Our Australian readers will be aware of Luke Nguyen’s previous work on TV and in print, where he enjoyed highlighting the culinary marvels of Vietnam. But for this latest project, it’s a culture clash of cuisines that will have you reaching for the store cupboard.
Nguyen’s French odyssey not only highlights the influence that France had in its former eastern colony but also represents a hugely personal journey for the chef – he has extended family living in France and was keen to learn their recipes.
From Paris to the Loire Valley, Île d’Oléron to Normandy and Brittany, he also meets producers and chefs, teasing out decades-old cooking tips, before creating his own take on French classics, sometimes with a left-field, Eastern twist. But if you think there is anything gimmicky in his spicy or herby additions, think again – for this infectiously passionate chef is still all about produce and freshness, and where better in the world to find all those goodies than in France? A handsome read.
Luke Nguyen’s France, A Gastronomic Adventure. List price: $49.95. Published by Hardie Grant
From France Today magazine
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