Chefs from some of the greatest restaurants on earth are joined by gastronomes, celebrities and passionate foodies to share childhood food memories and the recipes that inspired them to experiment in the kitchen... a memory bank which reminds us home cooking can be fun, thrifty, save money and amaze your friends.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chef Gui - Food Writer and Chef - Florida

Sorry we have been a bit slack of late but we are back with a great recipe from Gui Alinat who has recently launched his new book The Chef’s Répertoire. See below to learn about his earliest food memory.

“I recall French scientist and molecular gastronomy icon Hervé This saying: “we like our grandmother’s food because we are primates”. It’s true, primates tend to stick to the foods they recognize, to the foods they grew up with. And many of us, chefs or non-chefs, recognize grandma as the driving force behind our love for food.
I was born, raised, and trained as a chef in the south of France. But well before chef school, I was immersed in a culture almost essentially made of long lunches at the table, family dinners, wild mushroom foraging, and pantagruelian feasts revolving around wild boar, hare and partridge. I remember learning the obscure technique of “flambadou” grilling, making grand aioli Provencal, and pitting apricot pits (yes, there is a slightly bitter, velvety, eatable nut inside the pit of an apricot) for my grandma’s jam. That was the same grandmother who made “pommes de terre farcies” or stuffed potatoes. Quite an odd recipe, but so encrusted in my memory that I must recognize that it was she who gave me the drive to pursue a career as a chef.

Today, as a chef, food blogger and cookbook author, I challenge myself to always build on the things I know in order to come up with new things. But really, at home, what I like to cook is good, rustic, old-fashioned dishes that my grandmother used to cook. And that is one of them.

Recipe: Pommes de terre farcies

4 large baking potatoes
1 lb pork belly (alternatively a good-quality bacon)
6 Garlic cloves
1 bunch of parsley
2 Shallots
1 cup of white wine
3 oz of duck fat (alternatively use butter)
salt and pepper to taste


  • Peel potatoes. Cut one of the ends off and hollow the potato out with a melon baller. Thinly chop (by hand) the pork belly.
  • Mix with chopped garlic, chopped parsley, chopped and sautéed shallots, salt and pepper. Stuff the potatoes. Put the end back on and tie each potato with butcher twine.
  • In a heavy, cast-iron Dutch oven, sauté the potatoes in duck fat until well brown. Deglaze with white wine. Cover and let simmer for about 1 hour. Serve hot. “