Brigitte Racine takes part in the La Saussaye book fair on Sunday March 16. She answers questions from the organizer Henry Lambrecq, president of the Mieux Vivre association.
| Modified 5 Mar 14 at 7:18
Brigitte Racine, you have been working for 20 years in the publishing world and in particular with Editions hooly-news.com as a graphic designer. Since 2000, as a culinary author, you have added another form of involvement: writing books on the talents that are expressed around and around the kitchen. Why ?
I have always been passionate about cooking and I like to meet men and women whose vocation is to produce and work with local products: gardeners, fishermen, winegrowers, peasants, cooks, starred chefs, bistro chefs… I wanted to develop a concept of my own, that of combining a person, a passion and recipes. I started with “The secret recipes of the gardeners of Normandy”.
You like to evoke the love of a job well done, the search for authenticity. What drives you?
It’s still passion and curiosity. In all my books, I question myself to know who are the people who are at the source of this love and this valuation of local products. It is an opportunity to share real encounters, to discover particular itineraries. As for starred chefs, bistro chefs … it’s their desire to sublimate these products that interests me. It is fascinating to draw a portrait of these people, of their work… They entrust me with their recipes, adapting them so that they are easily achievable. Behind each recipe there is a face, a motivation.
“I test all the recipes! “
Do you try these recipes?
Of course I test them because I want them to be feasible! A professional photographer, Didier Benaouda, always accompanies me and takes care of the shots.
How do you choose the themes for your books? Do you choose a subject? A region to discover? People to meet?
A bit of all this, everything is linked! Everything revolves around cooking, my favorite subject!
Traveling a lot in France, I have a good knowledge of the typicality of the regions.
I started with “Secret Recipes” and I developed the notion of terroir there. I was first interested in my region, Normandy, its gardeners, its peasants, its chefs… After Normandy, I was interested in Burgundy, Provence, the North with the estaminets, Paris with the bistros of terroir.
“Meet people of passion! “
What are the selection criteria or benchmarks that allow you to guess or perceive that it is a book that will “interest”? that this will meet the expectations of readers?
A book is a long job. I determine the subject of my book by thinking of the different actors who will bring, by their qualities, a better knowledge of the subject, a human approach to their profession. The main thing is to share my meetings with these people.
And how do you build a book?
There is a constraint in the edition, it is the number of pages which will determine the number of people who can appear in the book while ensuring a fair balance. I have 128 pages, I determine how many pages there will be per person met. I reserve room for the unforeseen, room also for the crush … and forward for discoveries!
You are going to present your new book to us: “The cuisine of the Middle Ages”, why this adventure in the past?
It is a totally different book from the others. This time it was the books that came my way! The rare cookbooks from this period that have been kept to this day have allowed me to discover new flavors, new mixtures, especially sweet / salty…
I adapted the original recipes to make them easily achievable without altering them.
If you had to express in three words what you want to bring to your readers, which ones?
I would gladly say: “testimony, passion and happiness”!
Go out: discover, book