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‘Spices & recipies’ Category

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.

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.



A cuttlefish too shy to become an olive

October 24th, 2009

soupions finis
Cuttlefish pronounced with the Provence accent, soupions, is already an invitation to feast, a descrete call to pleasure… fenel, garlic, coriander, le basil, a little raw ham … but above all, olives, belly down, are such in a hurry to be there first, that they arrive all broken down “cassée” we say here…

Yes, there is one time in the year, when the olive tree, gives the best of itself, the fresher, the more vivid ;grossanes when its fruit is the most ferm and cast the more green aromas. Now or nether. September, October, November, it is the right time to stray in the Alpilles, around les Baux de Provence, to pick the big plumpy green Grossane. The more you pick them, the more they will make you fall.

The Alpilles… Mr Seguin and his goat… a refuge for Florentine conjurators, away from the Medicis revenge; Nostradamus used to live here : “the day the world will come to its end water will rise up to the stele of the Mas de la Dame”…  The Mas de la Dame right in the center of les Baux, THE delicious organic WINE along with its’ perfect olives…

In Provence in the old times, the midwife used to recieve the new born in her arms oined with olive oil and then would dip him in a bath of red wine…

This fantasy could be at the origin of today’s recipe : born in oil, redished in wine…

Prepare the olives, finely cut with garlic and fenel… fry in the wok with olive oil and salt, some celery leaves chopped to their bare element, swiftly, easy.
cassées GP
Horace, in his frugalous moments, was mad about them, Martial used them as the best side meal for drinking. They could ennoble even a duck :

Today it is the turn of two little cuttlefish, who did not asked anything to anybody, but they merit… the wok, same thing, swiftly al dente. You dress them on your dish. Fill them with the cooked olives from head to the jarettière, which is easy to find as there are eight legs in an octopus.

In Béarn, we used to call the little balls, “oulibètes”, little olives. The lady soothsayers of the temple of Mylitta used to suck so well the olives to their bones, displaying the most delicate skills in front of men holding their breath to discover their future. Mylitta was the Aphrodite of the Great Hore of Babylon. It was the duty of each lady from the good society to go there and prositute herself, once a year. Mylitta, pleasures for the mouth; Mylitta, the birth of militants ?

Calm down, give the raw ham a heat in the wok; when crispy, a sip of sweet red wine, “Mas Amiel” from Maury. Remember: born in the oil, redished in the wine. A little coriandre will conclude the prophecy with delicacy.
The olive is the “flower of Joy” in the Sonnet of the asshole from Verlaine the Poet :

” It is the gaping olive with the cuddling flute,
The tube in which descend the celestial pralin,
A womanly Chanaan burst in a clammy win!”

In reality, olives are less mouth irritations, than tactile pleasures : “Gracious olives polished with fingers to become a dove or a marine conch : green, so many, so pure tits of nature…” Thank you Pablo Neruda : the important is to given them always a virgin, cold and prime pressure.

A Greek, a Roman, never likes them too mature. The “omphacine” is the secret of longevity, the viscous juice from the green olives, harsh and fresh. You oint the athletes before the Games with it. Honey inside, sourgreen outside, the winner recieves the oil from Athena and the crown from the olive tree, the “Akeratos” tree, the “one with no horns”, the eternal being.

It was the smell of the olive oil on the body, which used to differenciate the slave from the free man, divine sweat, dew of living gold. It is called “fruttato” oil in Italy, the “S’Olivariu” of Cesare Samugheo from Cuglieri in Sardigna, still vibrant and bitchy, as a revenge from being picked too early. In Mallorca, it is the mythic DAURO cropped only from trees older than 200 years, just after the September rains which tamed them and convinced them to uncover unbelievable ranges of subtleness. But pinacle of fantasy, until now, one would think that the olive was jumping from green to black on Newton’s colour spector… At Dauro’s the olives are cropped when they reach the colour of flesh.

