NOTES: Pure C Kookboek

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Pure C Kookboek (in Dutch)
By Syrco Bakker and Sergio Herman
Photography by Tony Le Duc
Published by Minestrone Cookbooks (2012)

Q+A: Three (3) Questions for Syrco Bakker

1-(Scoffier) How did you get the idea for this book, a natural step in your evolution?

SBakker– It was an idea of Sergio Herman to make a book, with the atmosphere of Pure C. Beside people can enjoy the Pure C feeling anywhere they want, together with the recipes of the dishes, so you can make the Pure C dishes at home. The music on the Pure C (CD), gives the total Pure C vibe.

2-(Scoffier) Sergio Herman is co-author and I know he is an one of the owners of Minestrone (publisher). How did you work together for the book (different parts, advice etc.)?

SBakkerSergio, Tony Le Duc and I worked very close together. With the three of us we made the concept of the book. Tony made all the pictures and I was responsible for making the dishes.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have cookbooks that inspire you to realize your book?

SBakker– Not really. We wanted to make a book with the Pure C attitude. Of course, Sergio and Tony have a lot of experience making books, so this helped a lot.

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NOTES

To perfectly complement my interview with the chef Syrco Bakker (see Best Emerging Chefs), I have to talk about his book co-authored with Sergio Herman and great food photographer Tony Le Duc. A first book, but certainly not the last. To follow!

“It is a book of great aesthetic, with beautiful photos, it is rare for a young chef has the opportunity to work with a photographer of this caliber and advice Sergio Herman! As a bonus, Minestrone is probably one of the best publishers in the world (in terms of quality).”

A cookbook and “atmosphere” book that brings us to Cadzand dunes and on the edge of the North Sea. We discover the best seafood, the cooking with Indonesian influences of Syrco Bakker and the atmosphere that should prevail in that place in the summer evenings (with the CD music).

This is not a coffee table book, for me it is a beautiful example of a cookbook perfectly realized!

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PHOTO: Recipe ‘T Zwin (Book p. 156-157)

© Credits for photos Tony Le Duc

LINKS

1. Minestrone Cookbooks

2. Pure C Kookboek

3. Sergio Herman Shop

4. Pure C restaurant

Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2013

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NOTES: SAKÉS by Laurent Feneau

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Sakés (in French)
By Laurent Feneau
Preface by Toshiro Kuroda
Published by Argol (2013)

NOTES

This is not a “coffee table book”, it’s just a small book, short, precise, informative and beautifully written. A book for those who believe that “Sake” is a bit like wine and who would like to get a crash course on the subject! It is a journey between Paris and Tokyo…

Of course, it talks about of major classifications of “Sake” (honjôzo, junmai, ginjo, daiginjo etc.), but also varieties of rice “de terroir”, artisan work, the range of flavors found in the “Sake” or the impact of the polishing rice grains. Despite legislation in the ’70s and the arrival of small producers, 65% of consumption are still based on the “ordinary Sake”.

In the West, restaurants too often associate “Sake” to the Japanese cuisine, but French cuisine may well be harmonize with “Sake”. Evidence, some emerging chefs and restaurants (especially in France) focusing on “vins Nature” offers “Sake” natural, unfiltered, unpasteurized.

Above all, the “Sake” is complex, so I leave the conclusion to the author:

“Bien plus que de théoriser, il est avant tout essentiel de comprendre ce que chaque saké raconte (…) Pour moi, un bon vin de riz doit avoir une structure solide et bien assise, mais également tendre vers une certaine instabilité et s’inscrire dans un mouvement propre à élever l’âme et le corps du buveur.” (p.87)

Unfortunately, there is no English version of this book (now), or of this small “Serie” of Argol (see also “L’Astringent”). But if you like “Sake”or gastronomic essay, I suggest this book (while practicing your French in the summer)!

