Alain Ducasse is bewitched by America. The celebrated French chef has discovered, throughout the country, an excellence in food products that has inspired and reshaped his vision of Haute Cuisine. Whether it be in the cold Atlantic waters off the northern coast of Maine or the crimson-colored Arizona mountains, Alain Ducasse has found fishermen, ranchers and farmers across the nation whose products rank among the world's finest foods. Harvesting Excellence celebrates the men and women who devote themselves to the artistry of creating first-rate food products. They whip the thickest creams, shuck the plumpest oysters and feed the strongest game to ensure that only superior products are put on the market. Their stories, although based in a common passion for food, reflect the extraordinary breadth of America -- its climates, landscapes and, above all, its people. Through the book's beautifully illustrated, thematically organized chapters, Ducasse focuses on a select few producers who, with family methods and training from all over the world, yield products unique to American sun and soil. Here is the ultimate gourmet tour of what lies at the heart of all great cooking -- great ingredients. And as a final touch, top chefs from New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco give tips on selecting and preparing the best products for traditional or creative cooking.