Treasure of life, treasure of flesh, when the sea encounters the mountains, the soothsayer orders to cheer with the wine Stèle Blanc 2008 from the Mas de la Dame…… still waiting for the water to come. TRINK…
soupions cassé

Rigolotto of amaranth in a porcini broth : meals from Sardigna picked in nature

October 18th, 2009

Grains of amaranth… grained'amarante

a neglected food, 2 times more nutritiv than milk in proteins, calcium, magnesium, etc. which brings above all all the mollecules that allow you to assimilate and take advantage of all these goodies

Nature brings us all the ingredients to solve any food crisis present and to come, but isn’t our belief in progress, in a manipulated chemical and allmighty agriculture, realy letting us realise this fact?

Today we are going to make a risotto with amarante instead of rice.

It doesn’t exist so we will name it. Amarantto? a good name but slightly pretentious for such a little and discrete grain as the amaranth. : <strong>”la marante” in French means the funny one ? The odd word for this is “rigolo”. So let it be named the Rigolotto.


At the first encounter grains of amaranth have a slightly earth smell, like a teddy bear which spend 20 years under ground in a treasure box. A good broth will get rid of this quite nasty smell.

vallée champ
As we are going to prove that it can be a meal that costs nothing and which os more nutrient than a steak, off we go in the Sarde maquis for a little walk in nature to pick anything good we find. An hour after, here we are with a douzain of different families of mushroom and wild plants, wild rocket salad, chenopode, amaranth leaves, cousteline, pursiane portulacca olaecera, nettless… and more.


First thing, wash the amaranth grains in water to get rid of the saponins. Some people dont like them.

Meanwhile start the broth with a garlic sofrito and all the mushpods. Once everything groweling with nice noises soupechamp1 throw the pursiane plants, the chenopode and amaranth leaves, nettles, and cold water. slow fire, a hat and forget it for a while.

The amaranth and chenopode leaves where used by South America’s native indians when they had problems of decalcification, and toothaches. These properties are confirmed by todays medecine which has also proved there hipoglucemiant an astringent properties (Conforti et al. 2005), bringing as well essential amino acids to man… Just imagine it nourishes you while lowering the level of sugar in your blood and helps you to get fit… perfect, no? so make it swiftly, without a boil.

The pursiane, Portulacca olaecerae, is the Mediterranean plant for long life. Here Sardegna there is a village where 60% of the population is betwin 95 and 112 years. Guess what they eat? Wild plants among which this famous pursiane, the icone of the Cretan diet…

Now we prepare some little starters. You never know, you might have surprise guests that might be upset with their first encounter with this poor dish of amaranth. People are generally very conservative when it comes to food. What’s this stuff? Is it really eatable? We are first hungry with our eyes. And here in Ital if you have no antipasti, it is as of there is no dinner. poivrons facris2

Tiny Peperoncini stuffed with anchovies crushed with a fork with onions, leaves of cousteline, the best salad in the world – sort of small dendelion with round tipped leaves – and buttons of capers freshly picked from the walls of the church of the village.
We put aside a bit of this crush of herbs, without anchovies this time: some rocket and cousteline chopped and added to a bit of the cold Rigolotto will make the best Taboule.

Why not an eggplant caviar as well, not much work for a good result. Grill the eggplants sliced in two, without forgetting to burn the skin. Yes you can burn… With a fork mulch it with some garlic and olive oil, fruttato is the best olive oil for this, with its’ sour and spicy taste. Wake up egg plants… a bit of chilly will help. As we are in Sardegna we add a bunch of basil leaves. There might be some people on diet as well, so lets give it a younger life to this old recipe : add water and mount it into an emulsion, just like a light mayonaise. The problem then is that it is so good, that you end up eating all the pot.

Now to the serious part : the mushrooms.


Before, importantissimo, a walk to the pharmacy to check them all out incase you dont want to spend your last night in front of a funghi. The pharmacist was not from the area. Slightly unexperienced… a double check in neede at the hunter’s bar.

There, the barber, yes, like in the medieval times, at the time of Ambroise Paré, here it is the old barber who know best the different mushrooms. In his sardo italian grumble, I must say I didnt get a single name for the mushrooms. Anyhow, all the hunters around heiled his impartial and sharp judgement. We wont die tonight.