LINKS

1. Argol éditions

2. Laurent Feneau

3. Le Monde (Blogue), 25 mars 2013

4. “Sakés” on Amazon.fr

Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2013

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NOTES: La Cuisine De Bertrand Grébaut (Septime)

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La Cuisine De Bertrand Grébaut
By Catherine Flohic (Entretiens with Bertrand Grébaut)
Photography by François Flohic
Published by Argol

(English version, Summer 2013)

Q+A: Trois (3) Questions à l’Auteur/Éditeur Catherine Flohic

1-(Scoffier) Pour cette nouvelle “Série”, comment sont sélectionnés les chefs, uniquement des “coups de coeur”?

CFlohic– Je suis attentive à tout ce qui est publié, rapporté par des critiques professionnels (blogues et médias classiques), et mes expériences personnelles de repas chez de jeunes chefs m’ont convaincue de certains choix. Effectivement, j’ai fait des choix d’éditeur comme j’agis dans le domaine de la littérature et de la poésie. Ce ne peut être que des partis pris et des coups de cœur, pas des opportunités de mode ou des livres de commandes, ce sont des livres d’éditeur. L’idée de cette “Collection” est de présenter une suite de livres de jeunes chefs, indépendants, ayant créé leur propre restaurant, et dont la créativité, l’identité et la singularité forment la juste image de cette génération qui est en train de bousculer certains codes de la gastronomie en France.

2-(Scoffier) En principe, est-ce que le nombre de livre à être publié et le format sont “coulés dans le béton”?

CFlohic– J’ai en projet pour le moment, 6 livres au rythme de 2 ou 3 par an. Le format, c’est à dire la longueur, sera variable suivant les chefs, certains ont envie de montrer beaucoup leurs plats d’autres moins, ce seront vraiment des livres portraits très personnalisés.

3-(Scoffier) À la différence de livres de gastronomie plus “standard”, votre livre se fait grâce à plusieurs rencontres sur une plus longue période de temps. Est-ce que ce fut la même chose pour la photographie?

CFlohic– Je pense qu’il est vraiment intéressant de suivre un chef sur une longue période, ces livres se font sur une année environ, d’entretiens et de reportages et de photographies au fil des saisons et des évolutions de chacun.

Pour le livre de Grébaut, nous avons commencé les entretiens et les photos quelques mois après son ouverture, l’équipe était en mutation, les menus et les principes de la cuisine également. Ça a été particulièrement riche de suivre cette évolution, à la fois dans les conversations et dans les images des plats reproduits dans le livre. C’est tout à fait intéressant de passer chez Grébaut d’un plat tout en fraîcheurs de printemps au bouillon au foin d’hiver… Les images en cuisine de tous les produits au fil des saisons sont aussi autant d’histoires.

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NOTES

I admit, I like this small publishing house (argol) that values ​​originality and artistisque or intellectual approach beyond current trends.

In continuity of the excellent book of interviews with the great chef Pierre Gagnaire, the publisher and author Catherine Flohic decided to launch a new “Collection” of books (“entretiens”) with young independent and creative chefs. This book of “entretiens” on the chef Bertrand Grébaut is the first of a possible series of six (6) books.

In any case, I already find the book interesting and relevant, especially since it takes place over a longer span of time and it is constantly evolving. Add to that the non-traditional book format (5,5 po x 6,5po) and very original photo by François Flohic and you have a book that stands out!

The chef Grébaut had just opened his restaurant Septime when the project (the book) began. This book of 206 pages allows us to really get into the “head of the chef” and to understand his creative process and the different aspects of the life of a restaurant, preparation of the daily menu, suppliers, through by the team and the economic aspect, everything goes…

I already loved the work of this chef after his work at l’Agapé, but I must admit that after reading the book, I admire! His creative relationship with the products, the design of its menu every morning, the search for a balance between creativity and customer satisfaction, these are all elements that are unique to its cuisine.

This is a chef who has given much thought on “our relationship with food”, who cooks by instinct and improvisation based on seasonal products. Its “cuisine” can be minimalist for some people, but as he says himself:

Épure et simplicité ne veulent pas dire banalité et platitude“.

