Cuisine of the Sun cookbook: a kick start for your menu

Cuisine of the Sun cookbook: a kick start for your menu

Looking to add little sunshine to the shorter daylight hours that come at this time of year? How about putting together a menu from Cuisine of the Sun: A Ray of Sunshine on Your Plate. It may just be next best thing to a trip to the South of France.

unnamed-11Chicago native and former restaurateur Chef François de Mélogue, who has put together a Kickstarter campaign for his first cookbook, has offered to share some of his recipes with Show Me Chicago readers.

No pressure, he has already meet his Kickstarter goal of $20,000 meaning the book will be published–but if you want more, you can check out his campaign through September 15.

François says that the recipes “are the culmination of a lifetime spent relentlessly dreaming of food while toiling away in hot kitchens, both professional and at home.”

The chef grew up in a very French household in Chicago where his culinary fate was sealed early on with his attempts at cooking that included filleting a goldfish at age two and braising a pet rabbit at seven.

His palate and style became more refined after graduating from the New England Culinary Institute in 1985.

From there he went on to work in some of the best kitchens in the world including Chef Louis Szathmary’s famed Bakery restaurant in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris.

François returned to his hometown in 2002 to open what became the award-winning restaurant Pili Pili. The restaurant was rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François, who now resides in Seattle, hopes to “pick up the torch from Julia (Child) and show a new generation of aspiring cooks that great food is simple and fun to prepare.”

The pre-publication samples, offered here, do just that.

Even if you don’t like to cook–just looking his colorful photographs and hearing the personal stories that accompany his recipes are sure to put you in a Mediterranean mood.

Take, for example, his recipes for tapenade a soul satisfying summer food that works just as well in winter when served with a hearty French bread and a chilled white wine,. His three variations for tapenades couldn’t be easier. Click on the picture for the recipes.

Tapenade and French bread. Photo:  Francois de Melogue

Tapenade and French bread. Photo: Francois de Melogue

Another dish that should take away the chill of crisp Fall day is one of my favorites, Pistou soup. Pistou, which Francious describes as the very “soul” of Provenance is not only delicious but it is healthy.

Chef Francious offers the perfect recipe for vegetarians with his Soupe au pistou–simplified from his mother’s original. He also suggests that meat eaters may want to add a ham bone for extra flavor.  Click on the picture below for the Soupe au pistou recipe.

Pistou. Photo: Francois de Melogue

Pistou. Photo: Francois de Melogue

It has been said by many great chefs that the mark of a good cook is in how they prepare a roasted chicken. Chef Francious’ recipe for a “simple roasted chicken” makes it easy to hit that mark. Click on the chicken to learn how.

Simple roast chicken. Photo:

Simple roast chicken. Photo: François de Mélogue

Bon appétit!

If you’ve heard about Kickstarter–the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects–but aren’t sure how it works, check it out here. If you love the arts, I think you’ll find it interesting. You may even find a project you want to support or even start your own campaign.

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving, check out recipes from Ina Garten’s “Make It Ahead.”

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