Book Review: Raw Food French Style
Raw Food French Style by Delphine de Montalier was released in hardback last month and I’ve been carrying it around in my bag for weeks – literally carrying it for weeks. David Japy’s photos within Raw Food French Style are enough to keep me coming back, just to see how certain dishes have been lit, staged, positioned and arranged (Elodie Rambaud is the stylist for the book) and having written several cook books in French (Fish & Fish, Les petits legumes and Tarte maison), Raw Food French Style is De Montalier’s first book translated to English.
I’m familiar with the concept of raw food in terms of approaching your diet and cooking using only raw, natural, unprocessed / organic food and while I can certainly appreciate it, I’m not one to follow it to the letter – though it certainly does appeal to me. That said, the recipes and information in Raw Food French Style give me a healthy mix of my desire for better food in the kitchen and my absolute love of France.
Inside you’ve got 115 raw food recipes from the likes of L’Epicerie General, Terroirs d’Avenir and Bones in Paris. After a handy users guide that looks at the set up of a raw food pantry along with tips on kitchen equipment and tips on vegetables, fish and meat, you’re into the nitty gritty of the recipes.
The book divided into over 200 pages of recipes and photos covering soups, salads, juices, fish, meet, barely cooked dishes, homemade basics and sweets.
Ingredients and measurements are laid out in both ounces and grams, the steps within for the dishes straight and to the point, no floury language necessary.
For the real raw food enthusiasts, you’ll also find a lot of the recipes marked as 100% raw, depending, obviously, on the ingredients used within.
Everything about the book yields a gorgeous, natural feel. The print, the paper quality, the style and styling of photos to go with each recipe make it a great read for “food porn” lovers as much as for fans of raw food and healthy, wholesome recipes.
Standouts for me with Raw Food French Style include the simple yet absolutely mouthwatering fillet of beef with rocket and parmesan (a good one too this week with fillet steaks on offer in Lidl, if you’re that way inclined), a very handy avocado mayonnaise out on page 214 that comes together really quickly with the aid of some maple syrup and lime and the 100% raw Pad Thai salad on page 80. They’re highlights, but highlights amongst some really top recipes.
Going back through the book again here, it’s a near challenge not to eat the pages as you turn.