Christophe Pelé, the chef at two-star restaurant Le Clarence in Paris, is unique. Named Cook of the Year by the Guide Pudlo Paris 2018, his dishes are based on French ingredients using Asian techniques - using precise cooking and cuts - as well as spices from round the world.
Another special feature of Christophe Pelé's cuisine is the (almost) total absence of salt in his dishes. Why has he chosen to practice this? And, more importantly, how does he properly season a dish without adding salt? The chef explains ...
Why have you drastically reduced salt in your recipes?
The first explanation that comes to mind is "health." As we all know, our salt intake is often too high but reducing it is not so simple ... There is also another interesting aspect, that if we replace salt with naturally salty foods, the associations are more refined, more delicate, and flavours are not distorted. It's a personal choice, but the fact of not using salt, or very little, is practiced in my kitchen at Clarence.
Do you prepare dishes totally without salt?
Yes, of course. But everything is about balance in the dishes that are prepared ... and the salty aspect can be achieved in other ways!
What ingredients do you use to replace salt? And what are the specificities of each?
To name but a few, I use anchovies, caviar, bottarga, "colatura di alici" (anchovy sauce), etc. Each product has its own characteristics and everything depends on the dish that we cook. For example, anchovies are fattier than bottarga, poutargue can be more salty or less salty, etc.
Can you give us some examples of your dishes?
With pleasure, here are some dishes where no salt is added and yet the products marry very well: "Oyster, karashi and caviar", "Saint-Jacques, anchovies, beetroot, clementine and rocket flower" or "Saint-Jacques, peas, Gwell and poutargue. "
Dal is one of those recipes that goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Unlike dishes such as biryani, brought to India by the Moghuls, it is one of those foods that has always been there. It is therefore a building block of Indian culture.
World Whisky Day is the perfect excuse to raise a glass of the spirit and savour its character and flavour. But there's a lot more to whisky than hot toddies and cocktails - it makes a great ingredient, adding punch and flavour to your cooking.
Our quick and easy cast-iron skillet pizza recipe is adaptable and straightforward. If you have a favourite sauce or topping, feel free to sub it in to make your very own version of the perfect cast-iron skillet pizza. Take a look.
In the North Atlantic, near Canada's eaternmost point, Fair Island is haunted by the the struggles past, but finding a new future. Kaja Sajovic visited the people that still fish, hunt, cook and live on the island.