Category: Starter

Spider crab cakes

Just like a summer hat, a pretty floral dress or a smashing bikini, crab cakes are a major part of my summer panoply. They always make me feel like I am on a holiday, somewhere on a beach with a faraway lighthouse. It’s the kind of food I want on every restaurant menu, and I […]

Cockles and mussels

‘She died of a fever And no one could save her And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone But her ghost wheels her barrow Through streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!‘ Lyrics from Molly Malone It can be quite frustrating at times to go to the market and […]

Tomates farçies ‘à la Provençale’

One thing you will always see on our kitchen table are tomatoes . We never run out of them – they are the juiciest of all vegetables, always available, raw or cooked, to be part of the plat du jour. In Provence, tomatoes were called ‘pomme d’amour’ (love apples) because of their aphrodisiac properties. For […]

Gazpacho with garlic cream

‘A cooked tomato is like a cooked oyster: ruined.’ André Simon, wine writer Today was a perfect summer day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the breeze smelt of rose bouquets. I couldn’t think of a better lunch than having a bowl of chilled gazpacho, the summer soup. I somehow feel like […]

Aïoli and seafood delight

There must have been something in the Atlantic ocean’s air this morning when I woke up – for all I wanted to do was to get the kids ready and drag everybody to Soulac-sur–mer for the Saturday seafood market. Deep coral colours marked my day and opened my appetite for a crustacean lunch. If a […]

Flammekueche

This onion and bacon tart takes me back to my college days in Paris, when my friends and I would finish class and rush to St Germain-des-Près for drinks and a Flammekueche. Perhaps it was a 90′s kind of thing, but we loved eating this delicious Alsatian speciality. This pizza style tart topped with a […]

Crème Vichyssoise

Everybody loves good ‘comfort food’, classics such as macaroni cheese, mashed potatoes or fried noodles are high on the list. But what is the next best thing to comfort food? I call it continental holiday food. It is the kind of dish you would order when you are by the pool, from room-service, or simply […]

It’s radish time!

A big moment during the day is the ‘apéritif’ hour, an interlude between the end of an activity and the beginning of a meal. A glass of rosé wine or champagne (or anything you like), served with saucisson sec, pickles, and crunchy radishes is an important part of French food culture. Radishes were traditionally eaten […]

Bouchée à la Reine

I have always loved ‘bouchée à la Reine’ – this classic starter is exactly what I love about French cuisine – elegant and old-fashioned. I like to have it simply as a main course with a salad on the side. It’s the kind of food you would buy at the ‘traiteur’ (delicatessen) or served at […]

Gougères (traditional cheese puffs)

Whether you are going to a Michelin star restaurant or at a friend’s house in France, you will most likely be served gougères to accompany your aperitif drinks (drinks served before a meal). Gougères are traditional cheese puffs made with either Emmenthal, Comté or Gruyère cheese. These little luxuries are perfect with champagne or wine […]

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