The parasol mushroom, macrolepiota procera, under the grill. 10 minutes each side, crushed garlic, salt, olive oil. Done.


All the other funghi, one by one in the pan with, olive oil, salt and parsley for the lucky ones.

We named some of them witchmushis… to give a name it always reassure you … They are more red than the earth, and yellow inside which turns dark indigo blue just as you cut it… by magic… a bit spooky no? A bit of toad blood and bat nail? But after a while in the pan they come back to yellow, the flask witch belly comes back to normal texture, rather crispy indeed… delicious.champbleu1champbleu detail

champbleu5champbleu +poellechampbleujaune2

Back to the rigolotto :

Sofrito of garlic, grains of amaranth, broth. Start eating the antipastis, en revenant de temps en temps pour touillerand come back from time to time to turn your dish. You have more or less 16mn. Be carefull not to make antipasti to easy and quick to eat…

Done. On the side you keep two spoons of it that you make cold quickly to mix with the crushed herbs of the Taboule, and everybody is happy..

With a good dry white wine. Here we have the Semidano of Mogoro Sicilia. Humm…

plat champs

End of August… Coco didledoo… the recipe of the real Provence Coco beans in anchovy cream and pesto

September 20th, 2009

Artichoke choc-choc? Aubergine gigine? no … the bean, the one and only “haricot”, precious jewel of the Provence cuisine, has the priviledge of being named “Coco”… In case you are craving for the recipe just zap directly to the end. Otherwise…cocofrais

It has scared many more people already : Brillat Savarin, “Curse on the coco beans, curse the swamp beans …” (the physiologie of taste)… dull Northeners as well… An authentic “a meal of vilain”, the fair accomplice of garlic, anchovy and basil… of the late summer… the glory of never ending sun sets… a salvo to the belated pending pink flamingoes of the Salins de Giraud, still asking to themselves if it is really necessary to go back to Africa… the comfort of an ending sunny day in the Calanques of Marseille, battered by the Mistral wind, which, without telling, could not refrain from casting some of the chilly North Sea in the Méditerranean, … COCO…

COCO is not only a perfume… it is the ultimate artifice of the Adonis festival, for which all spices are getting sharpened, ready for a whole week of complete licence, all five senses at their extremes… women, husband, as you please… the 15th of August, festival of the virgins… pleasure without procuration, without procreation… decadent Rome, elegant Rome. Adonis has never been considered exactly as a politicaly correct company… but all ends in a burst of COCO beans, bean heads, bean brains… to harrypotter?… no! “Haricoter” : in Auvergne, center of France, it stands for ” to tear apart a piece of lamb”, as well as “to caress lovingly a woman”… the Auvergnat traditional dish is “the  lamb haricot”… nothing to do with these poor fellows confined in their barracks, zealously left to their dry kidney beans . Same with the “Bean Hostal”; it used to be the nickname of the town prison and the “fayot” a bean head military who signs up for another go.

However in Catalogna, the fasting delicacy, is the mounjo, moungeta, moungete, mogett,… a nun… a nice little nunny; cant mistake with the COCO bean, can you? Although the “nun’s fart” is a standard traditional cake : an ivorish carnation under swelling veils, plumpy and generous, propitious to convert anybody. The Coco bean, on the contrary, is the poor man’s organ with it’s ever going exhalating happyness. Hilarious. Hi, that’s me. Take Five.

If Romans used it to put an end… to sublimate a whole week of orgie in order resume the everyday life… it is a Florentine woman, Catherine of Medicis, who made it famous. Her uncle of Pope, Clement the VIIth, former Jules of Medicis, has given monk Valeriano a sack of this COCO treasure, recently discovered in Peru, as dowry to Henri II and his queer court. The valeriane is a plant which excites cats, but make man sleep. The ecclesiastic canon Piero Valeriano was not exactly a wacky guy, but the plethorical germination of the coco bean truly made him jubilant; and indeed the multicolor jewels have been a real benediction for the famous sister of Alexander of Medicis.

