If you’re looking to impress dinner party guests, spruce up your cooking skills to wow a significant other, or simply take yourself on a culinary adventure to the French countryside, look no further than Gabriel Gaté’s new book, Délicieux.
It is exactly that, delicious. French food is notorious for being difficult to make and oftentimes an all day (and sometimes night) endeavor. In his book, Gaté simplifies the whole experience and makes French cooking seamless for a homecook with little to no prior experience cooking French food. The photography alone is enough to transport you to small seaside towns and lush countryside escapes.
Born in the beautiful Loire Valley, Gaté explores cuisines from every part of France: from ratatouille with lemon chantilly from the Nice/Riviera region, to duck fillet with porcini mushrooms and green peppercorn sauce from the Aquitaine/Dordogne region, there’s a dish from nearly every part of the country!
One of my favorite things about this cookbook is how well it captures a variety of cuisines, from seafood and hearty meat dishes, to more delicate pastries and cheese dishes.
In terms of organization, it’s very straightforward. These are the chapters you’ll find inside:
-Starters & Light Meals
-Salads & Vegetables
-Fish & Seafood
-Poultry & Rabbit
-Beef, Lamb & Pork
-Cakes & Sweet Morsels
-Desserts & Tarts
If you’re looking to cook an entire French meal from start(ers) to finish, this is an excellent book to have! It’s also great if you’re just looking to try something new, maybe outside of your comfort zone.
I tried to test a sampling of recipes in here; these are the ones I made:
LEEK TART (p. 42)
I tried this recipe because Gaté mentions how leeks are “one of the most loved vegetables in France…(and) this is (his) favorite savory tart”…so I had to try it! This was a really easy dish to put together, but I’d definitely advise letting the filling set before you serve it, otherwise it could turn out a little soup-y. All in all, a really easy to make recipe that could be a crowd-pleaser at a bbq or family dinner.
CHICKEN WITH CHAMPAGNE & MUSHROOM SAUCE (p. 167)
This dish is great for a special occasion because it calls for champagne, so whatever you don’t use in the recipe you can drink while you’re cooking (or serve with the meal)! When I tried it, it reminded me of Chicken Marsala, which is usually made with mushrooms and white wine, so this was a nice French twist.
CHERRY CLAFOUTIS (p. 395)
This is a perfect dessert for someone who wants sweets without that punch of sugar. A clafoutis is a “traditional French dessert in which fresh fruit-usually cherries-are baked in a batter.” I’d never made a clafoutis before this review, but I’m definitely going to make it again. I haven’t really cooked with cherries before, so again, something new! I really liked this dessert, but as a preparation note, if you get cherries that have pits (sadly, ones without weren’t available at my grocery store when I made this recipe), you’ll have to de-pit the cherries before you add them to the batter.
Overall, I really enjoyed the cultural immersion this book creates for a reader. Each recipe has the English and French name, as well as a brief description about what part of France it comes from and why it’s representative of French culture. If you’ve never been to France, this is a great way to taste some of the most popular local dishes with having to buy a plane ticket. If you’ve been there before, this is sure to transport you back to fond memories of sidewalk cafes and mouth-watering dining experiences that one can only find in France.
As an added bonus, I found this video with the author to add a little visual appeal.
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. All photography featured in this post is my own; please seek permission before copying or reproducing the images.
Score Card: Cover Art 5/5 | Content 5/5 | Ease of Read 5/5
Book Stats: Title- Délicieux by Gabriel Gaté
Page Count- 424
Binding-Hardcover (color photography and recipes inside)