This month at Luxeat, it’s all about celebrating simple and delicious fruit and vegetables – the evocative smells of tomatoes on the vine, crushed basil picked straight from the garden, ripe juicy peaches and fragrant citrus trees – in other words, the flavours of summer harvest.
Journey with us to the South of France to taste a tomato tart recipe from Dominique Le Stanc, who captures the flavours of Provence produce at the two Michelin star restaurant La Merenda, and then to the kitchen of Alain Passard, where he enchants us with his love for vegetables and his garden. Across the Mediterranean, we head to the Spanish region of Valencia, where Vincente Todoli is drawing connections between art and citrus in his ambitious citrus paradise. In Israel, we speak to Erez Komarovsky, a pioneer of artisan baking, whose lush garden of herbs and vegetables makes its way into his cooking. Finally, Joe Czerwinski tells us about his favourite old-world rosés, and a surprisingly long history of the summery pink wine.
Hope you enjoy, and happy summer holidays!
Erez Komarovsky: The Pioneer of Israel’s Artisan Baking and Cooking
Born in Tel Aviv in the sixties, Erez Komarovsky is considered one of the true pioneers of artisan bread-making in Israel. The celebrated chef and baker takes inspiration from his time spent in France and California, but above all draws on the rich melting pot of flavours and ingredients in his native land, and on the nature around him. He has written a number of cookbooks, and founded Lehem Erez bakery and cafe chain. From his home in Upper Galilee, Komarovsky now runs one-off cookery courses to share his ethos.
Luxeat sits down to talk to Komarovsky about Israel’s hugely diverse culinary offering, and his belief that small bridges can be built through sharing food cultures and cooking side by side.
Vicente Todolí: Art and Citrus – Re-imagining Citrus Growing in Valencia
The Spanish region of Valencia is one of the best known areas for citrus in the entire world. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes are exported by the tonne from this fertile corner of the Mediterranean, bringing a taste of Spanish sunshine to our supermarkets. But this is the exact problem: beyond this handful of intensively farmed monocultures, the land is being drained of life. Many hundreds of rare citrus varieties are at risk of being lost forever, and the focus on mass production is wreaking havoc on the landscape.
This is where Vicente Todolí comes in. After decades working in the arts (the pinnacle of which was seven years as director of Tate Modern. He is currently artistic director at Pirelli Hangar Bicocca in Milan) he had a dramatic shift, and decided to come home to Spain and focus his energies on building a botanical orchard.
Alain Passard, the wizard of vegetables
French chef Alain Passard may not resemble a radical vegetable lover on a mission to change the way the culinary high-brow consider produce, yet he has, completely. A green superpower? As he confides, “I’m a different man when I’m in the vegetable patch”.
Mediterranean Rosés for Summer
By Joe Czerwinski
The idea that rosé wines go with hot weather is certainly nothing new. There’s a natural affinity between a chilled, refreshing glass of rosé and a table of summery salads, a simple dinner of fresh-caught fish and homemade pasta, or even grilled lamb chops and garden-grown vegetables.
These are just three meals to enjoy in the countries and regions adjoining the Mediterranean, many of which produce delicious pink offerings. Moving from west to east, Spain, France, Italy and Greece all boast top-class rosé wines that show remarkable versatility at the table, capable of pairing with a variety of dishes—and delicious on their own as well.
Le Temps des Tomates: Tomato tart by La Merenda’s Dominique Le Stanc
Tiny, old school and always packed with locals, La Merenda is a hidden gem in Nice run by former Michelin-starred chef Dominique Le Stanc and his wife Danielle. I absolutely love Niçoise cuisine and it’s always a pleasure to come back, especially during this time of the year when the vegetables are at their prime.
This time, Dominique gifted Luxeat readers with a tomato tart recipe, full of summer scents, to enjoy the season the most.
Top New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park goes vegan
One of New York’s top fine dining restaurants is abandoning meat and going for a plant-based menu after its chef and owner posted a message on its website saying the modern food system was “simply not sustainable”.
Anthony Bourdain’s Inner Circle Tries to Understand His Suicide in Roadrunner
When Anthony Bourdain was reported dead by suicide in June 2018, Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville was shocked and confused—common sentiments among those who had come to love the charismatic chef turned cultural explorer.
140-year-old sukiyaki restaurant in Tokyo closing due to coronavirus pandemic
Asakusa’s Chinya has been serving visitors to the historical district for more than a century.
If you’re in Tokyo’s Asakusa neighborhood and in the mood for sukiyaki, the staff at Chinya is waiting to satisfy that craving. That’s true today, it was true yesterday, and it was true over a hundred years ago.
Unfortunately, it’s not going to be true much longer.
La Grand Rentrée: Le Duc in Marseille
Paris’ most legendary seafood restaurant LE DUC and one of my favourite restaurants in the world is back to its roots for the first time and just for one night with an exceptional dinner made from the best local seafood and ingredients at a 19th century villa in Marseille.