“It was shown to me… a true little bean” Gasparine, Pot-Bouille, Zola, Nana… a dry bean lacks definitly the voluptuous curves, the almighty nude, love handed flesh of the cook bean. Worse, today’s master word is lean, quick, slim, slender… the GREEN bean has become the “New Look”, modern times’ credo, a boaring belief that turns women into fleshless anemic poor things.

“So let us seed until it is still time to,

Cause the bean song is one of the shortest”

Sings Georges Guétary in  Florished Road of Francis Lopez. Olé! Besitos.

The Recipe :

Ingredients : coco beans, veggies, spices, and an anchoiade base (anchovy paste).

Options : poutargue or basil, make your choice.

A piece of advice : to be prepared before going to bed for the next day.

Onion sofrito with garlic and veggies : On Arles’ market we have organic “Thai aubergines”, “snake zucchinies”, ” Royal Thai basil with citronnella at the Laosian stand. aubergine thaiYes we are lucky. The sofrito, always with olive oil. May I remind you that the best olive oil in France is the one of Montfrin castle, gold medal 2006&2008 of the general agriculture competition, distilled by the great Jean René de Fleurieu … excellent.sofrito coco

The coco bean does not mingle with the mediocre. When the sofrito is done : throw the beans. Water, the less calcar possible. Cover, cuddle. slight fire, inexistant, protct it fro the flames with thick diffuser. At a slight boil, you have the shakes. Stop. The best is to use a thick iron pot to keep the heat longer and slow.  Slowly my sweety coco.  It is 3 O’clock in the morning, turn off everything. Cover. Next morning, you release the cover. Yummy. What a nice day. Give a little heat. Not too much.

Back in the evening . The serious job starts: according to your mind,  crush a handfull of basil, or lard micrometric slices of Poutargue, the dry fish row from Martigues. Once your spirits recovered, grab a sauce pan, crushed garlic and olive oil. Put the juice of the coco with a Mexican chipotle chile.

Now the anchovy paste: dilute and emulsionate in the sauce. It will be the salt of your COCOs. Off the fire. A big breath and when you feel it is not too warm anymore mix 2/3 of the fresh basil or the poutargue. Serve while spreading the remaining 1/3. (without eating the poutargue hiding, bean head…)coco pret

Sorry I could not refrain…

The original Bouillabaisse: nowhere else, in Marseille, Mediterranea, “Med” in France

July 29th, 2009

soupe-poissonLa BOUILLABAISSE des Calanques de Marseilles

Boui Abaisso, the boiling soup, low on the warm cinders,

or Boui Peis, fish soup in Provençal; Bullit de Peis in Ibicenco…

Boui, Abaisso!, It boils, you dip the fish… the true solution, with the accent, please.

But fish is expensive and rare… the delicate abbess, queen of the art, praised by Joseph Mery, the gastronom poet from Marseille in XIX° century, friend of Dumas and of the Goncourt, used to say :

” Nothing should be more expensive, in this life; after this,

Nothing more expensive than a marble stone, with four cypresses.”

So, before the poem, we need to do

A serious coulis, as foreword too,

Of hundred little fish, from this morning,

swiftly slowly on a smokeless fire distilating,

A liquid treasure and fragrant broth;

Here then will come and melt, delicatly,

All needed for the aroma and flavor, spicy :

Sprigs of saffron, a bunch of fenel,

Pepper from Lebanon, crackling laurel,

Salt, the friend of man, and the delicious urchins,

That our dear Arenc feed his bassin.

When the foam is simmering on this immense coulis,

Coocked to its’ point, the poem starts, Si !

To this Phocean treat, accomplished indeed,

Indispensable, and  before all, we need

The Rascass, fish, of the most vulgar;

Alone on a grill, it is just good for the mortar,

But in the bouille-abaisse, it suddenly spreads

Marvellous flavour which goes to our heads.

The rascass fed on the bunches of syrtles,

In the bays covered with laurel and myrtles,

Or just under a rock of flowers of thym,

Bringing all perfumes to the table of this festin.

