My work in banking later took me to Japan, Saudi Arabia (where I met and married my Australian wife Leonie), Korea, Singapore and Sydney. I have always enjoyed good food and entertaining friends and I love my meat and wine [Jean-Marie is the director/owner of Vintec Australia, a leading distributor of wine cabinets]. We eat meat almost every day – everything from bavette [skirt steak] to pork chops, but I also love seafood, like this version of a typical French dish of herring with oil. The French eat a lot of herring, but I discovered this salmon dish at a restaurant in Paris many years ago and I liked it so much that I’ve been re-creating it ever since. The first time I made it was with my oldest friend, Francoise.
Once, I visited Francoise in Paris and she was making this dish. She was in a rush at the time and accidentally used dishwashing liquid instead of oil to cure the fish, leaving her guests to discover the mistake a week later when they came over for dinner!
I like to serve this as a starter or entrée at dinner parties; it will probably be on the menu this Bastille Day.
Interview by Selma Nadarajah. Photography by Alan Benson.