Michel Cassé, astrophysicist at the CEA [French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission] and at the Paris Institute of Astrophysics, is the author of many books which have been very popular among a wide audience (Du Vide et de la creation, Les Trous noirs en pleine lumière, among others).
André Daguin, former chef at the Hôtel de France in Auch, is known for his fresh foie gras and langoustines, his white bean ice cream, and for having “invented” duck breast (in 1959).
When two Gascons meet, the result is often Gascon stories and jokes. When one of them is a chef, and the other an astrophysicist and poet, the result is even more delicious.
According to Michel Cassé, the Big Bang was a cosmic kettle where, from elementary particles the molecules of matter were concocted. Every star is also a sort of cosmic oven in which complex atoms are formed through the simplest of fusion. And all of that resulted in living matter, the basic ingredient of our food.
Cosmology and gastronomy are thus at two extremes in the history of matter, the alpha and the omega of the great saga of the universe. So it is not surprising that this little book on cosmology joins the two ends: dark matter boils at the bottom of the pot, the expansion of the universe is equal to that of pâté en croute, and the large-scale structure of the galaxies is obviously not without connection to the “great new bean soup.”