A beautiful idea of “collection” of books and a great reading for anyone interested in chef Bertrand Grébaut. Or just for young chefs who want to start their restaurant!

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PHOTO: Example of “Recette de Printemps”: Asperge/Faisselle De Brebis/Petits Pois, Fèves (p.94)

LINKS

1. Argol Éditions (to buy)

2. Septime (restaurant)

3. Septime by Gilles Pudlowski (Review), 3 Avril 2013

4. François Flohic photographe

-Credit for all photos at François Flohic.

Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2013

Posted in Haute Gastronomy CookBook, Notes de Lecture, Q+A | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HORS-SERIE/ Four Remarkable Gastronomy Books in 2012, #4

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I had the chance and happiness to see and read several excellent books this year. It is always difficult to make a short selection or ranking (I do not really like!) because each has its strengths. Nevertheless, I present here four (4) “Books of Chef”. For most, it is a highly anticipated first book, and a major book that will remain relevant for a long time.

I wish to present to you these books at the end of the year, but I’ve long procrastinated on the best way to expose (format, media etc..). Finally, I have changed anything, I kept a similar format.

Here is the short list, I will present the books in order:

1-SAT BAINS/Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian (Chef Sat Bains)
2-ASTRANCE, Livre De Cuisine (Chef Pascal Barbot)
3-ORIGIN: The Food Of Ben Shewry (Chef Ben Shewry)
4-FÄVIKEN (Chef Magnus Nilsson)

It is never too late for the good things…

Happy readings!

4-FÄVIKEN
By Magnus Nilsson
Published by Phaidon Press (Oct. 2012)

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NOTES

From the outset, the excellent introduction by Bill Buford put us in the atmosphere of the place and in the spirit of Magnus Nilsson and Fäviken. Fäviken’s Book is a quality book published by Phaidon press, certainly more “standard” in aesthetics than the other three (in the Top 4) but probably with a wider circulation.

We could talk about hazard, but Magnus Nilsson has made one of his most important internship with Pascal Barbot (L’Astrance) and his book as Barbot has no recipes too specific (very detailed), rather a way to do “À la manière de Magnus Nilsson”.

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This is a book reflecting Nilsson; sober photos, written by Magnus Nilsson himself to explain and to feel perfectly the spirit of Fäviken. It presents very well the techniques, the “cuisine” and raw products used by Nilsson.

I wrote one year ago for a magazine, a text on “the winter (a limit) as a source of creativity” at Fäviken (a text to be published soon, I hope!). These limitations have forced Magnus Nilsson to create, innovate, go back to basics, and expand the range of flavours. It is therefore only logical that he has become an expert in fermentation processes: curing, pickling, preserving etc. It is exciting to imagine that lichen, which at first sight belongs to a “survival course in the forest”, has become an ingredient of fine dining!

Unique, it is a book that will be remembered in 10 years in order to better appreciate the process of the chef Nilsson. A form of manifesto to better understand the “Retkun Philosophy” !

N.B: A big thank you to the photographer Bianca Brandon-Cox for the photos #1 & #3.
Photo of the cover by Phaidon.

LINKS

1. Fäviken magasinet

2. Phaidon press

3. Best Emerging Chefs Series (my interview), Nov. 2010

4. Crane.tv, Into the Wild, March 2013

Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier© 2008-2013

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HORS-SERIE/ Four Remarkable Gastronomy Books in 2012, #3

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I had the chance and happiness to see and read several excellent books this year. It is always difficult to make a short selection or ranking (I do not really like!) because each has its strengths. Nevertheless, I present here four (4) “Books of Chef”. For most, it is a highly anticipated first book, and a major book that will remain relevant for a long time.

I wish to present to you these books at the end of the year, but I’ve long procrastinated on the best way to expose (format, media etc..). Finally, I have changed anything, I kept a similar format.

Here is the short list, I will present the books in order:

1-SAT BAINS/Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian (Chef Sat Bains)
2-ASTRANCE, Livre De Cuisine (Chef Pascal Barbot)
3-ORIGIN: The Food Of Ben Shewry (Chef Ben Shewry)
4-FAVIKEN (Chef Magnus Nilsson)

It is never too late for the good things…

Happy readings!

