Mange Tout: Bistro Cooking With a Modern Twist By Bruno Loubet
Cookbooks come about in many different ways. Some are dedicated to a particular cuisine or section in the kitchen, others may come about to support a new restaurant launch or television series. And while Bruno Loubet has just opened his latest London venture, Grain Store in King's Cross, his new book Mange Tout: Bistro Cooking with a Modern Twist does not fall into this camp.
Instead, it is one of those cookbooks that are a natural culmination of a life in the kitchen, and often those are my favourites. Born and raised among the abundant natural larder of south west France, Loubet has developed an inevitably rich food heritage that he has spent a lifetime building on through the people and places he has worked with.
As a result, the recipes in Mange Tout are proof that French bistro food can be lighter and healthier than you might expect, thanks to Loubet's use of international flavours.
A starter of salmon tartare is reinvigorated with a spicy, sweet and sour dressing of North African flavours, with which Loubet has helpfully suggested alternative seasonal garnishes: one for spring/summer, one for autumn/winter.
Sweet soy braised beef cheeks with a mango and herb salad - a classic from the chef's repertoire since he sought to grab the attention of Brisbanites who were more used to food with exciting Asian influences - is also featured.
But not all the tinkering in the book is with the flavours - some is in the choice of ingredients, suchâ¨as the sustainable bouillabaisse, which highlights a growing concern among chefs and consumers alike.
Loubet urges his reader to buy responsibly as he seeks to protect valuable fish stocks for his children and grandchildren, while at the same time pulling out all the stops to deliver a bouillabaisse with all the richness and fragrance you'd expect.
This refusal to compromise on anything that might be to the detriment of the dish or the consumer is a welcome running theme throughout.
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
If you like this, you might â¨also like:
•Daniel: My French Cuisine â¨Daniel Boulud
•Vegetronic â¨Alexis Gauthier
•Beyond Essence â¨David Everitt-Matthias