In the era of in vitro steaks, foods made from 3D printers and chicken-free eggs, generous cuisine, made of meat and creamed classics, and full of authenticity, still has a bright future ahead of it. Not only because it fuels a type of restaurant that remains relevant today, but also because the French maintain this type of gastronomy by learning it from their ancestors.
Even if it closed in 2021, no one has forgotten the Mamie restaurant of Top chef Jean Imbert in Paris, where he cooked the dishes of his grandmother, who has since passed away. How many chefs often bring back the memory of this grandmother who taught them to peel the apples for a good homemade pie or to appreciate the pleasure of cooking by allowing them to lick the pan?
Grandma, can you give me your recipe?
Although it has already been almost ten years since Hélène Darroze revealed her grandmothers’ recipes in a book, her grandmother still remains today the guarantor of French culinary heritage. In a study which has just been published by Interbev*, the meat inter-professional association, 88% of French people consider it at the heart of the transmission of family recipes. A heritage considered precious since 46% of respondents say they preserve its secrets. At a time when social networks have become an inexhaustible resource for finding any recipe while many pastry chefs no longer have the qualms to reveal the underside of their creations through this means, the family remains the essential vector of French culinary heritage. Even stronger than cookbooks, which only 53% of French people consider as a transmission tool. And we are talking about traditional dishes (91%) as well as regional recipes (89%).
Contrary to what one might think, this reality is not only supported by generations over the age of thirty… Three quarters of 18-24 year olds learned to cook more from their grandparents than from their parents (71%). When we look more closely, beyond the rank in the generational lineage, it is more the female figure who conveys culinary know-how. Last December, a Hello Fresh** study indicated that mothers had the most important influence (56%) as did grandmothers (26%). If grandmothers or mothers have such a presence in culinary transmission, it is undoubtedly because they are most often the ones who take care of the meals. Preparing meals in the evening when the children are back from school represents a mental burden for more women, namely 39%, than for men, 27%, indicated an Opinionway study for O2***.
NO to diets, YES to WW!
The cuisine of yesteryear, the gastronomy of today and tomorrow
As comforting as a raclette by the fire, grandmother’s cooking continues to fill the menu of many restaurants, and even concepts. A year ago, a former restaurant manager who participated in the success of Parisian restaurants like the Brigade du Tigre or IDA, opened an address in homage to his grandmother named Janine. Thibault Sizun was keen to return to the fundamentals of bistro cooking. And this desire for authenticity is not specific to the French repertoire. Four young entrepreneurs from Israel, having met at the Balagan restaurant, opened an address this summer featuring the recipes of the nomadic peoples of the Levant, as if to recall the plural origins of this gourmet region. At Adraba, the quartet thus creates a link between past and present when sitting down to eat.
These new tables are not just fueling an ephemeral fashion. In its annual report analyzing trends in restaurant concepts, the reservation platform TheFork indicated alongside the firm Nelly Rodi that “period gastronomy” would still constitute a framework for new business in 2024. “By need for authenticity, we will continue to turn towards a cuisine that we know and which reassures us. It is a cuisine which tells a story, awakens memories, with chefs contributing to the preservation and evolution of traditional know-how of the all over the world. Recipes from yesteryear, traditional comforting dishes, inns, chic or popular sharing tables, PMU, rotisseries, places that stand the test of time will be in the spotlight,” detailed the document. A fundamental trend that fuels even the most prestigious kitchens. At the five-star Prince de Galles hotel, the new cathodic chef Norbert Tarayre serves unadorned cuisine, embodied for example by a puréed sausage or the arrival of a dessert trolley…