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What did NOT inspire Beatrice to write a new book on cooking?
- Her children.
- Her memories.
- Her neighbours.
Presenter: Today in our studio we have a food stylist, photographer and author of the award-winning food blog La Tartine Beatrice Peltre. Good afternoon, Beatrice!
Beatrice Peltre: Good afternoon. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for inviting me.
Presenter: What are your earliest food memory and your favourite dishes from childhood?
Beatrice Peltre: Summer days with my mother and grandmother, preserving fruit and vegetables from their gardens. To this day, when summer arrives I think about those times when Lulu and I are in the garden together. I was always so excited to have her prepare when she had leftovers of a roast beef, and her cherry cakes and seasonal fruit tarts were also favourites.
Presenter: How did your childhood, your family food experiences inspire your love and passion for cooking?
Beatrice Peltre: Eating locally grown food was always a priority at home. It was easy because it just made sense with the tradition of keeping a vegetable garden. Being in the kitchen with my mother and watching her cook every meal infl uenced me tremendously — though I didn’t realize it then. It instilled in me a healthy relationship with food, and an understanding that we can show love when preparing meals.
Presenter: Your new book is all about cooking for your family. What inspired you to write it?
Beatrice Peltre: My children. And my childhood memories of family meals. When I became a mother — and now that I am a mother of two young ones — I dreamed of writing a book that was strong on family food because living this life is what I do every day.
Presenter: What are the key ways to make healthy food tasty?
Beatrice Peltre: Focus on quality ingredients. My cooking is healthy but I am not being excessive in that way because I believe more in enjoying everything in moderation, and embracing food for enjoyment and happiness. This is more generous.
Presenter: Do you notice any differences in family meal times when compared the USA to France?
Beatrice Peltre: Yes, indeed. It’s clear that the French like to spend more time around the table. For the French, family meals are embedded in the daily routine. In the US, some families would rather make other activities a priority, and then eat on the go.
Presenter: You are an expert food stylist. Any tips for the amateur photographer capturing their own culinary creations on camera?
Beatrice Peltre: Keep it simple, use natural light, and finish with delicate touches such as fresh herbs. Don’t try to force something in a photo if it does not make sense with the food.
Presenter: What are the five most important ingredients at a chef ’s disposal? Favourite meat and vegetable?
Beatrice Peltre: In my kitchen, I’d keep a bottle of olive oil for cooking and a few other quality ones for dressing salads, plenty of fresh herbs, and dark chocolate. I love lamb, and carrots. The taste of a homegrown carrot just dug out of the garden is the best.
Presenter: Which person, living or dead, would have cooked you fantasy meals for you, and what would be on the menu?
Beatrice Peltre: My daughter. Whatever she decided to cook for me.
Presenter: And finally, you are granted three wishes to change gastronomic life — the nation’s food habits — in France. What would they be?
Beatrice Peltre: Keep the traditional methods and recipes alive. Instead of building a meal around meat or fish, focus more on a vegetable ingredient or dish. I think about my cooking in this way. Also, strengthen the culture of breakfast with more variety, proteins and healthy options to start the day.
Presenter: How important is it to engage children in cooking?
Beatrice Peltre: Extremely important. It shows them the path from ingredients to the dishes they eat. Children tend also to try new things when they participate in the preparation. It helps them to feel engaged and proud of the dishes they make.
Presenter: Thank you, Beatrice.