World Chefs: French politicians dish up passion for cooking

Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:33am EDT
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Few subjects stir French passions more than politics and food, so perhaps it was inevitable that the two realms would eventually collide - and meld - in a cookbook.

"French Country Cooking," a compendium of recipes contributed by members of France's National Assembly, serves up a lavishly illustrated complement of French cuisine, from rustic one-pot stews to refined roasts and decadent desserts.

Jeanette Seaver, the book's translator, spoke to Reuters about the unusual project and the French obsession with food.

Q: How did the idea for this book come about?

A: The idea came from a French parliament deputy (Francoise Branget), who like many French people cooks well. She called upon many of her colleagues at the Parliament. She was able to have a good 90 of her fellow deputies donate recipes, really from the little country villages that they come from, where recipes were passed down for generations. One found a recipe folded in the library of their grandfather that dated from before the (French) Revolution.

Q: Were any Assembly members reluctant to embrace the project?

A: No, not at all. They're very proud, very happy to talk about and share and even parade their particular region.

Q: Did the members choose which recipes to submit?   Continued...