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Book Review: Degustation

Degustation: A Master Chef's Life through Menus

Alain Fabrégues

UWA Publishing

Words: Jane Willis

Degustation-Alain Fabregues 0810.jpg

I was very fortunate to attend a special lunch recently at renowned The Loose Box restaurant in Mundaring, Western Australia along with other media and foodie writing types.  We were there to join celebrated Master Chef and author, Alain Fabrégues, talk about and sample some delicious recipes from his newly launched book, Degustation: A Master Chef's Life through Menus.  

This inspiring and beautifully presented book is Alain's first foray into publishing after a culinary journey spanning 45 years ... and all 383 pages of it is superb.

The exquisite photography by Craig Kinder showcases the recipes and their quality ingredients, and the images of Alain selecting and preparing produce gives a glimpse of the back end of The Loose Box and Alain's passion for the creation of exquisite fine food.

Degustation is more than a cookbook.  It is a story of Alain's life and his sharing of his culinary opinions and expertise.  There are nine Degustation menus including one focussing on Alain's beloved Truffes along with 15 Petit Four recipes to try and Essentials such as stocks, savoury creams and sauces and pastries and crépes. 

Alain's book pays homage the influence of Jean Delaveyne "and his brilliance as a creator of flavour".  Jean was the president and founder of the chefs' movement, Les Toques Blanches Internationale, (of which Alain was the president of the Western Australian chapter) and a close friend and master of Alain.  Jean, 1918-1996, “was our direct line to the great masters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries” and Alain has written his book to share his knowledge with "the next generation of cooks and for lovers of fine food at home".

Alain is a multi-talented man.  He charmingly entertained us with stories of his life as a chef and shared a number of anecdotes including one about a recent visit to Paris for a fellow Master Chef's surprise birthday attended by top chefs from all around the world.

Degustation: A Master Chef's Life through Menus, seen above, dedicated to Alain's daughter Natalie, is a must-have book for anyone interested in technique, presentation and the sensual nature of food. 

What a wonderful present to give someone, and to receive. 

Available online and at bookstores throughout Australia and New Zealand.

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thse other foodie type reviews here and here.


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