Frenchie: New Bistro Cooking
By Greg Marchand
Artisan Books, £16.99
This is much more than just a book of recipes; it is also a celebration of how cooking and the sharing of food can give focus and joy to one's life.
Marchand spent more than 10 years working abroad in Spain, Hong Kong and New York, as well as in London, where he ended up as head chef at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen. It was Oliver that nicknamed him Frenchie because he was the only French person in the kitchen. And Frenchie was the name he gave to the bistro he opened in April 2009, having returned home to Paris.
Marchand's straightforward recipes, inspired by his travels, have been a great success with Parisians looking for an alternative to the finesse and restraints of classical French cuisine.
Many of the dishes in Frenchie: New Bistro Cooking are basically an assembly of ingredients, such as the roasted carrot, orange and avocado salad, or the Spanish ham, corn, bell pepper and kaffir lime; while others will involve an investment of more time, like the pork braised in milk with marinated fennel, or the beef cheeks with roasted beets, watercress, and grated horseradish.
After such a tough start in life, Marchand has gone on to achieve great success in Paris. It is fabulous that we can now share and enjoy the dishes that have given his customers great joy over many years.
By Janet Harmer