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Les foodingues at David Lynch’s Parisian Club !

September 11th, 2013

Silencio, Paris – Sept 7, 2013 / 8 PMsilencio_program1
The Crazy wild plants and the Foodingues are taking over a few hours, the Silencio, the private club designed by David Lynch, just for a casual culinary performance made up of wild forage plants, for the club members, at the occasion of the release of the book le “Manifeste Gourmand des Herbes Folles” , the wild forage plant manifesto, written by Diana Ubarrechena, George Oxley and Gérard Ducerf, at the éditions du Toucan.

Bunches of wild flowers are glittering in neverending vasarelian mirrors… nithing about decoration…

we are talking serious food to be crunched by special gourmets.


The menu has been designed according to the salvage natural of the master of the place, David Lynch :

GREEN VELVETS : a shot of green aphrodisiac Gazpacho of hogweed, Hieracleum sphondyllum, meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria, plantain, Plantago lanceolata and Plantago major, and bishop’s weed, Aegopodium podragraria.

CRUSTY MEDITATIONS : Croustillant of comfrey, Symphitum officinalis, bladderwrack seaweed, Fucus vesiculosus, Nori, Porphyra, chickweed, Stellaria media… on a creamy line of weld Reseda phyteuma

MULHOLLAND SEEDS WITH THE LOST DUO OF ODD SALMONS : quinotto of whelk broth and grilled psychedellic seaweed , with a salmon preserved in carob syrup, carbonised seaweed and mandarine flavored Hogweed seeds, with its’ companion salmon preserved in meadowsweet with ultradry sherry wine, altogether topped with a bunch of Cardamine sprouts.

LOST HIGHWAY SHERBETS : 1 spoon of frozen blackberry on top of a blackberry sprout sherbet; a glass of Frozen yogurt with meadow sweet and malt.

We wellcome our guest on green velvet… starting with an aphrodisiac shot, unhibiting, to shape our guest in the best form possible in order to appreciate this feast and wipe off all the residues of bad, fast and too heavy Parisian food from the outside : the ultra fresh aphrodisiac hogweed, with it’s chlorophylle to the top, mixed with two varieties of plantain against allergies, Meadowsweet the best digestiv and vein cleaner, and the gout weed or bishop’s weed, to drain all the heavy food excesses.

Then it is a brick of false fish with fake mustard : We are just being the stock exchange, the temple of virtual money, so a bit of irony will do: why not give some fake stuff which is better than the true one : F For Fake, thank you Orson Welles… comfrey is the Dover sole of the forest, a total fraud when mixed with the glutinous seaweeds… Chevreul_nadar a mix of nori, the ones of the sushi, but crop by us under the cliffs of Varengeville and the Fucus the famous bladder fucus sold in farmacy as diet food complement to loose weight. To this one line of Reseda cream, the plant which led to the discovery of cholesterol and the antioxidant : the lucky charm plat of the famous chemist Chevreuil, who has search all his life on the tricks and principles of immortality , who died at 104 of sorrow to have lost his 85 years old child. He was given a burial with the National honour for the foundamental services he rendered to humanity.Chevreul_nadar

After these meditations on immortality, the truth and the fake which finally comes out victorious; we decided to put our steps in the sinuous ones of David Lynch to finally bump into a salmon duo lost in Mulholland drive : a banality at first, which sinks into the gluey moving grains of a quinotto to finish on spines which are in fact savory carbonised crispy seaweeds. It is precisely there that we collide with these big pinkish salmons, banal and vulgar, fresh from the deep American MidWest, with king size carton schooners in their hands. But the intriguing was that from the near, their Irish orangy pink was in fact black for the one and green for the other; a complexity with undescribable tastes that merits a little pose in order to start writing a TV soap opera. By chance here is just a tousled hairy Cardamine ! It stand for “to tame the heart” in Greek and scientists just found that it produced nevronic acid the precusor of the myeline of our brain… enough to keep running the serial for many seasons…

Finally lets’ get back on the Lost Highways, that we thought sinister and unhuman, for fantoms and zombis… Yes, yes, they tried to tell just the same things with the hogweed. It is for this plant that was invented the first herbicide : just imagine the favored food, wild forage of the English countryside… the cause of too many births… if you make it disapear there will be less poor in the world… simple no? They even pretended that it was the same plant as the Caucasian hogweed, which produce photosensitivity… A hogweed form the east carpates dracul which turns you into lubricity without any possibility of seeing the sun anymore… and Bram Stoker invents Dracula, the lusty vampire who must hide from the sun…dracul

No! Lost Highways are in fact the last refuge of liberty, where all delight are allowed, wher a frozen blackberry can pose on a blackerry sprout sherbet to get exploded by its’ astringent sweet and sour, where a frozen yogurt birsts with voluptuous meadowsweet and malt, to announce the total licence of the noight…

- Wild forage plants, listen now ! Her is your place, luxury, calm, voluptuous … SILENCIO


I must say as a post scriptum, that the public has been at the height of the place : passionate, curious, hedonists and connoisseurs. I will just unveal the identity of one of them : the great baker Christophe Vasseur , from the bakery du Pain et des Idées, rue de Marseille, Paris 10°, who is now part of the French culinary Heritage though so young, wity and inventiv.

1st Book Prize for the Manifesto of Wild Plants “Manifeste Gourmand des herbes folles” : a growing intelligence between nature and agriculture ?

