"My friends are surprised that I can cook a meal for 8 people and when they come over to the apartment, the kitchen still looks like this," explains Antoine as he gestures toward a particularly sparkling and sparse marble countertop. When he started this sentence, I thought the shock would come from having cooked a meal for so many guests, but perhaps those in his inner circle expect no less.
Upon arriving in Antoine's kitchen, I initially assumed he didn't have time to do much cooking. I knew I was wrong as I spotted two well worn dishtowels hanging on Antoine's oven door handle. Then I saw his basic, but essential, cooking utensils gathered in a measuring cup on the counter. This was not a show kitchen, but a much loved, and active kitchen. The clincher was the bin of fresh vegetables in the fridge!
"Being around the table is very important." It was a pleasure to encounter Antoine's commitment to eating communally and to eating home cooked meals. "This is something my mother gave me."
Antoine's Answers to the Kitchn Questionnaire
What's your cooking style?
What inspires your kitchen?
My roots and my mother and grandmother's cooking style.
What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
The wooden spoon.
Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Follow the instructions but cook what feels right.
Biggest challenge in your kitchen:
To keep it clean.
Cooking requires a lot of indulgence all the time.
Dream tool or splurge:
Wow! Maybe too many... but food is good not because of all the tools, but the cook, isn't it?
What are you cooking this week?
What cookbook has inspired you the most?
Francoise Bernard cookbooks...a classic in France.
What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
Traditional veal Blanquette…
Antoine's Recipe for the "The Best Dessert": Affogato
A scoop of a very good vanilla ice cream or gelato topped with an espresso.
Serve it in a large red wine glass (empty of course !)
• KitchenAid: Mixer, Toaster
• Fisher & Paykel: Dishwasher
• Calphalon: Cookware
• Nespresso: Coffee Machine
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(Images: Jill Slater)