A taste of France at home

Celebrity chefs, from left, Jenny Morris, Tumi Mogoai and Nataniël le Roux dish up some delectable French recipes
TRAVEL THROUGH FOOD: Celebrity chefs, from left, Jenny Morris, Tumi Mogoai and Nataniël le Roux dish up some delectable French recipes

As the global Covid-19 pandemic continues to restrict international travel, those with a strong sense of wanderlust are craving their next trip.

While responsible citizens continue practising social distancing, people across the globe are finding creative ways to bring the world to them, Air France KLM Southern African GM Wouter Vermeulen says.

“During this time of lockdown we have seen people embracing virtual travel to their dream destinations.

“And while it is no replacement for the real thing, it helps keep that travel dream alive.

“Another way we have seen people bringing the world to them is through food.

“Seeing all of those posts from people baking bread is enough to send you into a daydream about indulging in a freshly baked baguette as you picture yourself strolling through the streets of Paris,” Vermeulen says.

So, what else could bring France a little closer to you until it is safe and permitted to travel again?

Air France and Atout France, the French tourist office in SA, have teamed up with some of SA’s greatest culinary maestros to share some traditional French recipes to help bring the magic of France into your own home.

Bring France home with these delectable French recipes from SA’s top celebrity chefs.


Jenny Morris’s slow-baked lamb in a rosemary dough crust

Slow-baked lamb in a rosemary dough crust
BRING ON THE GARLIC: Slow-baked lamb in a rosemary dough crust

Jenny Morris is not  one to shy away from a challenge — and this recipe is worth every bit of preparation.

“For me, it all started with the French kitchen. The father of French cuisine, Georges-Auguste Escoffier, is my hero,” Morris says.

She says this dish is inspired by her love for two French staples.

“I have eaten some of the best lamb and bread in the world in France, so I decided to marry the two in one dish.”

For the lamb:


2.5-3kg leg of lamb, bone in
3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Some olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 Tbsp ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon


Make slits in the lamb and insert the garlic and rosemary into the slits.

Make a paste with olive oil, salt, pepper, ground cumin and lemon juice; rub all over the lamb.

Heat a large frying pan and sear the lamb all over; remove from the pan and cool.

Place the prepared leg of lamb onto the dough and enclose it by wrapping the dough around the lamb and pressing it together to seal.

Let the bone stick out.

If you wish you can decorate the wrapped lamb with dough offcuts, fresh rosemary and half heads of garlic.

Place the lamb onto a baking tray and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes, then turn down to 150°C and bake for three hours.

Take the lamb to the table and break it open, remove and carve.

The dough for encasing the lamb:


4 cups flour

2 tsp salt

4 tsp sugar

10g instant yeast

4 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary

450ml lukewarm water


Place the flour, salt, sugar, rosemary and yeast into the bowl of a food processor.

Attach the dough hook and, with the motor running slowly, add the water and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic to the touch.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise to twice its size.

Punch the dough down and roll it out on a lightly floured surface.


Nataniël’s oven-toasted baguette with smoked salmon and apple

Oven-toasted baguette with smoked salmon and apple
AUTHENTIC FLAVOURS: Oven-toasted baguette with smoked salmon and apple

Nataniël is incredibly proud of his French heritage and it’s something that is very much part of his everyday life.

“The first time I stayed in France for a really long period of time, I spent all my time in Nantes with my family and I discovered the joy of simple food made with good-quality produce.

“The people of that region love using apples in sweet and savoury dishes, which is what inspired this particular dish.

“I now serve it all the time and it also features three of my favourites ingredients — baguette, smoked salmon and Calvados!”


18 slices of baguette
A little grapeseed oil
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 Tbsp  light brown sugar
1 Tbsp  French mustard
2 Tbsp  Calvados (apple brandy)
Some sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 green apples
100g smoked salmon
Fresh dill


Brush slices of baguette on one side with grapeseed oil.

Place on baking sheet, brushed sides down.

Bake at 180˚C until golden brown.

Remove from oven and turn over.

Whisk up a vinaigrette using the olive oil, sugar, mustard and Calvados together and season with salt and pepper.

Place salmon on top of each slice of baguette.

Dip thin slices of apple in vinaigrette and place on top of salmon.

Top with caviar and garnish with dill.


Tumi Mogoai’s quiche Lorraine with potato crust

Quiche Lorraine with potato crust
CLASSIC WITH A TWIST: Quiche Lorraine with potato crust

Mogoai made headlines in 2019 when she won the first season of The Taste Master, which saw her become the resident chef on SABC3’s popular magazine show Afternoon Express.

“I’ve always been curious about French cuisine and I understand why the cuisine has been so celebrated.

“A lot of cooking is rooted in French techniques and I fell in love with this during culinary school.

“One of the first things I learnt to make was quiche and years later it is still one of my favourite things,  so I am excited to share this with my own little spin, of course,” she says.


5 eggs
1 cup milk
450g grated potatoes (rinsed and drained)
2 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
½ tsp salt plus 1 tsp for filling
¼ tsp ground pepper + ½ tsp for filling
1 Tbsp pecorino Romano
½ cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
½ cup mushrooms (fried)
½ cup bacon (fried)
¼ cup onion (sautéed)
½ cup grated hard cheese (she used white cheddar)
1 tsp garlic (sautéed)
1 tsp chopped basil


Preheat your oven to 200°C.

Place grated potatoes into a large bowl, add olive oil, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper and pecorino and stir through.

Using your fingers, fill your baking dish with the potatoes. A round tart pan is best.

Start from the middle and working your way out making sure every bit of the bottom and sides are thoroughly covered.

Ensure there are no gaps as this forms as the base of your quiche.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked but not brown.

Remove from the oven and set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 180˚C.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs and milk before adding the onions, garlic, bacon, cheese, remaining salt, remaining pepper and basil.

Slowly pour the egg mixture over the potatoes making sure ingredients and evenly distributed. Carefully place the halved tomatoes onto the mixture, ensuring that the inside part faces upwards.

Bake the quiche for 30 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the potatoes are golden brown.

Enjoy warm or cold.