August 22nd, 2013

The Manifeste Gourmand des Herbes Folles recieves its’ 1st book prize on August the 25 th 2013, at the occasion of the 18th edition of the “Forêt des Livres” at Chanceau-prés-Loche, in Touraine. Sauvages comestibles foret des livres 2013
The Forest of Books is the WOODSTOCK of French litterature , 60 000 visitors in a day, 200 writers among the more mediatic celebs of the time… under the lead of the flamboyant Gonzague Saint Bris and this year the patron of the Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, who is supposed to reward the wild plants.. weeds, just imagine, bio indicator plants, recieving a book prize from the minister of agriculture : Here is the Gourmet Manifesto becoming Revolutionary !
Agriculture by rewarding the Manifeste Gourmand des Herbes Folles gives a tribute to culture, the knowledge of nature; thanking the important work of weeds instead of fighting them always. These plantes which nourrish us without needing to be cultivated, which give us valuableand precise information on the soil to enhance our crops, while giving us precious health support… are suddenly becoming important for the Minister ? Is Agriculture getting suddenly interested by the sciences of life ?
Lets hope so : our future, the one of the farmers depends on it. What a good news : a beginning of the year full of panache and gourmandise.
cuisine sauvage Manifeste Gourmand des Herbes Folles

“mass destruction, the geopolitic of hunger” or “Man’s head draught”?

November 1st, 2011

Jean Ziegler just published “the geopolitic of famine”.
As International civil servant and consultant, Mr Ziegler is a good man trying to keep the world famine in focus of the rich countries.9782021061154_1_m

These experts have done so all their life in the XXth century, while famine reached its utmost record level, spreading in their own country. Today they indignate themselves without putting to trial their own responsability.

Jean Ziegler takes for example the Bambara peasant in Mali, who gets a 100 time less wheat crop than in Ohio. For Ziegler it comes from the lack of fertilizer.

Ziegler has the reflexes of his century, but I’m afraid the problem relies elsewhere. The problem is ideological, brought by westernized agronomic engineers who try to contamitate the spirit of peasants they consirder uncult, without trying to find out local solutions. Tilling the soil and spraying it with fertilizers, is just like supporting “hydroponic” agriculture : to apply the same formula without giving a damn to the local richness of the soil. Agriculture and nature is not at all approached, under its’ scientific side, but with all the ideology needed to sell more fertilizers from the rich countries.
All that to grow wheat, an international market monoculture, while the aim is to make food localy… For this purpose wheat can be considered as a starvation crop in comparison to amaranth 3 times more nutritiv… without speaking of all the local and varied alternativs.

If they need fertilizers they have termite soil : termites digest together with the mycelium they crop, all the organic matter to make the most complex sugars which are considered as the richest fertilizer on earth. In temperate countries we have lombric compost, in Africa we have termite compost. But beware it is extremely powerfull. To much of it kills, like too much luxury. You need to control the amount by watching the biodindicator plants to be sure not to produce nitrites and aluminites which will contaminate your food and which are the cause in Europe of nervous syndroms as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, etc. Unless you want to develop a drug industry to remediate your foul doings, and make more money.
Remember also that the chemical fertilizers are mostly salts. They already have a desert why do you want to ad salt to their fate. The crucial problem for the Bambara in Mali is climate change,with the access to water.
Here the proble is more ignorance than drought :  “Man’s head drought” as they say in Mali.
But water should not be a problem today. At SOS SOiL, Alain Gachet with his reading of the NASA’s radar satellite images, has find the sustainable table water for the Darfour refugees. These water tables are a real kick for agriculture… But the agronomic exploitors use it to plant their GMO seeds and spread their chemistry… Most of the plans for aid for Africa to fight famine art the last Copenhagen Conference, where trials in big of manipulated seeds forbidden in the North.
Mr Ziegler, I know you are a good man. It maybe time to draw conclusions in the thinking process you are using : it is a good thing to indignate yourself just before retiring. It could be more wise to switch methods, instead of promoting machinery, chemistry and hard work to develop the poor man’s agriculture. Look for more sustainable plans nourrished by local ressources, creativity and permanent soil cultivation and self enrichment : a smarter agriculture.
This especially for someone who has dedicated his life to development in a time when malnutrition raised by 1000. It is time to open new trails, instead of trying to justify old lost crusades. Remember people are starving as you talk.

Dont see any polemic n this post : by speaking of Ziegler I speak about hunger and the fight against it. Plato who knew Anaxamander, the first guy to calculate the circumference of the earth when everybody thought it was flat, 600 years BC, Plato nether spoke about him, to avoid any publicity he could give him. To ignore Anaxamander was a way to kill the theory of a round planet turning arounf the sun, in the egg. By doing so, Plato killed Giordano Bruno .

One year after being organic …

July 1st, 2011

Good news, this year in the estancia we are advising in the Salta area in Argentina (100,000acres), we got half of the rainfall we usually get. 500mm instead of 1000mm.
The owner just mailed me that they croped four times more food for the cattle.

This winter will be the first winter the animals wont starve.
Just as a reminder, this is the result of a Uturn towards holistic agriculture, bringing cows back to eating grass, from heading towards the wall with transgenic corn and sorgho. Cows are not chicken.
Sorry to have you kept off from all the advice we have applied there. Action has been a priority to the SOSSOIL team.

A good tip to melt the arctic

October 13th, 2010

One hundred and thirty meters long, thirty wide, the Russians are in the final phase of the construction of the first floating nuclear power plant, capable of producing electricity for 45 000 homes. Good.

It is the first unit of eight others planified.

September the 15th 2007, the European Space Agency announces for the first time that the road is wide open. the ice has melted sufficiently to think seriously about a commercial transit in the edges of the arctic. Tokyo is now only 14 100 km from Rotterdam instead of 21 000km via the Suez Canal. China has never been that close to the European market.


