Long considered one of the finest and most poetic chefs in Paris, Alain Passard caused a commotion in the world of haute cuisine when he resolved to devote the menu of his Michelin three-star restaurant L’Arpège to vegetables. He then planted a deluxe permaculture garden on the grounds of a chateau 230 kilometers southwest of Paris that now supplies his restaurant, the vegetables zipping north on the TGV to be prepared within a few hours of being picked. Meat was not banished entirely, but since his conversion in 2001, Passard has become France’s first great chef de la cuisine végétale. The “Passard effect” has led to the sprouting of vegetable main courses at other elite Paris restaurants, and in 2011 L’Arpège celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary, all its stars intact despite the move Michelin had initially deemed “courageous.”

Passard...

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