I thought I’d translate my previous post or at least give the British who don’t speak French (that will be most of you then?) a chance to read what I think about your food. Since I’m French you must be interested. We do food so much better than you… Or do we, still?
Bridport was voted the best town in Dorset for local food by ‘the Taste of Dorset’. This reminded me that when I went to France this year, I noticed that although the word ‘provenance’ comes from the french language we don’t seem to use it very much in restaurants and even shops. I have become far more aware of where my food comes from since living here in Dorset. We stopped at a run-of-the-mill steak and chips restaurant on our journey back from the South of France this Summer and the steak provenance was: France or Europe. Mmmm, that’s specific, no South American or Russian cow there then. Goodness knows where the spuds came from? I didn’t ask. Steak was nice though.
I remember interviewing Chef Jean-François Piège from the Ambassadeur restaurant in Paris (2 Michelin stars) three years ago. His main concern was getting the best rather than worry too much about where it came from. Now that figures when the smallest menu is at €70 and they do tell you where your meat comes from -or your caviar for that matter. In fairness if you check their menu, most of the produce is french anyway. But if you can’t get it in France, then Piège wants to know that he can get it onto your plate anyway. It’s a question of choice, n’est ce pas?
So, I’d say you can be proud of what you British have achieved in the world of food in the last twenty years. You are more aware, more discerning and Dorset is certainly a fantastic place to be when you are a gourmet. Just don’t settle for that MacDo (as French call it) or drink a Starbuck (they’re trying to invade the South of France now that Paris has taken the bait) and you’ll be more foodie than a lot of Frenchies.
Incroyable but true…