Specially designed boats went on exploring the brand new road for the past years. But since 2010, the journey is done by new types of ship. This summer, the biggest ever seen was the super tanker SCF-Baltica of 115 000 TPL, escorted by two ice-breakers (the Rossiya and the 50-Let-Pobedy). Shortly followed by the Nordic-Barents of 183 m long and 43 700 TPL.

The Russian container carrier Monchegork and the ferry Georg-Ots made the journey as well. But nothing unusual there as the Monchegorsk owned by the Norilsk Nickel Corp. can travel amid 1,5m thick ice.

As we see this road is still uncertain. Although the ice is melting at a good and steady pace, not anybody is ready to put his boat at risk yet.

So how is it possible to secure the seasonal spread of ice?
What a better solution than to install 8 flating nuclear power stations along the road with the excuse of producing electricity and hot water to the abandoned arctic populations? The nuclear power being cooled by the ice.
Alexander Soljenitsyn, if the goulags still existed they could be heated.


And on the financial front, what’s new? We are starting carbon credits.

“Now is the opportunity for the farmers to demonstrate what they kept telling me for years : we are the guies who look after the countryside, we do not want to spoil the wilde life”

June 14th, 2010

What an entry, what a start on the BBC.

This is Jim Paice, the brand new British minister of agriculture, launching his new policy “those guies who have been telling me for years, they are the best people to protect nature; now it is time they prove it.”

The minister seems to be willing to take the bull by its’ horns, once for all, echoing a European directive on wildelife preservation that no other country in Europe dares to address. Yes it is possible to cultivate without distroying nature. Other ways exist to get similar yields without systematically distroying nature as it has been done for the past 40 years.

Jim Paice knows what he is talking about. As agronomist he has often been shadow minister in the past 40 years; still he remains the one and only European minister to come out from the general flegmatic position. Anyone who follows his programme will be helped. The 6 billion budget of his ministry and the European subsidies are also here to help and convince. You pollute? You distroy nature? No aid. Lets see now if it is just a politician announcement. But the gesture is to be saluted. The Green Party would not even dare this.

In fact, we went too far : What have we done in the name of higher yields? The XXth has been a “seculus horribilis” for nature. Where is the famous farmer’s common sens?

In 1945, there was 6 to 8 millions brown hares in the British isles, today 600 000.
4 millions wild pheasant, today 200 000.
82% red grouses, 93% black grouses, have disapeared. Capercaillies? they were betwin 50 to 70000 in 1970. Today 2 200; though it is a protected species.
Gray partridges? 80% have disapeared in 40 years, only 242 000 are remaining.
And migrating birds, we have no record on them, they have no country.
All these figures come from the Game Conservancy Trust. After reading “A Question of Balance” you feel like having read a report on a true silent genocide… hushed.

Hunting? A ridiculous impact. Hunters have even tried to reintroduce game; which has been quickly forbidden as it degenerated the wild animal species, and made them disapear even more effenciently.

No. With total impunity we have left things being done. We have supported and financed an agriculture which uses always more chemicals, heavy and consumming machinary.

But it is fare to say, after all, that everything which has been developped for the war… barbeled wire, orange gaz, tanks… Once peace is back, you have to find new clients for all this; convert the factories; find new markets.

Zyclon B, the sadly famous gaz invented by 1918 Nobel Prize winner Frantz Haber, has killed 6 millions jews, became an insecticide; the orange agent, designed to eradicate the rice paddies and the famish Japan and China in 1945, which is also responsible for generation of deaths and chronicle diseases among the Vietnamese population, became a famous herbicide…
We have put all these weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the farmers. It is normal to get some collateral damages and aftermaths at one point, isn’t it.

This arsenal is expensive as well. It needs credit… so now we have trapped the farmer in the credit chain of banks, unions, coops, machinaries, chemistry, super markets, etc. what has he got left? Debts? Not always hopefully. This system has also brought success.

But what about the partridge living on this land? Who really cares anyway. We till the land, weed its’ pantry, eradicate all the insects before he can eat one, cut off all the hedges where he nests… What is a partridge in front of food security? The magic word has been said. Security, the master word overpowering anything.

The system sounds familiar anyway. A bit like the falling banking system, it now shows its limits : yields are declining, soil are getting worn out. Questions are being raised about this non ending arm race of fertilizers and pesticides.

Stop, lets stop this moralizing and sterile speech. Lets just state that we are experiencing the limits of an old production system which brought damage. Now that we have made some progress in science with a better knowledge of the living world, we have safer roads to head for.

This could be what James Paice is saying, by “protecting the little birds” and the beauty of the countryside; A fine excuse as populist and politically correct as the word Security.

Solutions exists. He knows them. Science, cellular microbiology, botanics, all these sciences hushed during the green revolution time, allow us to have a better understanding about the soil, plants, their life and needs… Entomology allows us to better understand how insects can be valuable to protect crops… We have now the means and the techniques to understand what is going on there : a better understand Life.

Bacteria, nematode, mycelium, worms, spiders, partridge… all are part of a food chain, a biodiversity for which the balance is warrant of the quality and sustainibility of our agriculture and environnement.

Nice words? No? This week Haitians have burned the seeds Monsanto was offering them. They had eaten the seeds to replant, so the US sent transgenic corn… with the herbicide kit which goes together. If they would have accepted, they would have been trapped in the system as well.

The political reasons of tilling, are not to be proven anymore, as it has been chronicled in details at the time of the Shoguns in Japan (cf. the mad rice) ; The blind use of pesticides and fertilizers without paying any attention to what already is in the soil … Further now here is a demonstration of the success of what we are advising to the farmers in Argentina and Europe. It has been broadcasted at the 8 O’clock news on the most popular French TV channel. (sorry it is in French, soon an English version will be available).

