The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine
Families of chefs who are also dab hands around the stove
WHENEVER I ASK a chef, in the course of an interview for these pages or during five minutes snatched over dinner at their restaurant, ‘So, what do you cook at home?’ the answer is often the same. ‘No time!’ they say; ‘Beans on toast!’; or, ‘My partner does the cooking.’ For a profession that demands so many hours spent stove-side, it ’s no surprise (although plenty of ‘at home’ cookbooks show our culinary greats beaming over a burnished roast or painstakingly winding a pasta machine to produce fresh tagliatelle). That’s not to say that their nearest and dearest go hungry. Far from it, since many of those who live with a professional chef are accomplished cooks themselves, either through osmosis, or via training in kitchens or catering school because they, too, have got the bug.
Michel Roux Jr’s wife and daughter are no exception. Giselle Roux’s southern-french upbringing instilled in her the importance of purity when making soup (‘one or two vegetables as a rule... rather than a mishmash’, she writes in their new book, New French Table), and preserving garden gluts. Meanwhile, 25-year-old Emily already works for her father ’s catering business after years spent cooking in restaurants across France. Both women inspire each other, merging traditional home-spun practices with professional te chniques, when they cook together.
Next month, Nadine Levy Redzepi publishes her book, Downtime. The wife of Noma chef René, Nadine runs the bookings for the Danish restaurant four times crowned best in the world, and cooks constantly. Her recipes – baked salmon with thyme; brandied plum cake – share helpful tips that have you feeling, as with the Roux family, that you’re in good hands. New French Table, by Emily and Giselle Roux (Mitchell Beazley, £25); Downtime: Deliciousness at Home, by Nadine Levy Redzepi (Ebury Press, £27)