Just wants to have a blast with his friends

The Guardian - Cook - - To Finish -

where every­thing hap­pens in our house. My wife and I bought this ruin of a big old stone house in the Ardèche about 7 years ago. My sis­ter-in-law – an ar­chi­tect – re­designed it for us. “What do you want?” she asked me – to which I replied: “You know ex­actly what I want! A kitchen, with a house around it.” I make a lot of food – I leave the kitchen at work and head straight for the one at home – and ev­ery­one stands around the hob as I cook. We have big win­dows and white walls with yel­low ac­cents, and other kitchen para­pher­na­lia; lots of shelves and a raw con­crete floor which bears all these marks of our daily lives. I like restau­rant equip­ment, but I didn’t want to have a restau­rant at home; I wanted it to all feel alive.

My kitchen is …

my knife. I imag­ine it’s like a writer’s foun­tain pen – it’s some­thing you don’t lend to any­one, some­thing you keep safe at all costs. I have a few, for dif­fer­ent pur­poses: for­ag­ing, mak­ing char­cu­terie, prep­ping ...

My favourite kitchen tool is …

Faugier creme de mar­rons [chest­nut spread], and only Faugier. The sweet­ness, the notes of vanilla … purists will tell you it’s not the best brand, but it’s the one I love. In a blind taste test of 20 dif­fer­ent kinds, I could pick it out no prob­lem. I am never with­out it. There’s no oc­ca­sion that a dessert made with creme de mar­rons can­not suit. Ba­si­cally, if I could be hooked up to a creme de mar­ron IV, I would.

My store­cup­board sta­ple is …

eat cheese. Any cheese. The only one I don’t like is gap­eron, with its gar­lic flavour­ing. A friend of mine makes a goat’s cheese that I love and I buy 40 at a time. Just as he was gear­ing up to make this year’s new-sea­son cheeses in April, I was fin­ish­ing off last sea­son’s cheeses that I’d bought in Novem­ber. We did a neat loop, his cheeses and I.

When I’m starv­ing I …

the sea­sons. I love know­ing where I am in the year de­pend­ing on what we can buy at the mar­ket. It’s al­ways the end of one thing and the be­gin­ning of another; I look for­ward to the re­turn of each loved one: the first peach of the sea­son, the first crop of as­para­gus…

My culi­nary in­spi­ra­tion is …

how to make the eas­i­est ap­ple tart: cut out a cir­cle of ready-rolled puff pas­try on its bak­ing pa­per. Put some brown sugar be­tween the pa­per and the pas­try, poke with a fork, scat­ter with dry cous­cous, then ar­range your thin ap­ple pieces all over. Dot with salted but­ter and some more sugar, and bake un­til the pas­try is cooked and the ap­ples are golden ... 10 min­utes, per­fec­tion.

My best-kept kitchen se­cret is … When I’m in­vited to din­ner I al­ways take …

my wife, a bot­tle of wine and a good mood. I’m al­ways happy when peo­ple in­vite me to din­ner. When­ever peo­ple say: “Oh, we’d love to in­vite you to din­ner, but we don’t dare be­cause you’re a chef,” I’m al­ways mys­ti­fied – I’m not in­ter­ested in any kind of culi­nary com­pe­ti­tion. I just love hav­ing a good time.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.