My earliest attempt at cookery began with the filleting of my sister's goldfish at age 2 and cooking my pet rabbits by age 7. Life has been downhill ever since.

The Definitive Bean Dish of French Country Cooking

‘There is no dish in the Southwest of France more iconic, cherished, and controversial than the cassoulet. Not only is it the best pork and beans dish you can imagine, but it’s also a definitive dish of French country cooking — one that, to this day as you noted, stirs up fierce debate over what makes it authentic! When most travelers go on a trip to France, they bring back photos, or maybe a copper pot; some even smuggle a Camembert or saucisson in their luggage. Me? I bring back recipes.’ A friend once wrote this to me after I…

Taking My Tastebuds on a Well-Deserved Staycation

I find myself browsing through old cookbooks far more during Covid than I did previously. Like everyone else who loves to cook right now, I am looking to find new inspirations, new tastes to take my tastebuds away on a well-deserved vacation.

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Lamb Shanks in an Egg and Lemon Sauce by Francois de Melogue

One of the cookbooks I have been revisiting is ‘Arabesque’ by Claudia Roden, a fantastic book dedicated to the cuisines of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon. I bought some halal lamb shanks at a nearby International market and wanted something new to make. …

When being authentic gets in the way of a good meal

On January 22, 2021, the editors of Food & Wine magazine issued a rare apology for being culturally inappropriate with a picture of Mole Verde. The editors thought it would make a better photo if they doused the mole in hot sauce and served it with a bowl of lime wedges. Neither of which is culturally correct and both are completely unspeakable in Mexico where the dish originates.

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Duckherd’s Pie (Hachis Parmentierau Canard) by Francois de Melogue

The admission touched off a series of heated debates on food boards across the internet. People from all cultures were pointing out how and where their culture's cuisine got bastardized. Apparently, Food…

How Not to Break a Tooth Eating This Dessert

Today is January 6th, the day every French kid (whether born in France or of French parents) looks forward to. The holidays have come and gone. Today is the day we get to eat Galette des Rois, or King’s Cake.

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Galette des Rois (Almond Pithiviers), photo by Francois de Melogue

As a sweetener, parents (or the pastry shop) hides a small figurine sandwiched among the warm rum scented layers of frangipane (almond cream) and puff pastry. The figurine, also known as a feve, used to be a small bean but changed to a ceramic figurine sometime in the late 1800s. The change guaranteed the chance to break your tooth if…

to make your Francophile bleus fade away

Damn it. I should be in France a second time since covid-19 quarantined the whole world back in March. Like many of you trapped in your homes around the world, I started letting my tastebuds take me on the ultimate staycations around the globe. Today I am sharing 5 of my favorite French breakfast/brunch dishes to remind me of life in a Parisian cafe watching the world pass by.

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Bostok, toasted almond brioche with almond cream and fresh raspberries. Photo by Francois de Melogue

1. Bostock (toasted almond brioche)

Learn how to make Bostock (or Bostok), or toasted almond brioche in English. In my recipe, the crunchy, golden-brown slices of rich brioche generously slathered with raspberry jam and velvety almond…

A Trio of Sweet and Savory Pascades Perfect for When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking

I remember the very first time I tried what we recognize as Dutch Babies. I was a small boy on our annual summer trip to the South of France. It always began in Marseille and eventually would end up at my grandfather’s auberge in Périgord. The highlight of the seven-hour drive in between was stopping in Rodez, a small city in Aveyron, for a buttery pascade. For the uninitiated, pascades are thick pancakes that are baked in a heavily buttered pan until golden brown and puffed up. They were a complete delight for a young gourmand with an adventurous appetite.

An Easy to Make Christmas Classic

This easy to make, quick Christmas soup is packed full of flavor. You can garnish this versatile soup with either duck confit, shredded pork rillette, or even no meat at all. With a delightful sweet earthy flavor, this festive soup celebrates the chestnut which was introduced by ancient Romans to France centuries ago.

Watch the Video Recipe Here

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A lot of people have asked me what essential kitchen tools and seasonings I recommend. I prepared a list of my fundamental kitchen tools every serious home cook should have.

Buy Cooked chestnuts:

My List of Essential Kitchen Tools Makes Great…

with a potato-chip like crunch to the skin

Does anyone else remember Melanie Dunea’s book ‘My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals’? The premise is simple. Melanie asked 50 notable chefs what they would eat for their last meals. The answers were varied and rich with elaborate depth. Who wouldn’t want to know where Alain Ducasse would like his supper to be? And who would prepare Daniel Boulud’s final meal? What would Anthony Bourdain’s guest list look like? As the clock ticked, what album would Gordon Ramsay be listening to?

psst: want to watch the video recipe?

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Crispy Duck Confit, photo by Francois de Melogue

If you could pick your last meal —…

A Murderous Tale of Cranberry Beans and Pasta

I always say that I don’t believe I’m a chef. I try to be a storyteller.

José Andrés, chef, restaurateur, and founder of World Central Kitchen

I have always been attracted to whimsical recipe names and the stories that lay camouflaged within their ingredients. I’m talking about dishes like pets de nonne (literally nun’s farts), priest chokers (Strozzapreti), and the imam fainted (Imam bayildi). A dish is the intersection of provenance, history, and food.

To me, recipes are edible stories that capture the junctures of cultural development. They chronicle the moments of prosperity, poverty, invasion, conquer, exploration, and trade…

To Ease Into Fall With

Fall had started in earnest; a cool, light mist was falling. My wife Lisa and I decided to take our dog for a long walk foraging wild cèpes (porcini). I built a roaring fire in our small wood stove, placed a daube of beef on top to braise slowly, then walked out into the dank Mendocino woods.

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Beef Short Rib Bourguignon, photo by Francois de Melogue

We followed a narrow track that ran through the dense, overgrown pygmy forest collecting two shopping bags full of precious mushrooms before returning home to enjoy our simple feast.

Wood smoke commingled with the enticing aromas of slow-cooked meat that hung nose high…

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