Cecile Delarue is a cook, journalist, blogger and author and blogger at ‘French and Parfait’ where she takes as a fun and tongue in cheek look at French cuisine and life. Cecile says “French women are just the best. That’s how we’re born. Parfaites! We don’t get fat, we never sleep alone AND our kids eat their veggies… Oh la la!” Of course she’s joking but she has a serious message too, that French cuisine can be learned and it needn’t be so hard as some would have you believe.
I caught up with Cecile in Los Angeles, California, where she lives and works as a journalist and TV presenter to ask her about French cuisine and being French and parfait!
“My mother, grand-mothers, and many French and perfect women before them, were all hard working” she confides. “They loved great food, but they just couldn’t afford to waste time in the kitchen… Try to feed a dozen people on your farm when you wake up at dawn to milk the cows and spend your late evenings churning the butter! So they developed quick and easy and flavorful recipes that could satisfy everybody”.
She loves telling stories and sharing the world and tells me it’s what drove her to become a journalist and to share her cooking know-how. “I wanted to laugh at the image French people have, while still sharing what I love about my country. And what I miss most here in the US – my good old French food” she says.
She learned to cook at home. “My mom used to cook for us from scratch twice a day. She was ashamed when she had to serve us something processed from the freezer, “la honte” she would say [“shame”]! Both my grandmothers were farmers and cooked for everybody at the farm with what was grown there, they were both great cooks…And then, there’s my uncle Bernard. He is a chef. He worked for some time in England and always told me all about the pleasure of cooking with what you have. He’s the one who taught me to go to the market and see what you are going to cook from what’s for sale and especially what’s in season.
His main advice is always the same: “mijote mijote”. Simmer. Take the time. He’s all about the ingredients, simple things, cooked beautifully… “
Here she is making that great French classic: Quiche Lorraine
Ceclie Delarue is the author of The Everything Easy French Cookbook, available from Amazon.