Learn How to Cook Like a Real Neuchâtelois(e) with this New Book

Hors d’oeuvres prepared with recipes from the new cookbook, Recettes du terroir neuchâtelois.

Would you like to learn more about the culinary traditions in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel? A new cookbook — written in French — offers you that opportunity, with more than 150 recipes designed for your home kitchen. These recipes range from centuries-old dishes to favorites from local restaurants, as well as foods you may find served at the family dinner table.

The cookbook’s authors — both accomplished chefs that have called Neuchâtel home since the 1960s, also included some of their own recipes from over the years. Francis Grandjean published the first edition of this cookbook in 2002, to coincide with the Swiss National Exposition. He has had a long and successful career in the field of gastronomy. His former positions include Chef de cuisine at the Beau-Rivage Hotel and an instructor at the Centre professional du Littoral neuchâtelois (CPLN). For the second edition of his book, with its release occurring by chance during Neuchâtel’s reign as the Ville du Goût 2017, he turned to his friend and colleague, Jean-Pierre Berthonneau to serve as his co-author. Berthonneau — also with an impressive culinary career, is the former chef at the Hôtel duPeyrou, where the launch event for the cookbook took place. He has also worked as an instructor at CPLN.

Co-authors of Recettes du terroir neuchâtelois, Jean-Pierre Berthonneau and Francis Grandjean.

Hôtel DuPeyrou — One of my favorite spots in Neuchâtel, and the site of the launch event for the new edition of Recettes du terroir neuchâtelois.

Before you reach the recipes in the book, you will find a nice introduction to the various produits du terroir (local products) of Neuchâtel. After the recipes, the authors also provide instructions for making a “plateau de fromage neuchâtelois” — the types of cheeses to use and appropriate accompaniments. Finally, there are nine suggested menus, for different seasons or special dietary considerations, for example, in addition to a glossary of terms used in the cookbook. With features like these, along with the detailed instructions, remarks and variations included with the recipes, the book resembles a textbook — not surprising considering its authors are two former cooking instructors.

Pavés aux noix — a walnut-filled pastry, and Petits neuchâtelois — biscuits topped with candied fruit and flavored with a little absinthe.

Years ago, I found the first edition of Recettes du terroir neuchâtelois at our local library, and I tried several of the recipes — one of which I adapted and shared via this blog in 2015: Sèches au beurre. I find this new edition to be much improved, and with a brand new selection of recipes I look forward to trying. In my opinion, if you are looking for a good overview of Neuchâtel’s food products and recipes, I think this cookbook should be part of your collection.

You can find Recettes du terroir neuchâtelois at the Payot Librarie in Neuchâtel, or you purchase it directly from the publisher for CHF 39 (plus postage): Editions Messeiller, Route des Falaises 94, CH-2000 Neuchâtel, +41 32 725 12 96, edition@messeiller.ch.

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