Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack
Hardcover 386 pp, ISBN 978-2-9809498-6-9 Available at book stores across Canada, Chapters.Indigos.ca and Amazon.ca $69.95
Dedicated to maple syrup and all the traditions surrounding it, this book by Chef Martin Picard and friends is an avant-garde anthology that goes well beyond any cookbook you’ll ever browse. It includes 100 recipes; 2,000 photographs by Marie-Claude St-Pierre; seductive illustrations, layout and design by Tom Tassel; a haunting short story by Marc Séguin; a technical and scientific account of the maple syrup process by Stéphane Guay and Edith Bonneau; and the daily diary of a sugar shack by Rafaele Germain. The table of contents serves a dual purpose as both outline and index.
The book is an objet d’art — as irreverent and fascinating as Chef Picard and his restaurant Au Pied de Cochon. Within the text you’ll find the rhythms of the year, seasonal recipes within easy grasp, and raw accounts of elaborate processes beyond the reach of the average cook. Therein lies it’s beauty, the yin and yang of life captured in the pure ingredient of maple syrup. At one moment it is a simple pleasure and the next a gastronomic adventure of gluttony. Maple syrup is elevated to the culinary level of caviar or truffles, and its immortality crystallized like the hard maple candy itself. Recipes range from the Tarte Tatin, Mille Feuille and Chocolate Bar to the shocking Confederation Beaver and Squirrel Sushi. Best read nude. Kidding aside, the publication captured international attention as the “Cookbook of the Year” in the prestigious Gourmand Cookbook Awards 2013. These awards consider cookbooks and a few magazines of varying languages from around the world and honour those who “cook with words”.