Hardcover: 376 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (November 3, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.3 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #29,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #17 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Professional Cooking #36 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > French #91 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Celebrities & TV Shows
View larger A conversation with Dominique Crenn The Michelin-starred chef and debut cookbook author chatted about food culture in her native France and the United States, what she wants people to take away from a meal at her restaurant, and more, with Harold McGee, celebrated author of On Food and Cooking.
You grew up in France, with a rich food culture. Why did you become a professional chef in the US? Itâs true, France has an incredible food culture, and it is still the deepest source of inspiration for me as a chef. French food made me who I am, nourishing my body and soul in my youth, but French restaurant culture is not always so nurturing, especially for women. In my twenties, I discovered that restaurants in France would only consider me for the front of house, so I moved to San Francisco, where I started cooking professionally. And Iâm glad I did, because emigrating gave me the psychological distance I needed to let my memories rest a bit and the freedom and space I needed to express my own creativity. Is there an underlying quality or theme or style that you think characterizes the food you cook? As a chef, itâs important to me that my food is always personal, that it draws on memories and emotions. What you see on the plate will not be the same, but my approach is always from the heart. Thatâs the way that we cook, and I hope and believe that it comes through in the food. What kind of experience do you try to create for people who come to Atelier Crenn? I think the best way to describe it is as a great conversation, a true dialogue. Like when people come together to talk and listen, and are really open to another perspective. Itâs fun to discover what makes another person tickâand so important. At the restaurant, I want my guests to be open to new things and to understand my food as a way of connecting with them.
View larger What do you want diners to remember of their tasting menu experience at Atelier Crenn? Itâs definitely satisfying to hear that a diner has been thinking about Atelier Crenn the next day, or beyond, and though itâs not something I expect, Iâve run into a few different people recently who told me about their experience of eating my dish 'A Walk in the Forest,' and how it evoked memories of nature for them. In those moments, I feel like Iâve done something right. And I suppose I do want diners to immerse themselves in the experience of Atelier Crenn. Thatâs why I love designing dishes to be eaten with the hands, because it makes the sensations so much more immediate. Using a device to take a picture gets in the way of enjoymentâand thatâs one reason Iâm so happy to have such a beautiful book, with all the photography by Ed Anderson, so thereâs a visual record that doesnât compete with the experience of dining at Atelier Crenn. Which part of creating dishes do you find most rewarding? The inspiration, developing, eating? Well, all of it! For me, itâs all part of an ongoing dialogue that we accomplish through food. If I had to choose, Iâd say that the two most important moments are inspiration and presentation, which are the beginning and the end of the process. Each relies on the other for its fullest meaning, and for me, they are what cooking is all about.
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