Some Paris restaurants are returning to their roots, after years of following trends from Nordic countries, decorating plates with tiny leaves placed there with tweezers, foams and dry ice from Spain and the dreaded Menu dégustation. There is a marked interest in La cuisine bourgeoise. Traditional french style cooking.
But in a restaurant??
Banished for a very long time from the cutting edge world of gastronomy often seen as indigestible, fatty and corny. This style of cooking represents French cuisine with all it’s knowledge and know how.
Cooking that represents the French love for eating well,the ritual of the meal, affluence and sharing. In it’s time it was a social indicator of affluence and social position.
Escoffier. A founding father of modern (early 20th century) Cuisine Bourgeoise. His book The Complete guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, was originally published in 1902.
He was one of the greatest cooks of all time. Called the King of Chefs and Chef of Kings. With César Ritz they managed and cooked in the Savoy Hotel in London in 1890 and went on to open the Ritz Hotel in Paris and the Carlton Hotel in London.Click here to see the Ritz in Paris.
It is a style of cooking leaning heavily on meat and offal,sauces, gratins and slow and long cooking. Stews, vegetables in pastry and vegetables stuffed. Lots of butter.A cuisine that demands a lot of time and is often home based. So there was a culture of women cooks, for example the Méres lyonnaises, who ran comfy restaurnts with copious tasty servings, at a reasonable price.
But it’s not an attractive style. A lot of browns and stews.In our age of pintrest and social media, it just doesn’t do it.
When we were travelling in France in 1989 in our rented 2cv we ate a delicious oeufs pochés en vin rouge(see above) in a smalll restaurnt in Vichy. I have never come across it again .
Chef Bertrand Grébaut, at Septime in Paris is embracing the return to this style of French comfort food.But with his own twists to make it more modern. Sauces lightened with vegetable purees, less butter but still sticking to the basic philosophies.
Click here to see Septime’s opening hours and address.
Something for dessert?