[flashvideo file=le-ver.mov/my-video.flv /]
It is possible to have better yields while protecting nature.
No tilling, intercroping and planting plant communities, fertilizers, nutrients and minerals according to what is lacking.
Also important in agriculture is to support biodiversity. For this it is of Public importance to stop tilling, as to stop the use of any kind of synthetic chemicals products. Each year the SOS SOiL team is proving it with success on fields from 200 acres in Europe to 100 000 acres in Argentina.
Yes we can. People should know about it.

GMO wine : Grossly Manipulated Opinion ?

May 26th, 2010


What IS that? An eel caught by an abyssal net? A space Hoover cleaning up planet Mars?
In fact, it is a nematode, a micrometric worm trapped by the mycelium of a mushroom. This image has been taken with an electronic microscope by Pr H.H. Triantaphyllou for the American Phytopathological Society, in St Paul, Minnesota.

To face this microworm, France has replied by creating a vine genetically modified to resist nematodes. While all eyes were focusing on the “Grenelle de l’environnement”, the brand new environmental laws being voted by Parliament in France on May the 18th 2010, the ministers of agriculture and of the environment have authorized the planting of GMO vineyards, in Colmar, Alsace.

For sure, some nematodes are vegetarian and harm plants when they penetrate the roots, while inoculating them with viruses like the grape vine fanleaf virus, which stops the vine to produce grapes. This is sad indeed, but this is nature. On planet earth small nematodes are eaten by big nematodes. Even if they are discreet, they are part of the balance of a whole food chain. As we see on the photo, nematodes are also food for some mushrooms, as for bacterias, arthropodes, micro spiders, worms…

The nematode eats bacterias, protozoas, other nematodes and transforms organic matters. It does the crucial role of digesting whatever makes soil, from vegetal to animal… no nematodes means the proliferation of potentially pathogenic micro organisms for plants and bacterias potentially harmfull for man.

There are more than a million species of nematodes. If you dont have small nematodes anymore, the big ones will go elsewhere and here starts the catastrophy. If some attack the plant roots, others mineralize the organic matter to make it fertile for plants; while the carnivorous ones regulate the global nematode population. Their main job is to liberate at the root level, the nitrogene needed in a digestable form for the plant; a vital role in the creation of a rich soil.

So why did the French ministers declared war to these micro-organisms?

Nematodes become pathogenous in an unbalanced soil.

In a compacted soil, big nematodes cant travel anymore. The little vegetarian ones can play freely with their bunch of viruses. The soil of a vineyard is generally compacted by regularly tilling in betwin vine rows, destructuring the soil and compacting it like a tart batter, year after year. We brake the roots leaving them bare to any attack. We spread its’ sap to attract all the nematodes of the area allowing them to enter freely directly inside the roots. We brake as well the balance of the soil, its’ bacterial and fungal life which feed on nematodes. Better than a disneyland, we create a fantastic recreational park for vegetarian nematodes.

In the past 40 years we taught farmers to fight chemically against anything they could :

With herbicides… but wherever you have a nematode invasion, you have anti nematodes plants growing spontaneously like the marygold Tagettes minuta, which you can also sow. The herbicide on his side will kill everything, this making no details. But you have always plants resisting, which are not always the most usefull them …

With fongicides : there are more 13 cryptogamic diseases brought by fungi and yeasts, that terror the farmer like the brown or powdery mildew. Biologists have not found better defense against these mushrooms than other mushrooms, which by associating with the vine, boost its production, while exchanging with the plant natural antibiotics and enzimes that enhance their immunitary defences.
But when you tell someone who lost his crop because of a mushroom, that a mushroom can help him, hee is freaking. It is understandable.

In fact with the genetically modified vine we can stay in our tranquille ignorance of the soil web; buy more cloned GMO plants and give the state its’ commision via the INRA (French National Agriculture Institute). Among the million species of nematodes straying in our soil, some will finally adapt to the GMO clones. They are more than 200 million years old, they will survive us… And the vineyards planted with identical clones will all get the disease at the same time… What a better business than having to replant the whole French vineyards once for all?

I drink to our great marketting geniuses, agronomists and politicians; with French wine of course, it is still time.

Look at this other picture : Here is a nematode finally free to enter swiftly in a root. Cheers.


It depends on the one you need. If it’s a low-level one, it might be even a matter of hours. Of course, if we are talking about MBA papers, then it will take longer. However, you will be pleased with our quick terms of fulfillment.

Save Venice… with a lunch.

March 1st, 2010

GRANDCANALCarneval viagra online canada pharmacy 2010. Dress code : a red jacket & chef toque. Destination : Venice.
The Foodingues are back in town.cavalch1

Assignment : to make a lunch for the French Comity for the Protection of Venice in the Palazzo Falier.
What mor enchanting to create a menu for 50 people in the palace of the Doge Mariano Falier to save Venice?

EAUVENISETo be back in the Serenissime City in the mid of Carnival…

There is nothing serene about that. It is just the opposite. The aqua alta has been quickly replaced by human tides, which we had to overcome the better we could to rush and gather all the food we needed to prepare the charity lunch.

8h30 the Rialto Market opens. Then 10h00 a quick jump to vialle Garibaldi, Isola SanPietro at the other end of the city, to be sure to get the best vegetable, the finest fish and the top quality veal… Because it si “Carne Vale”, “Farewell to meat” in latin, the last day when we can eat meat before easter, we wont let it pass without doing something. It is also Chinese New Year; we need to feed the Tigers for a whole year.