Then the fish away from the harbour, at a distance

In the depth of the reefs, the red mullet for instance

The delicate Pagel, the john dory suculant,

Favorite game of the sea bass, the arrogant,

Last, the galinette, with its eyes of old dogs,

And many more, forgotten by the ichtyologues,

Fine fish for which Neptune, in his flaming sky,

Leaves the trident for the fork, not a bit shy

Frivolous travellers and juges illegitimate,

For a 60 cent bouille-abaisse, never be candidate;

Go to the Chateau Vert, order a supper;

Say : ” I want a good meal, the best for the upper;

send the divers in the marine rocks, deep,

To ravish my senses with the perfume, divine and sweet;

Serve yourself with parangre of the Romans and from the Greeks, the thyse ,

Tomorrow is another day; hush dont tell the price ! “

Le Gourmet – Joseph Méry (1798-1866) – translation by lesfoodingues


Firm meat fish : spiny lobster, the strange cicada, the rare red gambas, the galinette, the gurnard, the weever, the vaudreuil and the monk fish, conger, fielas and all sorts of crabs…

the delicate meat fish : the whiting, the sea bass, the roucaou, red mulet, mulet, john dory…

Scale and clean them  (except the red mullet, the wood cock of the sea and all the crustaceous) lay the two kind of fish on separate plates.

sofritoIn a wide pan, a sofrito : 5 fresh onions chopped with their herbs; a whole garlic, two tomatoes, thyme, wild fenel, a dash of absynthe, a leaf of laurel, flat parsley, orange or citrus peels (use the iranian dried limes if you dont have fresh organic ones). A good chile ancho, negro or pasilla from Oaxaca, Mexico.

Pour all the fishing of the day, small rock fish with no ceremony, except a glass of pastis for yourself. Once the soup ready, first cook the firm flesh fish and then the delicate flesh, each time adding a spoon of olive oil and bringging to a boil to emulsify. Serve one fish at a time and share it with your friends. At the end serve the broth.


Put a toasted bread piece rubbed with garlic on the side of the plate, put one piece of firm flesh fish and one piece of delicate flesh fish on its side. A cup of soup some parsley and serve.

Dont forget your glass of pastis or Casanis on the side of the furnace, as you might dry up more quickly than the fish…

Two important things: the diversity fo the rock fish and the ad hoc timing for each fish (a monk fish has not the same timing as the john dory…)

soupe-haricots1Third essential point : olive oil, garlic and broth ; the three elements which allow the perfect emulsion, garlic providing the tensio activ mollecules for the perfect texture. The true bouillabaisse requires quite some garlic and olive oil to succeed.

Tonight in total intimity we decided to dedicate a simple homage to the small fish fished just under our cabin in the Calanques de Marseille this morning. As we did not fish any big ones (see we are not always boasting in Marseille…) we remplaced them with the stupendous red coco beans, cooked slowly during hours in onions and chile pasilla from Oaxaca. We also replaced the garlic rubbed bread with Sare fish fillets fished and BBQed the day before, which we spread with garlic…

Sorry you cannot eat this in a restaurant; though if you find it in a restaurant tel me and I will rush there immidiatly.

Quinoto, the greatest invention since risotto…

July 20th, 2009

During our missions in Peru for the Tika papa project, for the biodiversity of potato in its’ country of origin, one good alternativ  to potato from time to time in our plates, as well as for agriculture, is the quinoa.


QUINOA : a great cereal from the Andes Cordillera. Its grains have proteins close to animal proteins. It is therefore very nourishing and has no gluten like in wheat and so does not make you fat…

But here in Peru tquinoa was always served like a side dish, dull, needing a dip sauce like a couscous. Always the same thing. So some 5 years ago we decided that a new standard dish was needed in the young “nueva cocina andina”, the nouvelle cuisine from the Andes, of which the chef Gaston is the Pope.


The principle is simple : cook the quinoa al dente in water and finish it in a concentrated broth; because quinoa cant cook in the broth directly and does not swell enough to be creamy as a risotto.