3-ORIGIN: The Food Of Ben Shewry
By Ben Shewry
Published by Murdoch Books (Nov. 2012)

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NOTES

I had the chance to make one of my first interviews for Best Emerging Leaders Series in 2010 with chef Ben Shewry at the beginning of this international recognition it has now. The chef was generous in his answers and humble, and you could already see that he had a unique way of thinking in the kitchen and a singular mind. Like all other chefs in the “Top 4”, Ben Shewry is not a “printing machine” and his book may be “unique (the only one)” in his career.

This book format “coffee table” is beautifully made, magnificently photographed by Colin Page, it recalls the aesthetics of book by Peter Gilmore / Quay (same publisher). In fact, with all that should be the “essence of the cuisine”!

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You can also read this book for the history of Shewry or to inspire by the recipes (60) and photos. Several recipes are already significant, such as “Snow Crab”, “Terroir” and one of my favorite “Potato cooked in the earth it was grown”. But many others are perfect examples of technical proficiency in order to always be closer to the origin (of the food): Abalone/Seaweeds/Salt, Smoked Trout Broth, Southern Rock Lobster/Lemon Balm/Lemon Oil.

Like many chefs, Ben Shewry is happy in the kitchen, in the creative process, it does not seek fame and does not believe its “own buzz”, all this is reflected and it is perceived in the book. In ORIGIN, we meet a passionate chef, visionary, aware of his surroundings and in total harmony with nature.

This book may be a “single step” in a long career, but a beautiful “object” to read, see and have!

Definitely an inspiring chef for his generation!

N.B: Photography of the recipe: “Snow Crab”. Credits for the photos at Colin Page.

LINKS

1. Attica Restaurant/Chef Ben Shewry

2. Murdoch Books

3. The Age (Video), Raw Talent, September 25th 2012

4. Kobe & the Sea (Video), Ben Shewry and his son Kobe, Oct. 2011

Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier© 2008-2013

Posted in Best Emerging Chefs, Haute Gastronomy CookBook, Notes de Lecture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HORS-SERIE/ Four Remarkable Gastronomy Books in 2012, #2

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I had the chance and happiness to see and read several excellent books this year. It is always difficult to make a short selection or ranking (I do not really like!) because each has its strengths. Nevertheless, I present here four (4) “Books of Chef”. For most, it is a highly anticipated first book, and a major book that will remain relevant for a long time.

I wish to present to you these books at the end of the year, but I’ve long procrastinated on the best way to expose (format, media etc..). Finally, I have changed anything, I kept a similar format.

Here is the short list, I will present the books in order:

1-SAT BAINS/Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian (Chef Sat Bains)
2-ASTRANCE, Livre De Cuisine (Chef Pascal Barbot)
3-ORIGIN: The Food Of Ben Shewry (Chef Ben Shewry)
4-FAVIKEN (Chef Magnus Nilsson)

It is never too late for the good things…

Happy readings!

2-ASTRANCE, Livre De Cuisine (Chef Pascal Barbot)
By Pascal Barbot, Christophe Rohat, Chihiro Masui, Richard Haughton (Photographer)
Published by Éditions du Chêne (Nov. 2012)

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NOTES

With this long-awaited first book “L’Astrance cookbook”, a book published by a little chance and thanks to the tenacity of the author Chihiro Masui, the chef Pascal Barbot remains again a kind of “underdogs” in the world of gastronomy, I explained. Historically this (still) young chef advanced beyond current trends and some traditional path. It was the French army (Navy), it has some things very French in its cuisine, but as he says himself its “terroir is the world!” The restaurant has only 25 seats and he made his reputation without using excessive social media, it also has no website! It is only through his work, his excellence in cooking and perhaps a kind of “rarity” that has succeed to create his reputation as “one of the best chefs in the world”.