Menu : 5 Continents to save Venise.

Appetizer :

Pantumaca of bellota Iberico ham from Estramadura.01_corte
A spoon of Passere roe with poutargue and Korean style preserved sea algaes.
Flower of smoked cod roe with sea weed.

Starter :

Soupe of Blanche de Castille according to Taillevent

First :

Venitian Luang Parbang Lap : Banana flower with with tiny cutle fish from the Laguna, Laotian Royal dish.


Veal, raised on salted meadows, cooked for 4 hours in La Lot leaves and amaretto lichen.
Laguna vegetables with 3 textures.
Tiny artichokes with rosmarine flower Colonata Lard.
Saffron Quinotto


“Tigre del Mar”, citric sweet and sour malt chocolate cake.

Three days to prepare all this.
First thing the broths : poultry, fond de veau, fish.
Apart from the appetizers, to be eaten standing, the rest is to be served plate by plate, 200 plates set up in less than 2 hours… the guests need to be off at three to the Opera : Rossini’s “Barber of Sevilla” at the Fenice. I have never seen this : only two plates came back with remains, the rest was totally eaten up. People wanted to bypass the the Opera. Some did, dont say; anyway thet had their masks on…

The intention of this menu was to play with a typical Venitian spirit, not the Italian, nor a franco-italian. To be light, to float and dance on the Grand Canal with Palazzi proud and sparkling around.

We wanted to do it the Venitian way, passing on travel impressions through the centuries of of the city, while keeping their intensity, sharpness, vigour and mystery; behind the carnival masks, the sensuality of absolute license.


We wellcome our guest with a Spanish Ham; the best : origine Dehesa de Estramadura, which is not an Iberic goddess, though it could have been one. It is made from pigs raised wild under oak bellota trees; killed at the age of two in February at the end of the acorn season. The ham is then cured for at least 3 years.
In Venice there was the Ca’d'Oro, the ultimate measure for architectural debauch, in marble lace and gold; today the Iberico ham entrances Palazo Falier. The gist of this ham: The iberico pig only produces unsaturated fats, no bad cholesterol… to have the best ham you need to cuddle your pigs; in Estramadura it is done the most natural way possible.

Second tray : a spoon of the roe from the Laguna :PASSEREOEUFS
In the great Lucullusian tradition, you need to wellcome your guest with all the kindness and cudleness, by swiftly announcing the various contrasting tastes they are to encounter. So in a Thai spoon the roe from the Passere fish emulsionated in a concentrated broth of the same fish, which is between the turbot and the brill.

On this mist you lay a thin slice of raw cuttle fish, a slice of mulet Botarga covered with algaes preserved in agave syrop, Mexican chipotle chilly and grilled sesame seeds.CUILLERE

Third tray : a flower of smoked cod roe.ORCHID2
A very concentrated taramasalata with smoked cod roe wipped with seaweeds, olive oil and lime, displayed in a red radicchio leaf. Light and easy to make, it looks like an orchid flower.


The Blanche de Castille Soup.
It is a capriccio, a whim. This soup has been created for the wedding of Blanche de Castille, the mother of Saint Louis. The cook always try to please everybody, and makes dishes from the country of the spouse as well… Half of Spain is Arabic at this time.
The gastronomic icon of the time was the Persic cuisine, so they served this traditional Perse dish, which has been transmitted to us by Taillevent, cook of Charles the Vth of France. It is the first French recipe to be ever written, and it is of arabo andalousian origine…SOUPEBLANCHE
This soup was so popular that you could not avoid it, in Medieval feasts. When Venise was constructed it was a bit like today’s foie gras risotto which is served whenever people want to impress.
It is a blanc manger consome, served the Persian way with burned spices and herbs, sprinkled with pomegranate grains from Shiraz, in Iran… a divine juice, a foam of pleasure… Let Verlaine comment :
“Supreme milk, divine phosphore
with delicate smell of the almond flower,
When comes the bitter thirst of a begger,
Your lust for me to devour”
(sorry it should have been better translated by a poet…)

First :
banana flower with tiny cuttle fish from the Laguna.POULP

This dish was born after our encounter with Nith in Laos, the grandson of the last Viceroy who defeated the French from his country. Nith was raised in the Royal Palace of Luang Prabang, where this dish was served to recieve guests of honour.There are no cuttle fish in the Mekong of course, but the petal of a banana flower is so similar to a Venitian gondola that I could not stop from giving a Venitian touch to it.

The advantage of the banana flower is that it has no taste at all. In fact it tastes of nothing which is a true particular taste in Laos.FLEURBANAE
It is a way to tame the most explosiv tastes, by transforming it immidiatly into floral delicate notes, tastes that would normal melt any regular mouth at the first bite. We muzzle the Doge with terrorism in panties. A true Carnival for the senses.
For this the tiny cutlefish are quickly cooked in order to let them melt in the banana flower. Remember the banana plant is not a tree, it is an herb, the biggest of all herbs on the planet. But its flower does not create life, it becomes a bunch of bananas: no insemination, no sex. The herb produces its bananas and then die. The mystery of Virgin Mary. Buddha spoke of the banana as a symbol of vanity of desires. It is exactly what this dish wants to tell.
Musa is the scientific name of the banana. Josephine Baker could not make it for lunch, so we changed of Muse. We needed a good one to inspire this Tiger New Year. “I like bananas ’cause there’s no bone in them…”. Tiger rag.

