Pierre Koffmann's Memories of Gascony is the story of how one of the most influential chefs of our time first learned to love food. With recipes and reminiscences from his grandparents' home in rural Gascony, this is an intimate account of school holidays spent on the farm helping his grandfather to harvest and hunt, and learning to treasure seasonality, simplicity and the best ingredients at his grandmother's side. The finest of Gascony produce is here, with a focus on simplicity. The recipes stand the test of time and speak to the food tastes and trends of today. While you read the charming stories of everyday life on the farm, you'll devour the cuisine as you go along - dandelion salad with bacon and poached egg, grilled chicken with shallots and vinaigrette, and greengages in armagnac in Spring; chicken liver pate with capers, Bayonne ham tart with garlic, oeufs a la neige in Summer; roast hare with mustard and beetroot, salt cod cassoulet and quince jelly in Autumn; and fried eggs with foie gras, potato and bacon pie and tarte aux pruneaux in Winter. This is a book to learn, love and live from.
Pierre Koffmann has been at the heart of fine cuisine in Britain for over 40 years. After working as a young chef in Strasbourg and Toulon, Koffmann arrived in London in 1970 to work under Michel and Albert Roux at Le Gavroche. In 1972 he was made the first head chef of the Roux brothers' new venture, the Waterside Inn at Bray. When Pierre opened La Tante Claire in 1977, it was the start of a residency at the top of the London culinary world that would span four decades. Within six years of opening, La Tante Claire had its third Michelin star, setting new standards for cooking and creating extraordinary dishes from classically simple ingredients, while also serving as an academy for many of today's culinary superstars. Between them his various proteges, from Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay to Tom Kitchin and Jason Atherton, now boast over 20 Michelin stars in their own right. He retired in 2003, but following a sell-out of his critically hailed pop-up at Selfridges in 2009, he returned to the kitchen once more. His acclaimed, informal restaurant, Koffmann's at The Berkeley, serves classic provincial French cooking - the food of his grandparents' farmhouse kitchen. Find out more about Pierre Koffmann at www.pierrekoffmann.co.uk.