There is more than a slight malaise in the air these days about French food and cooking. While the rest of the world delights in the intricacies of molecular gastronomy and even Britain is revelling in a culinary renaissance, in France the years of worship at the temple of the great god Michelin seem to have blinded them to change and evolution. Why is this? What is it about the French that causes them to be so blinkered about their food? Plats du Jour is an attempt to answer that question, as William Black explores the highways and byways of French cooking. Taking as his starting point the great tradition of French food, William tackles years of received wisdom and parochial food snobbery head on, though with his mind (and his mouth) firmly open... He eats poule-au-pot in Pau and investigates the fascinating history of a dish, the weekly consumption of which was Henry IV's ambition for all his subjects. He samples the dubious (and illegal) delights of ortolan and has the most painfully disappointing gastronomic experience of his life. He combs the beaches of Brittany for seafood and is chased from a Basque village by an enraged potter. His dedication to the culinary cause knows
is the author of AL DENTE and THE LAND THAT THYME FORGOT and the co-author with Sophie Grigson of several bestselling books- Fish, Organic and Travels la Carte. He was the winner of the Glenfiddich award for his television programme Matters of Taste and he has sourced ingredients (fish in particular) for many of the UK's finest restaurants. He lives in Oxfordshire.