disagree with the reviewer who chastised the release, discussing elements which simply are not present in this text. Truthfully, there is nothing here but material to elucidate cooking. Likewise apropos the translation, the ingredients, proportions, and techniques are perfect. Certainly there are some problematic semantic turns(words out of place, or occassional misspellings), but in general it is rather lucid.

    As a whole, I can only say the size and weight of the book decreases my star rating. It would have been far more manageable and clearer if broken into several volumes. None the less the photography and the depth of these recipes(which include cleaning and butchering techniques) make up for it. I would wager that years from now, this volume will be viewed as the 21st centuries answer to the grand Escoffier tome.

  8. A Serious Cook says


    This is actually much more useful than the original because it is a reasonable size and can be flipped through and really used. It is a tremendous resource because it explains exactly how the dishes are prepared in Ducasse’s very serious and perfectionist restaurants with professional equipment, sous-vide, salamanders, etc. If you read French the small edition of the original is probably even more useful.

  9. Damian Baucom-slavin says


    If you want to work in a five star French kitchen then having this book will set you on that path. This book is not for new cooks. The book calls for tasks that only someone with prior knowledge of French cooking could perform without having two other books to help breakdown Grand Livre De Cuisine.

  10. Rating

    I think it’s really helpful for professional chefs. Nice photos with detailed recipes. This book is really great, especially compared to the other book I bought, ‘Pierre Gagnaire: Reflections on Culinary Artistry’, which had nothing but photos (and worse, the photos are zoom shots of ingredients, giving no ideas on overall food presentation either) without any recipes. I strongly recommend this book!