Food: Dining for Dollars

Elite chefs turn haute cuisine into Big Business

Here's a question of the moment: Would you rather eat at one of French chef Alain Ducasse's pair of three-star restaurants or spend who knows how many hours preparing the spit-roasted lobster with caramelized salsify and almonds from his new cookbook, Ducasse: Flavors of France (Artisan; 288 pages; $50)? And would you rather dine at one of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's New York City food temples or make the apple confit from Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef (Broadway; 224 pages; $35)--a recipe that involves cutting 15 peeled Granny Smith apples into 1/8-in. slices, layering them with orange zest and sugar...

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