The Modern Gourmet
Peta Mathias chose the most unusual way to unwind at the end of the television series. After tirelessly travelling the length of the country to uncover New Zealand’s best gourmet secrets and the people who created them, you might think NZ House & Garden co-presenter Peta Mathias would head home to put her feet up – of course she did the complete opposite and promptly headed off to the south of France to open her new cooking school.
French cooking has a reputation for being complicated – a hangover perhaps from the days when many aspired to the classic cordon bleu style. But even if you don’t know bouillabaisse from bourguignonne and your choux puffs are reminiscent of shoe leather, it’s possible to cook and enjoy authentic French fare, no matter what your level of expertise.
Modern French food has been greatly influenced by an interest in regional cooking, with its emphasis on fresh, local produce and traditional specialities. As well, a curiosity about “foreign” cuisine has seen a rise in international styles. Recipes from French chefs of today are as likely to contain couscous as foie gras and pizza may feature on the same menu as pissaladière.
Click here for some easy-to-prepare recipes from Provençal chef Philippe Sublet that demonstrate that flavour, pure and simple, rather than complex preparation, is the key. As Curnonsky, the French writer dubbed the Prince of Gastronomy, said: “Good cuisine is when things taste of what they are.”
to read more about Peta’s cooking school in France
To view Peta’s story from this week’s programme click the ‘play video’ link above.