From the soap box:
- A century of French food trends, in a nutshell:
Escoffier (1890 - 1960ish): led the charge and really put the Frenchies on the culinary map creating the systems and ranks that make up a traditional kitchen brigade. On the plate it was all sauces, stocks, fat, method, execution and excess.
Nouvelle cuisine (1960 - 1990ish): less of everything: cooking times, sauces, courses on a menu; more seasonal ingredients and more regional influence. In Cuisine of the Sun Verge described his own style: " 'cuisine heureuse' is the antithesis of cooking to impress ... a light hearted, healthy and natural way of cooking which combines the products of the earth like a bouquet of wild flowers from the garden."
Neo-bistro: (2010 - now) a young chefs' take on the traditional Frenchie bistro. Flavours are slightly more refined, lighter, more delicate. The rooms tend to be simplified Parisian classics, raw materials, a little unfinished but with the amazing bones of Parisian architecture.
As a petit sidebar, one of the chefs who epitomised the neo-bistro movement, our very own James Henry, announced the end of his Parisian bistro Bones this week. The poster boy for Aussie's making good in Paris, he's been serving up some amazing food, with his resto much lauded by local and international press. He will serve his last Bones supper on the 7th August.
- I stumbled across Michael Mosley's doco The Truth About Meat on Monday night (SBS). Wow. Totally terrifying but totally fascinating. His observations in regards to the green footprint of intensively reared chickens and meat were eye-opening. Most shocking to note they may produce less greenhouse gas than a free-ranging model. Obviously this is all relative and there are many other issues to be taken into account (animal welfare, antibiotic usage, the health benefits of animals not raised on their natural diet etc). However, taking into account his suggestions that the world's demand for meat will double by 2050 (think of the crops that have to go with that too) it's a huge problem and a huge burden. You need to watch it (click the link above). You also need to know he ends up analysing a bio-dynamic/Polyface farming model ... and celebrating it. Phew.
From the soap box: