By Andre Bonnaure
Books about meat hardly ever have the sexy visual appeal of other culinary tomes. Chocolate, pastry, cakes and even some vegetables can look sophisticated, arty and cool. But chicken? Rarely.
With Foie Gras, Andre Bonnaure takes an organ meat - because, despite its high price, foie gras really is part of the 'blood and guts' of an animal that most people don't want to think about - and makes it sexy. The squeamish may want to skip the beginning of the book, which includes pictures of the foie gras and other innards being taken from a duck; photographs of 'faulty' livers from animals that have been given inferior feed or raised incorrectly; and close-up shots of livers and the cleaning and deveining process.
The recipes are mouthwatering, inventive and, frequently, playful. Yes, there are traditional dishes, such as foie gras mi-cuit (it's baked in the oven for about two minutes); raw foie gras salad with walnut oil; and foie gras confit. But Bonnaure also makes foie gras surf and turf; foie gras mille-feuilles; foie gras maki; faux foie gras (made with chicken liver) and foie gras dynamite (it's wrapped in rice paper then a celeriac 'skewer' is inserted to make it resemble a stick of dynamite).