- Rick Stein’s Secret France, by Rick Stein
- BBC Books, £26
More than 50 years after Rick Stein first crossed the Channel to be enchanted by steak frites, a casserole of rabbit and that first plateau de fruits de mer, he’s returned to discover if the nation continues to live up to its culinary pedigree.
In Secret France, both a book and a BBC Two television series, the chef seeks to examine if rumours of a decline in standards across the country are true. The introduction of the 35-hour week in 2000 – with employers forced to pay overtime for any labour in excess – has been cited as the cause of a decline in chef skills, as well as a move towards less time-intensive menus.
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