July 18, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson
In a fun filled food way of course!
It was my great pleasure to meet Manu for the first time at the Adelaide Good Food and Wine Show a couple of years ago!
“Over the years it has come to my attention that many Australians are a little scared of French cookbooks. I hope I will change their mind!”
For my readers overseas who may not be familiar with Manu Feildel, not only does Manu write “Ooh la la” (coudn’t help myself in saying at least once lol) cookbooks, but is a TV host on the Australian reality television series My Kitchen Rules, collaborates with George Calombaris is Manu’s first Melbourne Restaurant (“on the list” ) called La Grand Cirque, is a chef and a “genuine down to earth” person whose passion for food, family and charity work shines through!
Manu was inspired to write French for Everyone after becoming “re-inspired” by his native French way of life and “the beauty of the French country.”
Having experienced “the French way of life” and French cuisine in France, I have to admit I was a “tad” anxious previously cooking French recipes, but in reading Manu’s Introduction in French for Everyone, I knew I could “just relax, enjoy” and easily be guided by any of Many’s recipes!
Manu shared that “the life of a chef isn’t really different from any other life.”
Manu explains, “When you’re young, you’re full of energy and creativity and want to reach for the stars, but as one gets a little older, you start to appreciate the simpler things life has to offer.”
I loved the mouthwatering photos leading up to Chapter 1 — Salads, soups and starters which included Salade de lentilles (Lentil Salad) using walnut oil and speck.
I could almost “smell” Soupe de coco et toast au lard de porc (White bean soup with pancetta on sourdough toast) and Crevettes en friture et aioli au parmesan (Deep fried school prawns with parmesan aioli); crunchy and yum!
I have made several of Manu’s recipes and can say all of the recipes were easy to follow, all of the ingredients were readily available, and all of the recipes had me yearning for more; gives me an excuse to make Manu’s recipes again for friends!
I enjoyed French for Everyone as the recipes DID excite and loved “the ease and simplicity.”
Manu’s recipes demonstrate Joie de vie which loosely translates to a “cheerful enjoyment of life.”
Due to the freezing cold winter weather we are experiencing here in Adelaide, I closed my eyes the other day and dreamt where Manu via French for Everyone would take me “on a French food escape.”
I pictured myself sitting in a French cafe simply enjoying life go by!
I imagined Manu meeting me (I have previously mentioned I have a very overactive food imagination lol) for a Café Noisette (espresso with a dash of cream).
Did you know noisette is the French word for hazelnut?
I vividly remembered (in my dreamy state) enjoying Croque tomate, basicilica et gruyère (Roasted tomato, basil and gruyere melt) which was “excitedly included” in Chapter 2 — Light Meals!
You can imagine HOW much I S-Q-U-E-A-L-E-D when I saw I had all of Manu’s ingredients on hand!
Lucky for me, Manu has never heard me S-Q-U-E-A-L about all things food!
The photograph makes you want to reach out for the crusty French bread and dip it in the “sauce”; Manu is “famous” for wanting his sauce on the television series My Kitchen Rules!
I have recently heard little ones here in Australia trying to imitate Manu’s French accent asking, “Where’s the sauce?”
Imitation is the highest form of flattery they say!
Being able to recreate aka imitate Manu’s recipes in French for Everyone will truly make your day!
My name is Joanne, aka Joanna, aka mickeydownunder aka FANG, and I have a confession to make!
When Manu first found his way to my kitchen (via his cookbook), I did go directly to Chapter 4 — Desserts!
Come on admit it, would you like to “Ooh la la” just once (maybe even twice) over Crêpes, bananas, chocolat et Chantilly (Crepes with bananas, chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream)?
How romantic is this dish?
I better get back to my review!
PLEASE….keep me away (NOT) from Petit pots au chocolate (Little chocolate pots)!
Just as one’s blood pressure starts to rise (in a fun food romantic way), Chapter 5 — Basics and extras comes your way!
Have you ever wanted to make a Sauce de beurre blanc (Beurre blanc) sauce?
Now, you can!
Purée de pommes de terre (Potato puree) or Fondue de tomato (Tomato fondue)?
Now you can too!
I’d like to share a story I shared with Manu!
Please feel free to laugh along with me; he did too!
While watching a previous season of My Kitchen Rules, one of the team contestants decided to cut corners, saving time using boxed chicken stock.
I “vividly” remember Manu walking up to the team saying, “You have no time to make stock?”
While I do KNOW I was watching a reality television show about food, it was “as if” Manu was asking me WHY I don’t make chicken stock from scratch?
My face blushed (as it does in real life easily in real life too) as I too felt guilty even though Manu’s comments were not directed at me!
It was after that comment that I now make all of my own stocks from scratch; on occasion using what is most convenient for me!
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