So here is to start with this new series of unpublished recipies : the “Eat All Sprout Quinotto”.

rinse and boil your grains of quinoa. You will rinse it to get rid of the slight saponines it has just like you do with a starched rice. Cook until al dente . The easiest way is t use a autocoocker, the classic chinese rice coocker. Same amount of water than grains, if you have a lot of calcar put half an inch more.

Meanwhile friepan your green peas, flat beans, celery, with Mexican Ancho chile, Fu Quock pepper, ginger, salt, garlic chives…mangetout

Reduce the chicken or veggy broth. mix it and drye it with the al dente quinoa. Use only organic veggies so you can use the peals to make your broth. Mix with the veggies. Make it reduce without overcooking the veggies, to get a creamy quinotto with crispy veggies.

How to treat yourself sanely by eating good stuff : to bring the final touch of freshness and slight bitter mustardy fizzy surprise; just before serving add some sprouts of mustard, red cabbage and broccoli. These sprouts are a concentrate of vital elements and antioxydants. Excellent for your health and recommanded to fight against cancer.


The best invention since chocolate…

July 17th, 2009

Do you know the Epicea? Yes the Christmas tree.


Les Foodingueshave just invented the best chocolate sweet ever. A chocolate withe the slight taste of citrus and pine resin.

epiceapoussespick the tender sprout of the epicea.

melt dark organic chocolate  70 or 80% cocao, from America, Venezuela, Trinidad, or Peru.

Lay the sprouts on a pastry cooking paper and top them with the melted chocolate, while leaving som green to see. Let them harden and serve.

Just delicious.


“menestra de verdura” : spring is back in the Basque Country

May 11th, 2009

menestrapAt last Spring has arrived in our plates, in this night of May .

A real treasure : Navara’s Menestra, a rare treat which happens only a short week in the year, when the very first vegetables come young tiny, no fibres, nor floury.

Here we are going to discover the true recipe of the “menestra de verdura” handed down from generation, mouth to mouth, in the Basque kitchens of San Sebastian, the ones that have been the true inspiration of the dean of the Spanish gastronomy, Arzak the genius.

Vegetables always take the longest time to prepare, but they will guaranty you pure pleasure. In the Basque Country this plate gathers mass of people, very serious competitions are organised each year, as soon as the vegetables sprout in Navara. This night, as we come back with our treasure of vegies to Paris, we decided to share with friend this rather confidential treasure.

Ingredients for 5 :

10 small violet artichokes, 2kg tiny fresh peas, 2kg tiny broad beans, 1kg beet, 1/2 kg new tiny yellow potatoes, 2 bunch fresh onions, 1 whole fresh garlic, 50 gr grease of Iberic ham, 20 gr Iberic ham meat, 1 egg, 50gr of flour, safron, salt, organic olive oil, an avocado leaf (which you can replace with a quater of laurel leaf, if you dont have an avocado tree) half a chile pasilla from Oaxaca, guzano salt.

The avocado leaf, the chile pasilla and the gusano salt is a new touch brought by les foodingues to the Basque Cuisine. The avocado leaf brings the smoothness of the avocado fruit to any broth, excellent. The chile pasilla from Oaxaca is an incredible Mexican pepper, the only one sold by unit, which brings an incredible flavour of smoked sweet cherry. The guzano salt is salt cooked with chile and the worm of the cactus with which you make Tequila; this one is the one of Oaxaca mesqual. We have been introduced to these fabulous ingredients by the famous Mexican painter Laura Hernandez.

Use Iberic ham: the fat of this breed of pig is 98% oleic acid, which means that it is no saturated fat; so dont cook it to much so that you wont get bad fats and cholesterol. Choose the bellota one, which has eaten in the last 6 months before being killed oak kernels. My preferate Iberic bellota ham is from Extramadura, because it is a region where you still have huge wild spaces of oak trees where Iberic Porks are raised.

