In her latest cookbook, My Little French Kitchen, Rachel Khoo steps outside metropolitan Paris to meet the people and learn the food classics of greater France.
By
Megan Gibbon

1 Dec 2013 - 3:14 PM  UPDATED 2 Jul 2014 - 1:45 PM

Why buy it?

Rachel Khoo, the cute and quirky chef with a passion for French cuisine and patisserie, is best known for the TV series and cookbook named after her tiny, home restaurant, The Little Paris Kitchen. After exploring and eating her way through Parisian fromageries, boulangeries and patisseries for eight years, Rachel is seeking inspiration beyond the 20 arrondisements of Paris. My Little French Kitchen is the story of her trip to French villages and towns from the four corners of France. The pages are peppered with the people who welcomed her into their homes, farms and food shops, and all the culinary quirks she stumbled upon along the way. From beer-doused ham hock to buttery redcurrant pastries, each recipe expresses the oddities of each region’s food culture. The book combines beautiful photography and illustration with Rachel’s own gastronomic travel tips and stories. “Each recipe is a postcard from my little kitchen to yours, savouring the flavours, smells and textures that inspired me, and that I hope will inspire you too.”     

 

Cookability

Rachel has included a broad range of recipes, from indulgent dishes that require long Sunday afternoons to prepare, such as baker’s stew, to dishes perfect for weeknight cooking. Some stand-outs are spicy aubergine chips with couscous, and Lyonnais pizza.

 

Must-cook recipe

Button dumplings with Munster cheese and onion petals from Alsace, where Rachel visited one of the last family-run flour-mills in the region.

 

Most surprising dish

Oat-crusted seafood crumble. Yes, it is a savoury French adaption of the traditional British pudding.

 

Kitchen wisdom

“France is as rich and dense as my chocolate beret cake.”

 

Ideal for

Anyone who likes Rachel’s quaint style and is curious about combining old French traditions with new concepts and trends sprouting up all over the countryside.

 

My Little French Kitchen by Rachel Khoo with photography by David Loftus (Michael Josesph, $39.99, hbk)