Pomiane's philosophy was very straightforward: a quality of life, significantly enhanced by the relaxed enjoyment of good food and drink, preferably consumed in the company of good friends. He disliked formality, pomposity or pretension. Pleasure should be simple - and the route to finding it should be equally uncomplicated.
This philosophy can be distilled into a number of distinct rules for the Cook. As follows:
- Plan ahead. Plan your menus so that you aren't trying to do too many complicated dishes within one meal.
- Programme your meal plans to achieve economies of scale: - if a dish will freeze readily, then make twice as much first time round, and have a second portion ready to go for several weeks later; - when I'm making crepes for one day, I generally make enough to use the following day in a completely different recipe (e.g. savoury stuffed one day, and suzettes the next); - when I make Moules Marinieres, I always make enough that I also have cooked mussels to make a Tarte aux Moules a couple of days later, and so on....
- Organise yourself, so that you can multi-task the various steps involved in producing three courses in parallel with each other, rather than one after the other.
- Don't spend too much time in the kitchen - I produce a three course dinner every evening, and - unless there's a dish I particularly want to spend time over - I rarely spend more than an hour a day cooking.
- Clear up as you go along! How can you possibly relax into the enjoyment of food and company, when you know the Kitchen is piled with dirty pans awaiting your attention as soon as dinner is finished? By the time the first course is served, your kitchen should already look practically pristine....
- If you're starting to get stressed, then you aren't planning sensibly in relation to your capabilities. Stress is not enjoyable. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Your abilities will inevitably expand with practice.
Tonight's Menu is..........the responsibility of the Bandierine restaurant. I'm having an evening off!