Make sure that all the veggies and ingredients are organic : an organic vegetable has a true tatste, it holds 30% more dry matter than a conventional one (you pay for less water); and also nothing from this plate is going to be thrown away; by buying organic we will be able to use all the peelings, which normally would contaminated with pesticide, to make a wonderfull broth with which we will deglaze all the pans used.

The olive oil should be organic as well, as any chemical put on an olive tree concentrates itself automatically in its fruits… which are used to make olive oil.

The recipe from les foodingues :

All ingredients are cooked separatly and assembled in the end.

Peel all the vegetables, gathering all the peels in a big casserole to make the broth, except the leaves of the artichoke to sour (you can put a few leaves of artichoke to mezmerize your taste buds with the sugars of the vegies).

- the violet articholes : with a bread knife, cut them in two at the level of their belly and take away the top of the leaves; take away the remaning hard leaves on the sides; cut them in quarters, eventually take away the hair; put them on a slow fire in a big pan with the fresh garlic and the garlic leaves cut small, with a generous pinch of salt; let cover for a while without opening; when it sticks on the bottom, which means that you smell slight caramel, open and turn them, stir fry them quickly, add the Iberic ham grease and meat; stir; add a few spoons of broth to deglaze and take away from the fire, put aside and cover.

- peas : melt a bunch of onions in organic olive oil with pinch of salt; throw the peas with some broth; cook on a light fire 10mn;

- with the broad beans : same as with the peas but add the avocado leaf to remove any bitterness.

- asparagus : once peeled, stir fry them in live oil with a pinch of guzano salt; this way of cooking the asparugus concentrate the sugars and flavours which normaly disapear in the water in which you normaly cook them.

- beets : stir fry the green leaves in olive oil; cut the stems into 3 inches bits; put the in flour; whisk the egg with a pinch of guzano salt and safron; dip the floury beet into it an throw them in 1/2cm high of frying hot olive oil.

To fry, always use olive oil it probaby the most heat resistant oil.


Done. display every vegetable with your utmost creativity.

In San Sebastien you would eat this marvel with the famous wine from Getaria the Txakoli , Txakoli Txomin Etxaniz is the most reputed; personaly I’d rather prefer the Txakoli Aizpurua. You serve it while breaking the bubble, pouring it high up from a flat and deep thin glass

In Pamplona, capital of Navara, or in Lodosa, capital of the Spanish vegetables, you might get served one the delights among today’s Spanish white wines the Ossian 2005, a great wine from Castilla y Leon. Quick before the 2005 disapears. But in the historic capital of the Menestra, Tudela, the first menestra made in the year, as it is a microclimate special for vegies, you would be served the exceptional wine from Cintruenigo the “Colleccion made by Julian Chivite. To an exceptional dish, an exceptional wine.

The origin of potatoe

December 2nd, 2008
droppedimage1Here is a potato field… this is the true cradle of the potato ! We are at 4200m on the Andean plateaux. The potatoes have just been sown. This morning we had a slight snow. In two month what you see there will be totally buoyant with green vegetation… not to be eaten because the eatable thing will still be hidden beneath the ground. We are between Huancayo and Huancavelica in the centre of Peru. Just after the ridge of mountains you see in the back, starts the amazonian forest… On the particular spot we are standing on, the potato has been cultivated for 8000 years…
Potato is native from Perou. There are more the 2000 varieties in the Andes. Its genuine terroir gives its authentic taste. The extreme climate between 3500m and 5000m, brings its unique qualities of vitamin C and anti-oxydants. Perou is now proud to introduce the first end products made from its fabulous biodiversity and the gourmet heritage of the small andine farmers since long before the Inkas.
2008 has been declared “International Year of the Potato” by the UN, potato as an example of sustainable development and fair trade. Our project Tikka Papa is the example that fair trade can go with food security : the small producers sell their production surplus and can eat the rest… which is just the opposite of the actual labeled fair trade which deals today at 70% with coffee and cocao mostly for export and cannot be eaten by them… This is why we dont ask for a fair trade label until we are not convinced things will evolve… Though the project relies on an association of 8000 small producers, lead by them, in which we only come as advisers for agriculture and market prospectives…