Les Recettes Originales de Alain Chapel


It took a few years to find this book; I've been searching intermittently for it ever since chef Alain Ducasse told me in an interview that he considers Alain Chapel to be his "spiritual master". Chapel died in 1990 at an early age - he was only 52 - but with his eponymous Michelin three-star restaurant in Mionnay, near Lyons, he influenced many chefs with his then-modern take on French cuisine.

It's going to take a while before I attempt some of the recipes. It's not translating it that's the problem: my French culinary vocabulary is quite good and the ingredients and cooking methods are familiar enough. But this is French haute cuisine and many of the dishes require commitment in both time and expense.

Many of Chapel's most legendary dishes are included in the book, including oreilles de veau farcies comme en Bugey, persil frit (Bugey-style stuffed veal ears with fried parsley); homard Breton a la crème; chicken liver gateau with crayfish tail sauce; and mousse de citron vert (lime mousse).