Raw Food ~ French Style by Delphine de Montalier

by Silvana de Soissons2nd May 2014

I had never heard of Delphine de Montalier before reading “Raw Food French Style”, published by Frances Lincoln. She is a prolific French cookbook writer and stylist, but the reason why we have not heard more about her in Britain is probably because this is only her second book to be translated into English.

More and more cooks are becoming interested in raw food ~ not just fruit and vegetables but also meat and fish. Cooking and heat, as we know, kills enzymes and diminishes the nutritional benefits of foods, as well as its natural taste and aroma. In the last few years there has been a considerable increase in the number of chefs and home cooks interested in creating interesting juices, salads, soups and puddings that do not involve cooking.

I have read many books on the subject of Peruvian and Italian raw food, but never one on the French interpretation of the genre, so I was intrigued.

The author has created 115 recipes in this book by consulting a new generation of French chefs for whom great provenance of raw ingredients and their subtle and gentle treatment are paramount. There are some colonial and international references here too ~ from east to west, north to south.

This book is a revelation: do not be put off into thinking it is just for vegetarians or hemp wearers. The recipes are interesting, achievable, fresh, bright and delicious.

If you love shopping at a farmer’s market, receive a weekly fruit and vegetable box delivery or grow your own food, this book can provide you with so many ideas and guidelines for raw food from preparation and decoration to enjoyment.

There are beautiful photography by David Japy, modern, clean styling by Elodie Rambaud and jaunty illustrations by Jane Teasdale. Priced at £20.00 this is an exciting gift for friends or family that want to discover and develop the fragrance, flavour and flair of Mother Nature’s larder and bounty ~ raw style.

At the beginning of the book there is a useful guide to what accessories you might need to help you in the kitchen, from blenders to choppers, juicers, graters, peelers and slicers. Not a great deal of investment and research is required, however, to make a confident start.

A home-made basics chapter also teaches you how to make interesting, flavoursome vinaigrettes, dressings, guacamole, mayonnaise etc.

This book is a welcome, refreshing breeze of change from the endless raft of baking, cake, bread, grilling, roasting, preserving, curing books that have been published in the last year. We all feel like a change of appetite: cometh the hour, cometh the book.

About the Author

Silvana de Soissons is the founder of The Foodie Bugle Shop and its journal. You can follow her on Twitter @SilvanadeS and @TheFoodieBugle.