Cool and sophisticated

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For a cool, sophisticated dish using local produce, few vegetables beat locally grown fresh asparagus.Read more

Course set for another Horizon

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The Fairmont Monte Carlo chose the reopening of its outdoor Horizon – Deck, Restaurant and Champagne Bar for the season to introduce the hotel’s new Catering Manager. It was also an opportunity for Head Chef Maryan Gandon to promote the hotel’s strong environmental stance, particularly when it comes to sourcing ingredients.Read more

A guilt-free guide to a bikini-fit body

I blushed as the champagne bubbles bit at my foie gras coated tongue: it felt intensely private and far too good to be happening in front of other people. It was Sunday and I had managed to invite myself to lunch with a Niçois restaurateur and his family. As his 6-year-old daughter matched me mouthful for mouthful with the duck liver, I couldn't help but think that, at her age, the idea of munching on a vital organ would have repulsed me.Read more

Easter snail tales

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Although lamb is automatically associated with Easter food, snails too, are also a Paschal preference in France, having also been given the green light by the Catholic Church through Lent, when all other ‘meat’ is forbidden.Read more

Cheese and onion with a Burgundian twist

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Epoisses is a fairly pungent cheese from Burgundy, which you'll find in any cheese shop and, indeed, most supermarkets.
It is said that Napoleon was particularly partial to Epoisses, washed down with Chambertin wine - and it is true that it tastes excellent with red - and, perhaps, more surprisingly - also white Burgundian wines.Read more

Detox the Provencal way

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Apparently sales of garlic worldwide have shot up in the past year, alongside the Swine Flu scare, and the price of what Alexander Dumas called "this mystically refined bulb" has risen commensurately.
The "stinking rose" may not be able to fight off Grippe A on its own, yet garlic has certainly been known for centuries to have antiseptic properties. Indeed, it was grown extensively for this reason during both World Wars, encouraged by government grants.Read more

Valentine’s Day massacre

I moved to France 18 months ago and have to admit that by now I thought I would be so immersed in the culture I would have trouble pro-nouncing my own name without a French accent. I would have several lovers called Pascal and Pierre and, most importantly, I would have mastered the art of French cooking, whipping up a Bouillabaisse like it was nothing, and all the local market vendors would know me by name.Read more

A crackling good idea

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After our venture into the Orient with last month’s Chinese Duck recipe, we are coming home with a crunch (again), as after managing to get their duck crispy, several readers asked how to achieve proper crackling on pork in France.Read more

Happy Chinese New Year my little Valentine

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This year Valentine’s Day falls on the start of the new Chinese year, Year of the Tiger. So for a change why not celebrate it by sharing the world's most intimate of finger meals, a crispy duck rolled in spicy plum sauce and pancakes? Although I have never found authentic Hoi Sin sauce in France, you can make your own with very little work.Read more

Truffles galore at two markets this weekend

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Everything you’ve always wanted to know about truffles but were afraid to ask can be found at the 14th "Marché de la Truffe" (truffle market) which is on this weekend in the Alpes-Maritimes at the Bastide Saint Antoine near Grasse on Saturday, and the village of Le Rouret on Sunday.Read more