Jump to content


Scheduled Downtime

NOTICE: The eG Forums will be offline for several hours on Friday, November 28 for system maintenance.

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

the Tastes of the Southwest


  • Please log in to reply
1 reply to this topic

#1 Kate Hill

Kate Hill
  • participating member
  • 34 posts
  • Location:Gascony, France

Posted 18 November 2005 - 10:12 AM

Dear Paula,

Having just returned from the States, I opened my mail, found your book to welcome me home. The first time I saw the Cooking of Southwest France it, too, was delivered by mail from a friend in the States- nearly 20 years ago. and just like that first time-- I thumbed through the first pages and fell in love with the opening statements on the Tastes of Southwest France.

Your defining those tastes so articulately 20 years ago opened the door to my understanding just what I was learning from my Gascon neighbors. Again I read the words that define this complex cultural cuisine and salute you for helping us savor the ingredients before we try to cook with them.

The impact of your work on restaurant trends is evident; I ate prune & armagnac ice cream at a NYC bistro called Prune and had Duck Confit at Bobby Flay's new Bar American this week. Differently than the Mediterranean culture, do you think these trends are in response to the flavors of the ingredients rather than the culinary culture that borne them? How do you place the Southwestern cuisine in perspective?

Thank you for that long year of re-visiting this good food!

#2 Wolfert

Wolfert
  • participating member
  • 1,214 posts
  • Location:sonoma

Posted 18 November 2005 - 04:13 PM

Dear Paula,

Having just returned from the States, I opened my mail, found your book to welcome me home.  The first time I saw the Cooking of Southwest France it, too, was delivered by mail from a friend in the States- nearly 20 years ago. and just like that first time-- I thumbed through the first pages and fell in love with the opening statements on the Tastes of Southwest France.

Your defining those tastes so articulately 20 years ago opened the door to my understanding just what I was learning from my Gascon neighbors. Again I read the words that define this complex cultural cuisine and salute you for helping us savor the ingredients before we try to cook with them.

The impact of your work on restaurant trends is evident; I ate prune & armagnac ice cream at a NYC bistro called Prune  and had Duck Confit at Bobby Flay's new Bar American this week. Differently than the Mediterranean culture, do you think these trends are in response to the flavors of the ingredients rather than the culinary culture that borne them? How do you place the Southwestern cuisine in perspective?

Thank you for that long year of re-visiting this good food!

View Post

I think there're a response to both, but primarily to the flavors of the ingredients. Also, as you know, chefs live and work in a highly competitive environment, in which there's tremendous pressure to be "new-new-new!", to present "the hot new dish," and to suggest that the chef in question has been out and about in the world, finding and bringing back delicious exotic dishes, which he or she has then adapted and made his/her own. I believe that's the main reason these dishes appear on American menus.


As for putting the culinary culture of SWF in perspective, that's a huge topic -- one I don't feel qualified to expound upon. I will say this: for me it's one of great regional cuisines of France. It is in many ways, more agreable to my palette than Alsatian or Burgundian. I love Provencal food, but I adore Gascon food. As it's been said in another context (infidelity within a marriage): "I may pray in many churches, but I worship in only one cathedral!"
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.