'ma gastronomie' fernand point






i am so very excited.

for christmas i gave myself an inspiration of thomas keller. a book. on how the infamously famous chef fernand point made food. of course not simply food, but celebrations in dining. his creations became so legendary that the cuisine of france now owes more to his influence than to anyone else, at least in the last century. bocuse, pierre & jean troisgros and alain chapel got to work his stove. famously they have continued, even embellished his 'gastronomie'.
'ma gastronomie', the virtually religious pursuit of simplified adaptations together with irresistible ingredients brought about a definite rekindling of what was 'haute cuisine'. he rendered elaborate preparations by the earlier escoffier and careme of their exacting standards and purified 'la grande cuisine' simply by emphasizing the natural taste of a dish.
so, of course i've read the book cover to cover. and again. the stories and appreciations of the famous and fortunates, the many who gorged, dined, ate or simply filled their bellies, are legend enough and fun to imagine. but the menus of 'la pyramide' alone are phenomenal to behold. those menus, the artistry, the amalgam, the singular simplicity. awake, i relished their sequence. those very combinations of wines and cuisine. his individual recipes, as someone famously said: fundamentals are vital, but an intuition combined with the basics, ah, that makes for genius.


at night i dream of butter, or as fernand point said: butter, nothing but butter. my dreams have me wearing kitchen whites. standing at an enormously large range i cook eggs. what else?

so, now that i am awake, here are sweet and innocent instructions for 'oeufs sur la plat', by the master:
melt some butter in a small skillet but do not let it sizzle. break fresh eggs onto a plate and slip them into the skillet. cook over very low heat so that the whites of the eggs become creamy and the yolks are hot. in another pan melt some unsalted butter very gently. salt and pepper it lightly and pour it over the eggs at the last moment.

bon appetit, may you live long, the very best for the new year, oh, and yes, may your toast always get buttered on both sides.

above from 'ma gastronomie', fernand point, introduction by thomas keller
rookery press, new york