Pocketbook culinary cachet. As with Paul Bocuse in Your Kitchen, a longer and sounder venture of this sort, GuÃ‰rard's newest book proffers some good agreeable basics--nice plain mussel soup, pot au leu of tongue, lobster salad with green beans and asparagus, fish baked in coarse salt. There is also enough of an appeal to exotic chic-more than in the Bocuse book--to satisfy longings in that direction: say, marinated raw fish fillets with huckleberries and Japanese pickled ginger, or braised rabbit finished off in a steamer. But this is still a peculiar production, apparently the offshoot of a TV series that cannibalized liberally from GuÃ‰rard's two previous books, Michel GuÃ‰rard's Cuisine minceur and Michel GuÃ‰rard's Cuisine gourmand. Turning fresh green beans into a purÃ‰e and messing it up with crÃ¨me fraiche, putting artificial sweetener in a sweet-and-sour sauce for grilled guinea hen, and using reconstituted nonfat dry milk in the custard for an onion tart are all examples of bad taste. But the space taken up in a fancy, pricey book by 'recipes"" for mashed potatoes, chopped fresh tomatoes, and ""vinaigrette gourmande"" (ordinary vinaigrette, but made with sherry vinegar and chopped fresh chervil and tarragon) is fakery of another order. Aspics and puff-paste are much favored; a tablespoon of drained canned truffle juice goes into potato salad; desserts are particularly pretentious. And the translation and notes for American cooks are far below the standards of clarity and completeness set in the first GuÃ‰rard works--an especial handicap for the intended home cooks.