on 29 April 2010
Having recently watched Trish Deseine's TV series called 'Trish's Paris Kitchen', I ordered her book entitled Trish's French Kitchen which arrived in the mail a few days ago, and I haven't been able to put it down. Like Deseine, I am an ardent francophile, having studied the language at university and become a translator. Elizabeth David's 'French Provincial Cooking' has long been my culinary Bible, and although Deseine's cooking style is more relaxed and modern, the same respect for traditional methods and top-quality ingredients prevails.
Trish Deseine's approach is fresh and undogmatic: 'The dishes in this book follow mood and desire, not geography and history' she says in her introduction. The different sections of the book - fast, slow, raw, larder, posh and sweet - reflect the nature of the dishes, rather than their regional provenance, making it easy to find a recipe for a particular occasion, whether a simple family meal or a special dinner. The photographs are stunning, highlighting the superb quality of the ingredients with no unnecessary embellishments.
Deseine's informal, but informed introduction to each recipe and her extensive knowledge of contemporary food trends in France result in a book that works as a social commentary as much as a collection of stylish, yet practical dishes. The love affair between the French and their food is legenday: The French are conscious of all the elements that go into making our food: the air, sun and soil, the altitude and orientation of the land from which it comes. The combination of these elements is what the French call terroir, a word that, tellingly, has no English translation.'
For some time now, there has been a move towards instilling something of this national pride in local produce in Britain, encouraged by TV shows such as 'Local Food Heroes' and 'The Great British Menu', and very commendable it is too. The French, on the other hand, have always revered and jealously guarded their culinary heritage: the Appellation d'origine controlée (AOC)is a system of labelling protecting the quality, authenticity and regionality of various products regarded as national treasures, e.g. Champagne, Camembert, Puy lentils, to name but a few.
Mastering French home cooking is not a betrayal of British values, as some critics of this book imply; rather, it is a celebration of simple ingredients respectfully and imaginatively prepared. This, in my opinion, is the essence of Trish's French Kitchen. Take a look and prepare to be captivated by this stylish Irish cook and food writer.
on 2 June 2009
I purchased this book as the TV series to match it was shown on the lifestyle food channel.I found the book very good especially the introduction to all things French.The quality of the foods used and the manner in which they are presented were great.Trish has a very relaxed and easy manner and it shows in her writing.I have tried lots of recipes in the book and with great success. After reading the book,I now feel confident to experiment with a lot of different foods especially truffles and foie gras,organic products,as well as some of quite complicated French desserts...I loved the section on cheeses and all the varieties available (France produces almost 400 different varieties of cheese, each one is as distinctive as a finger print!!!).
In general I found the book great and will be buying this book for my friends as a gift.I would recommend this book for people who can cook quiet well though, as it takes a little knowledge to prepare most of the dishes.
My favourite recipe was the organic chicken poulet au vinaigre, walnut salad with poached quince,avocado soup,summer salad in a loaf, walnut tarte,tarte aux framboises,galette des rois....Highly Recommended!!!!!!
Trish Deseine appears regularly in publications like Elle and Elle a Table. She has a column on kitchen gadgets and appliances in Regal magazine. She has contributed to the Food and Time Out Paris restaurant guides,and has been guest food writer for the Sunday Independent ( Ireland). Trish divides her time between her house in Saint-German-en-Laye and an atelier in central Paris. She has four children.
Book is beautifully illustrated, fantastically well written, and the recipes are to die for!!!Thanks Amazon for the quick delivery!
on 2 October 2010
I bought this after discovering Trish Deseine via a newspaper column. The Navarin Printanier has become a family favourite, and my husband is a big fan of the Senagalese recipe Poulet Yassa. I like Trish's writing style, casual and unapologetic, she is clearly more at home in France than in her Native Ireland.
One word of warning there is a typo in the recipe for madeleines, leave out the copius amounts of milk and all will be well. :)
on 30 October 2009
I love Trish's style, the photos, and the compilation of uncomplicated recipes. However, Ms. Deseine is not big on exact measurements and I like to have a starting place in what I'm creating. For example, it's nice to know how much butter and flour go into the pastry. There are better books for learning new recipes but not many that can compare to the over-all expression of French unpretentious style!
I loved watching the t.v. series that went with the book for the ambiance, but again, the amounts were left out. That was the purpose of buying the book for me. How do you replicate a dish if you don't know the measurements of the ingredients? It requires too much experimentation for me. I like having a recipe to relying on before I go off on my own tangent. As the big round of pastry in my trash bin illustrates, I had disappointing results in re-creating the tart. Guess I'll just enjoy the photos and look up similar recipes by the Barefoot Contessa.
I recommend flipping through the photos in the bookshop for fun and taking home a book where the chef actual shares exactly how to make the dough!