Second : veal of 4 hours covered with La Lot leaves and lichen preserved in amaretto.VEAU LA LOT
Veal… the veal of the salted meadows of the Venitian Laguna does not exist anymore. We have tasted it ten years ago thanks to this butcher of Vialle Garibaldi, a modest artisan with a good taste. The great New York Chef Babbo had already predicted this to us. There is very little decent meat left in this country anymore. The intensive industrialisation has changed a lot of things here. Dario Cecchini, the king of the Fiorentine Bisteca, after 250 years of being a butcher, ended up by making a deal with a peasant from the Basque country side, near San Sebastian, to get the best veal raised on real grass. True meat. In Venice, the speciality since… say… 600 years, was the veal raised on salted meadows. Today our butcher gets it from Holland, raised on salted grass under the polders. If things are evolving concerning the quality of meat in Italy please let me know.

Sorry for this harsh landing back on earth, lets resume our dream immidiatly.FEUILLESBROCOS

For 50 people you take 2 thin veal nuts and a fat one just in case. These are the pieces from the leg that are used to make the picatta. The important here is to take the entire muscle, without piercing it in any way. I pass it quickly on a hot pan with olive oil and grated garlic dipped in soy sauce.
Then pass the lichen by the same pan, Usnea barbata, which the Chinese call moss; I moisten it with amaretto to get all the remaining juice from the meat.

I place the veal nuts on a bed of brocoli leaves on the oven tray. Wrap each nut with moss and La Lot leaves, which are sort of young betel leaves (which people often mistake for), Piper sarmentosum, with tender and sweet pepered taste. I press them so that the veal is tightly wrapped in it.

In the oven at 10 o’clock to be served at 2PM. Temperature 60°C, never above 63°C which is the coagulation temperature. You will get a veal with its’ orginal texture and grain of meat. It looks like it is raw, but it is in fact preserved with all its’ humidity, as the muscle has kept its cells intact. A meat that you can slice by gliding even the most embarassing knife ever.ARTICHAUTS

When we serve it, we put a line of “fond de veau” made of concentrated bone broth reduced and cooked for 3 days, which will finish the plate by giving it an absolute contrast, a clair obscur to remind the art of Zurbaran.

The side dishes?
season vegetabes from the Laguna : the famous brocoli leaves sauted to a burn, cracking Jerusalem artichokes almost raw and crispy dry black cabbage leaves.

The laguna has its own very special taste, like a deep back noise which develops itself in any vegetable growing there. To descibe it, I would say it is a bit sweet and salty, with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg and a cherry in the back. A totally personal impression, it tastes good.CAVOLO NERO

Poiret, the French Couturier, liked cabbage above all. His recipe: “take a small curly leaf of cabbage spread with a good redberry marmalade. Eat”. In doing so, I think that this well known fanatic of masquerade ball was certainly remembering the Venitian splendour and its’ famous black cabbage of the Rialto market. This black leaf becomes crispy like silk paper once heated in the oven.

Everywhere we tend to eat the flower of the cabbage, of the brocoli or of the cauliflower, in Italy they prefere the leaves.

I cannot resist to remind this interesting piece of litterature on French cabbage. It is written by Charles Fourier the inventor of socialism in his book “the new industrial world and society”, it is no socialist joke, the cabbage leads here to a true vision of a bright future :COUPEGAT
“Is is the expression of love with no barrier, no mystery, the young love leaping from pleasure to pleasure. The cauliflower is an ocean of flowers, the image of beauty. Its plays no tricks, free as youth, prefering orgies to enduring love, no need for subterfuge, like the clamped youth which has for symbol the fat cabbage.”
For him, the cabbage with leaves, on the contrary, was the vegetable of mysteries, intrigues and tricks; the perfect Venitian. ” Its’ ruffled leaves, announce the tricks of lovers hiding their relationship. They are more blue than greenish, because blue is the colour of troubled love. Blue dominates in the leaf of the carnation flower when it paints a young girl satiated by love, or expecting her lovers.
What a declaration: Fourier is the guy who invented the word “feminism” … after the word socialism he seemed to be on the verge of inventing the “cabbagism”; he did not; but today is carnival so lets dare it.

Behind their white masks the inhabitants of the moon, described by Cyrano de Bergerac the famous libertine writer at the time of Louis the XIIIth, replied : “to say that God prefered man to cabbage, it is like tickling ourself to force us to laugh : being incapable of passion, He does not hate, nor love anybody. If He was to love, He would probably give all His tenderness to this cabbage, which would be incapable to offense Him in return, instead to this man who already displays insults in front of Him and who would destroy Him immidiatly if he could do so.”
Beware the soul of a cabbage.TIGREDELMAR2

As dessert, in the city of lions we could not produce a mouse. So to the lion, red and gold on the top of his column on San Marco, we replied with the “Tigre del Mar” a black and yellow marbled cake and a pear granité.
Between a saffron & malt biscuit, one level of caroub chocolate, one level of chipotle chilly chocolate and the top with lime and passion fruit chocolate… it has been created as an echo for this Chinese new Year of the Tiger from the Mexican paradise Careyes, “Tigre del Mar”, created by a son from Northen Italy, Gian Franco Brignone, for the turtles and the Venitian Princes.



Facebook and Twitter are mushrooms : fertilizers and pesticides have no future anymore

February 26th, 2010

Once more… One more protocole set up by the team SOS SOiL, to remplace agro chemicals in the fields of Argentina, Belgium etc., approved by an official Institution in France :
“Fungi, an underestimated ressource” this is what announces in magazine of the IRD, which stands for the French Institute for Research for Developping Countries.
We are not the only ones to have revealed the Pandora Box : Robin Duponnois of the IRD, woks in Mali since 2006 on termite dust. He discovered that it was a perfect fertilzer for vegetable.

