The food at Arpege, on the other hand, appears at first to have been born in a realm of pure abstraction. Where Vigato is big, bluff, bold, and direct, Alain Passard is slightly built, elegant, contemplative, and unabashedly artistic. His cooking fits precisely the definition of Apollonian: characterized by clarity, harmony, and restraint. He abhors the fire of undisciplined grilling, ''everything tasting of carbon''. For Passard, the essence of civilization is the taming of the flame. His coucous de Malines cook slowly, slowly, in only a smidgen of butter, in a pan whose temperature never exceeds 100ºC (just over 200ºF). The bird must be turned by hand, never breaking that precious skin, for an hour and a half. Lots of things cook long and slowin the Arpege kitchen—leeks, cabbage, pork, pigeons, duck—all in pans or on the rotisserie. Passard disdains ovens. ''The oven dries everything out,'' he says. ''It's blind. In my kitchen you see the food, you smell it, you listen to it.''