Book review – Revolutionary French Cooking
Revolutionary French Cooking
Duncan Baird Publishers, £20
Daniel Galmiche is one of those chefs who dips under the popular radar, despite regular appearances on shows such as Saturday Kitchen.
But his culinary prowess is known in the industry, stretching back to Le Gavroche and the late, lamented Harvey's in Bristol, where he held a Michelin star
Revolutionary French Cooking showcases Galmiche's trademark modern style from his homeland. His dishes have firm French classical roots, while sporting international or surprising herb and spice nuances. This shows itself, for instance, in idiosyncratic desserts such as thyme-infused chocolate pots with biscotti, or rosemary-infused crÁªpes suzettes with pink grapefruit and rosemary syrup.
The savoury offerings are perhaps more mainstream: sous-vide Little Gems with ewe's cheese being a case in point; inventive but not ultra-radical. These sit alongside Galmiche's take on modern bistro staples, such as red onion tarte tatin with goat's cheese or braised ox cheeks.
Galmiche has divided his book into three sections: Liberté (classics released from traditional "shackles"), Egalité (recipes using "humble" ingredients) and Fraternité (dishes using classic ingredients in new ways).
This division becomes a little laboured in places and it would have been easier to have a more traditional chapter labelling. And maybe the book should have had 'evolutionary' rather than 'revolutionary' in its title, as Galmiche's cuisine is certainly not molecular - but that's a small quibble.
What is very useful are the mini chapters discussing dehydrating, smoking and the benefits of sous vide, as well as a sub-section of basic recipes containing stocks, dressings, salads and pastries, etc.
Revolutionary French Cooking is a good addition to a reference library, with plenty of inventive recipes to inspire both professional and skilled amateur chefs.
By Joanna Wood
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