Le Livre Blanc ~ Anne-Sophie Pic

The allure of the cookbook as a heavy coffee table or gift tome continues unabated. Publishers are seeing the value, at the very heady top end of the £40-£45 price point region, of The Cookbook As Art. There are already mountains of cookbooks from chefs, bloggers, food writers and celebrities that focus on frugal, simple, easy recipes to make every day, many of which go round and round, as gently tweaked copies of other authors’ work, but, hey, that’s what happens when everybody wants to write a cookbook and publishers are keen to print them.

“Le Livre Blanc” by Anne-Sophie Pic {published by Jacqui Small in 2013 and by Hachette in 2012} is a tour de force symbol of all that the top end of the market can muster ~ glossy, heavy, original, beautifully produced and photographed {photography by Michael Roulier} it is not a book for the kitchen.

Encased in a snow white cardboard box case with the title cut out in capital letters, this book is a trophy present for all those that love fine dining, artistic composition, food photography and that obsessive quest for culinary perfection that only a three Michelin star Chef is able to pursue.

Anne-Sophie Pic is the descendant of a family of famous Chefs who have run acclaimed restaurants in France. It seemed she was destined for a career in business and marketing, but when she was aged just 23 her father died and she decided to join the family business instead, along with her husband David Sinapian.

“What had started out as a gentle introduction to cookery, with her father as teacher, was then followed by ten years of struggle”.

To follow in the footsteps of a three Michelin star father could not have been easy and this book is testimony to the rigour, discipline and stamina required to head up Restaurant Pic in Valence, Bistrot le 7, Le Dame de Pic, Scook cookery school and two star Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne. Her perseverance and hard work have won her awards and honours aplenty.

The Pic brand, synonymous with innovation and excellence, is at the frontier of experimentation and the flights of fantasy and flavour described and depicted in this book are unlikely to be found elsewhere.

The text of the book is by French writer Stephane Davet, and it is translated into English as well as can be done {albeit evidently so}. As the title infers, the whole book is a sea of white, with minimalist, bright, highly lit photographs of dishes so complex in their construction that only an accomplished chef with deep pockets and several assistants would dream of attempting them.

The specialist market for this book is evidently the gift market {with less than 100 days to go before Christmas} and that niche of collector cookbook lovers, cookery schools, catering colleges, hotels and restaurants who have to have entire series of the world’s best chefs in their stock library.

Silver page edges, top quality paper, three silver ribbons, drizzles, gels, foams, emulsions, deconstructions, infusions, sous-vide apparatus and syphons: for the gastronomically geeky and for foodie bibiophiles it’s all here. Knock yourself out.

Further Information

Jacqui Small Publishing www.jacquismallpub.com

Follow on Twitter : @JacquiSmallPub

Restaurant Pic : www.pic-valence.com

Follow on Twitter: @AnneSophiePic

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