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Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings
Spilling the beans on French cassoulet

They say that the waters of the earth separate us and that wine brings us together. On special occasions, food unites us as well. Last week, Philippe Bertineau, the executive chef at Benoit New York, an Alain Ducasse restaurant, was honored for his authentic rendition of cassoulet by the Academie Universelle du Cassoulet in a ceremony studded with red robes and red wine. For the uninitiated, cassoulet amounts to a white bean-duck-pork dish best served hot on cold nights. It is revered for its hearty rib-sticking qualities. For those in the know, cassoulet is an argument-inspiring topic in the south of France whose passionate adherents would just as soon start a public riot over a recipe...