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This “Coffret” includes two books, the first one could be called ”the Principal” (book) and the second could be called the “Step-by-step”( book). It is an inspiring and an original “Coffret” that praises French history (gastronomy), the best products and also praises “À la manière of Barbot” and the Astrance. All those recipes are “spoken recipes“, they are narrated, explained and “anecdotées” by Barbot (it differs greatly from the usual format). The recipes are also beautifully photographed by Richard Haughton, a great Irish photographer. For those who want more details or want to understand some of the “signature dishes” of Astrance, simply open the book of “Step-by-step.”

I observe the “cuisine” of Pascal Barbot for several years, but I am always impressed by the simplicity in the complexity of flavors, by use of citrus and peppers, his passion for Asia (Japan, Indonesia etc.) or the pursuit of ideal condiment, I think its curry noir olive-réglisse (olive-licorice, p.181), pure Wow!

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I could say much more, but I’ll let you read this book, enjoy it, get inspired by it. It’s an absolute must, a timeless book (not a trend!). A book to buy because most likely, Chef Barbot will not write many books (if any) like this one…

N.B: Photography from the beginning # 1: Turbot / Cédrat/ Cumin; The Photograph of the end # 3: Saint-Jacques/Kombu/Huître. A big thank you to Richard Haughton for photographs.

LINKS

1. Editions du Chêne (Astrance Cookbook, French or English)

2. Chihiro Masui (Author)

3. “On Va Déguster” (Radio), France Inter (Dec. 16th, 2012)

Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier© 2008-2013

Posted in Best Emerging Chefs, Haute Gastronomy CookBook, Notes de Lecture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HORS-SERIE/ Four Remarkable Gastronomy Books in 2012, #1

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I had the chance and happiness to see and read several excellent books this year. It is always difficult to make a short selection or ranking (I do not really like!) because each has its strengths. Nevertheless, I present here four (4) “Books of Chef”. For most, it is a highly anticipated first book, and a major book that will remain relevant for a long time.

I wish to present to you these books at the end of the year, but I’ve long procrastinated on the best way to expose (format, media etc..). Finally, I have changed anything, I kept a similar format.

Here is the short list, I will present the books in order and every 2 days:

1-SAT BAINS/Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian (Chef Sat Bains)
2-ASTRANCE, Livre De Cuisine (Chef Pascal Barbot)
3-ORIGIN: The Food Of Ben Shewry (Chef Ben Shewry)
4-FAVIKEN (Chef Magnus Nilsson)

It is never too late for the good things…

Happy readings!

1-SAT BAINS/Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian
By Sat Bains
Published by Face Publishing (Oct. 2012)

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NOTES

No doubt in my mind that in terms of content and “Beaux Livres”, the book of Sat Bains is a book anthology! It can also impress my friends on the coffee table or serve as a reference in my kitchen.

This large format book comes to us in a beautiful box where photographs and graphic design are of high quality. In addition to its aesthetic more the beautiful (many) photos and recipes, this book makes us better understand this chef often unknown by the public in general but whose name is often mentioned and admired by young chefs from around the world.

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We discover in this book his family influences “Punjab”, its inception in the kitchen, the Roux scholarship, the history of the restaurant in Nottingham, the importance of his team, his creative process, with the added “bonus” letters or short funny stories by friends and chefs like: Alex Atala, David Chang, David Kinch, Tom Kitchin, Jason Atherton etc.

Side kitchen, the book is full of detailed recipes (68) of Sat Bains. Recipes that are made around products, emotions and explorations of Sat Bains and his team. Each recipe is an example of precision, these are recipes that highlight the seasonality of products and the flavors. I think especially in the recipe of: Beef cheek/oysters, Deer/kofta/burnt aubergine/yoghurt, Mackerel/beetroot/horseradish or Beetroot/goats’ milk/lemon etc.

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With this book we enter the world of an artisan, a great chef and a character in the world of gastronomy!

This book will remain a “must” in 10-20 years!

LINKS

1. Restaurant Sat Bains
2. Face Publications

Credits photos at John Arandhara-Blackwell

Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier© 2008-2013

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