Over the months, we have spoken much about the fact that food plays a genuinely important role in bringing people together and breaking down barriers, but with the Covid-19 pandemic, many have found a new love for home cooked food, recipes and local produce. Wouldn’t it be good if we could use this as a platform to really promote local seasonal produce and local recipes?
Food in France has always been a central part of the culture. Food is more important to the French than to nearly any other nation. The real roots of French Gastronomy lies in regional and local cooking. It has never been a trend or fashion: it is something real, genuine, authentic and each area is proud of their regional cooking and wine. It lies within the soul of each provence.
One of the trends of recent years has been the re-birth of the Fait Maison. The French government has even issued a new logo for restaurants: “Fait Maison” or “Home Made” promotes and controls/ensures that a restaurant who says it cooks everything on site does use fresh produce to do so. There is no compromise. French gastronomy will always be the benchmark for others to measure themselves as in France it is not about clever ideas and innovation but about real food that has exceptional taste.
There is no reason why the same could not take place in the UK as we do grow some exceptional produce and have many fabulous recipes. British cuisine has always been far better than its poor image and actually it would be exciting if greater pride could be taken in the use if local recipes and produce. France was never concerned that its position as the world’s leading gastronomic country would slip as they knew that it was a secondary consideration. What mattered was pride in their foods.
In Britain it is different as we have become a hotbed of many different food styles. It always something when Indian foods are seen to be the leading favourite food style in a country which can boast so many great flavours, produce, farms and recipes. British food needs far better marketing but more importantly there is a need to build on the growing desire of localism and regional pride.
People are enjoying cooking again. This is an opportunity.