What is it in fact?

Termites live in symbiosis with mushroom which they grow. These mushroom digest all the plant residu they are bringing back home. With this the mushroom produces sugar, a sort of honey they feed their larvaes with.

In fact it is the mycelium which works, the body of the mushroom; because the mushroom itself, is more like a fruit which bears the spores, waiting for the next breeze with its hat on. The mushroom frees its spores which inoculate the ultra rich humus.

So when we spread the dust of termite mounds on a crop, we are spreading mushroom spores which will soon turn into mycelium associated with bacterias. This gang is getting organised together with the roots from the plants, to supply for all the water and minerals they need. The deal is carbon against fertilizer, water and antibiotics.

It is just like installing the most sophisticated micro irrigation together with the most updated device to feed with oligo elements and minerals, specialy adapted to each kind of plant. What do you say about this?

The extreme interest about mycelium is that it can grow very fast. It runs like Paul Stamets says. And when it doesn’t run fast enough, it “communicates” with its’ social network to organise all the ressources. It uses its Facebook and Twitter. In terms of celebrities, you have only bacterias. But this is what you need here; they bring water in exchange of delicatly prepared carbon.

Nothing sad in the “Malheur National Forest” East Oregon, just the biggest and oldest living being on earth : an Armillaria Ssp., a honey mushroom.

This chap covers 2 400 acres… no kidding, the size of 1 665 football field. It is estimated 2 200 years old. Still you can pass by without noticing it : One day they built a road to cross the mountain… one month later the road had disappeared, completly digested. The mycelium had totally eaten the whole tarmac, turned it into fertilizer…

In fact, many forest glades are runned by fungi. They sustain the balance needed by a natural forest. The Armillaria is a tree killer, as well as a forest regenarator for its biodiversity and its force. As long as the tree is vigourous, it will feed it; but at the slight faint, it has no pity; it will eradicate it to prepare the ground for new ones.

It looks hysterical, I must say. Nothing to do with the old wise man in the woods. But in order to control it, nature has many devices, like yeasts and other fungis : the cauliflower mushroom, Sparasis crispa, for example.

This is for the wine makers and the potato growers: they can control blight by using the same principles. To be sustainable in nature, it is a question of dynamic balance. In fact many mushroom act as prebiotics, favoring good bacteria against bad. But what is good or bad? Man just does not want to think and kills everything with pesticide.

Hence, these deals are the basics of life : a plant brings carbon with its falling leaves and its roots. It is in the interest of the mushroom to accelerate the process and make it grow the faster and the bigger. Logic, isnt’ it?

The consequences of this basic principle of life are numerous :
It acts like an insurance against climate change. If suddenly tthere is no water anymore, it will bring water from deeper and farther. Or it will switch on its’ Twitter and Facebook for its’ associated bacteria network. They are all addicted to sweets. To pay for it they have organised a super growing control device to supply water, and in case it rains too much, stock it in the aquifer for later.

This network, bacteria-mycelium has been organised for more than 600 millions years. Plants joined in 400 million years ago. It is time that man “becomes a fan”, dont you think so?

80% of living beings live in the 15cm of the top soil. One must always remember that the soil is alive. If it dies water cannot penetrate, it will erode the surface and cast the goodies away. The bacteria and all the living beings allow water to penetrate in the earth. The aerobic bacteria are living on oxygen at the surface together with the anaerobic bacterias deep under. It is the basic of Soil life.
So when you till the ground, you just burn the anaerobic with oxygen and suffocate the rest deep under. Henceforth you break up and destroy all the mycelium net. Did you understand? There is no scientific base in tilling: to think it is good for agriculture is cheer credence, nothing else. Evil.

The most funny side of the story, is that the French institution IRD, seems to have discovered moon… when it is in fact the result of long researches from the XVIII century to the XXIst, with a long list of researchers, from Braun Blanquet to Paul Stamets, my two preferates. You dont earn money with fungi and bacterias, like you do with pesticide, fertilizer or even fungicides. Nobody will loan money from the agro banks to pay for the heavy equipment with this kind of set up…

Dont think so fast… people make money with water, why not with fungi or air? In its great dedication to save the developping countries the IRD has patented a living being. It is not the first to do so. Still it has patented life: the result of termites and fungi inoculation.

To set up a start-up company in Senegal to sell inoculated trees and veggies, ok… but to patent life in the name of helping development… there is something rotten. After all, why not? it might be a good thing; if a technology does not cost anything, it is not granted for serious…

On their way they also found out that mushroom could parasite insects and become biopesticides :
Cordyceps myrmecophilia for example, develops itself on wood eating ants. It is used to kill invading termites in the US (not in Europe of course, where we use always more pesticides).

Just imagine: It is absoutly facinating to watch this mycelium taking hold of the body of the ant without affecting its vital functions. You see the white mycelium clearly progressing in the transparent body of the ant… until it decides to reproduce itself. It goes right to the brain of the animal and takes control of it. It orders the ant to reach the top of the highest plant nearby and stiffs it right there. Then the mushroom grows on the head of the ant with its’ cap on top to cast its spores away and reach the next bunch of ants. It is a natural pesticide which reproduces itself on its own. Dont tell… very bad for commerce.

They also discovered that a tree inoculated with a mycelium could grow three times faster than without… Something that is used on the US West Coast since 2002 and especially to replant the forest devasted by the big fires of 2007 / 2008…

They learned that a potato plant can give three times more potato, something we’ve been saying to the small producers in the Andes for the project Tikka Papa, for which we got the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organisation) gold medal in 2006… a plant like a vine could grow faster and stronger, producing top quality wine, like we teach in Bas Armagnac since 2009.

