I often get teased about my passion for food. During the photo shoots we do for the magazine, my food stylist and I will often get into fervent discussions about a variety of ingredients we love. I often reflect afterwards and imagine having similar conversations with the guys I see at our regular poker game, in which I gush about a beautiful specimen of mint I recently used in a recipe. I can just picture their stunned faces.
My wife and I spent a couple of days at a friend’s cabin this summer and when it came time to plan the menu for dinner, we all went into the nearest town to forage. Once again, my enthusiasm got the best of me. As my friend and I wandered down the aisles of the small convenience store, I was busy pulling ingredients from the shelves to make a killer stuffed chicken. When I was nearly done I asked him if he had a preference for what type of nuts to use in the stuffing (pistachios or sunflowers seeds)—he simply looked at me and said the only thing he was pondering was which kind of barbecue sauce to buy.
Again, I can’t hide my love for this stuff, and it doesn’t bother me one bit.
This leads me to our current issue and its French theme. Each fall, we like to put together an issue devoted to one particular culinary style or influence. The food of France was a no-brainer to say the least. The French have perfected a multitude of sauces, mastered many cooking techniques and have shown that wine consumption doesn’t have to be just on celebratory occasions. To wit, we have packed our pages full of all things français.
For starters, we explore the many regions that make up the country and the variety of ingredients you’ll find within them. Depending on where you visit, or in this case read about, you’ll be exposed to just how different the menus can be from one side of the country to the other.
We’ve also done a spotlight on some of the best French sauces and the key to making them. This is a passionate subject among French chefs, who regard sauces as the true backbone to a multitude of classic recipes. We’ll help you figure out how to make them as good, if not better, than the professionals. Our chef columnist, Alex Svenne looks at assembling an outstanding cheese board with of course, a nod to Québec and France, while Laura Panter, our Sexy Sipper columnist, will tantalize you with liquid ingredients, some classic and others more modern, in delectable and easy-to-make cocktails.
Of course, one couldn’t do homage to French food without talking about their love of bottled grapes. Mireille Sauvé delves into the correlation between their wine quaffing and the low incidence of some health problems, while also recommending some juicy libations originating from France so you can experience their flavours first hand.
This issue is just bursting with recipes, so I encourage you to take a moment and relax as we give you a figurative taste of France’s joie de vivre.
As always, please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or concerns.
Take care and we’ll see you in December.