Flavors from the French Mediterranean
Flavors from the French Mediterranean with its many striking food photos, and also scenes, will likely end up on someone’s coffee table but not on the cookbook shelf. Chef Gerald Passedat attempted to translate his professional recipes for the home cooks–alas, unsuccessfully unless you live in Southern France. The recipes are for advanced cooks only. Each one supplies prep time and cooking time, these are reasonable but only the most daring will attempt them. The cookbook is especially ineffectual for American, and it’s filled with ingredients not even the best-stocked market is likely to carry: wild fennel, Marseille bell peppers, gem lettuce, battarga, jols and esplelette chili, to name a few. Passedat doesn’t give substitutes yet steers cooks to his online shop with certain ingredients. He uses preparations you need to look up: court bouillon, bouquet garni, quenelle-shaped spoonful and terms like “bubble until the wine has reduced.” The recipes are good but following the instructions may be a problem. They are not easy recipes: Beef-filled Squid in Tomato Sauce; Leerfish, Bonito, and Sea Bream Carpaccio. The recipe index is simply alphabetized recipe titles; if you don’t know the name, you’ll have problem finding it.
Gerald Passedat, Richard Haughton, Photographer