These basic processes of life that we learned from the scientific understanding of Masanobu Fukuoka’ natural agriculture in Japan, these French people are patenting it in the name of development…

But the worm is now in the fruit. Farmers from the North, if they say this discovery is only only valid for the South, just wake up and ask yourself. The answer is at hand. To be a farmer today is to play at the crossroad of many sciences, botanics, entomology, mycology, cellular microbiology, genetics… But before all, we are in a world of information : agriculture today has also to do with informing and communicating with your soil.

Everything can happen… the "Queer" of transgenics to rescue the GMO "Queen"

February 24th, 2010

Take a look at these splendid potatoes… more than 3000 varieties, one for everyday, for the next 10 years…

But now you will get the transgenic “duke of York”, the GMO “King Edward”… the GMO “British Queen”…

Excellent… the brand new Royal GMO potato family brought to you by the incredible mad hatter… no, no, sorry, stop. Where is “Prince Charles”?

I wanted to talk about the new potato collection prepared for you by the icon of transgenic labs, the Sainsbury foundation of England. It has succeeded to get the GREEN light (dont laugh) to plant them, as test, behind barbled wired high fences, under high security and arms. One must remind that this Sainsbury lab has nothing to do with the supermarket chain of the same name, the first big chain to kick away GMOs from their shops.

Transgenic what for? To resist blight, the desease which provoqued the Irish famine, the allmighty scarecrow to pass any GMO in the UK. Transgenic as well to resist to nematods, the little invisible worms eating the potatoes before we do. Of course each transgenic potato has its’ own specialty, you cannot get all at a time, choose your disease comrad…

How glorious it is to see that the same tricks and recipies still work like in the old time, use fear to swallow something even more dreadfull; cuddling intelligence by tetanizing it, a good old tradition of warriors to tackle good sens with terror.

Save the world from famine? defend our crops from climate change? This is what the GMO fans of Albion are running for. They chose their defender of the moment in the person of Lord Chris Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency; who better?. The eminent former member of government, daring and utmost sympathetic, the first politician to declare his homosexuality and seroposivity at the parliament, an event at the time. A man of guts. He is now testing the British public opinion on GMOs. What a wierd political communication strategy: the “Queer” of transgenic to rescue the GMO “Queen”, before the great battle in Brussels to be led by the European governments and pro GMO Manuel Barroso. Perfide Albion.

GMOs have to pass at any cost… Potato so easy to replant and multiply… it has to be controled totally by BASF and the other true serious corporations.

Biologists know perfectly well that Blight is a mushroom and that any mushroom can be controled by another mushroom; when you use the oyster mushroom mycelium for example, you also boost your potato crop. As for nematodes are killed by Tagetes Minuta, a plant that grows everywhere on the planet and particularly in association with the potato. It would be interesting to give some basic information about botanics to the farmers… they are supposed to deal with plants everyday, but they dont know the basics. They are not the only ones, but sometimes we can ask ourselves if it is not so on purpose.

Nature is jolly well done, isnt it? But if farmers start to think like this, they wont buy any drugs from any company. How can you milk a farmer if he starts to do so? How can you finance our good old European corporations, sustain solid infrastructures, get a serious political class? Say, where would go our world if it was free to do what it wanted? If peasants were free to produce their own seeds, fertilizers and remedies?

To feed the world? in reality the target is rather confused :

“A star(ch) is born” announces BASF, with its legendary German humour. Starch, yes; to make your paper more glossy, your Savile Row suite even more stif, your threads shiny. 20 years now, that they have been working on selecting the starch potato from potatoes they croped in Mexico and Peru. Biopiratry? What are you talking about? They are true researchers who have created a potato, a “novel” product. To show that it is THEIR OWN creation, they inoculated to it a marker gene. Here the marker is a gene resistant to antibiotics protecting us against E. Coli and other agents provocateurs of nosocomial diseases. Thanks.

Yes you read well, they inoculated a potato with a gene resistant to the antibiotic kanamycine, the antibiotic which helps us to survive from a bacterial disease, all this to recognize THEIR POTATO, which they have patented.

They named the potatoe amFLORA, probably for its beautiful flowers (flora in latin). Because it makes flowers, which is the traditionnal way to select and intercross the genes.

“My dear MPs, potato has also its’ sexual life, it is no mystery”.

Ouch, what a coming out : it takes 20 years to obtain a new potato by crossing potato flowers and get proper seeds.

“This gene cannot be transmitted to man, because this potato is not for eating and the reproduction through flowers is neglectible”. They gave it as little name : amFLORA… strange German humour? Because pollen goes from one flower to another. It is so light, that a slight breeze can bring it up to the stratosphere. From there it can turn around the world and one day fall anywhere, maybe on a potato for man or a pig. Maybe it can seduce a pollinator… can you imagine the amount of pollen in thousands of hectares of potato fields needed by the industry?

The Sainsbury lab, seems more pragmatic: “why wait 20 years to create a blight or nematod resistant potato when we can stick the gene right away?” Life is so simple. But in the first hand, why spending so much money on a problem which has been solved with success for more than 2000 years? You only need to know about it? Sorry for the XIXth century Irishmen. You need to teach the peasants. Why hide them the truth? Three cheers for BIODIVERSITY. One must learn from it and use it.

Hopefully we live in a wonderfull world… Farmers are claiming for a GMO free label, special to label the meat and the milk which is produced without feeding on imported trans soy from Brasil and Argentina for which we are the N°1 clients.

Lets forget for a while the pollen, the planet and its’ stratosphere, lets dream…