One chef, one ingredient: the mint, basil, coriander mix by Gilles Choukroun
PARIS, May 6 — If you are what you eat, then it could be said that chefs are what they cook. In an exclusive series from Relaxnews, some of the top chefs from around the world share their favourite food ingredient to prepare and eat, every week. Whether it be lemons, apricots, or sea urchin, the answers are as varied as the chefs themselves. This week, Gilles Choukroun, head chef and owner of restaurant MBC, chose a blend of herbs - mint, basil and coriander, which he calls 'MBC'.
Relaxnews: Why did you choose this ingredient?
Gilles Choukroun: This mix of herbs has "outlined" my cooking for years. While mint and coriander represent North Africa, basil symbolizes Asia. This imaginary line forms a link between my two favourite regions of the world.
R: What's your favourite memory or anecdote associated with this ingredient?
GC: Definitely the street food I tasted in Bangkok and Marrakesh! Made of very little but through the use of amazing ingredients and exceptionally fragrant herbs, these meals never fail to make an impression on me.
R: When is the ingredient in season in France?
GC: It is possible to buy these three herbs almost all year long. With the different varieties that exist, a combination of them is always possible.
R: What's the best way to use those herbs?
GC: In a salad, with an equal amount of young greens and MBC, or warm, infused in a vegetable broth.
R: What other foods and ingredients does it pair best with?
GC: Rolled in a thin slice of foie gras, this mix of herbs works beautifully!
R: Do you serve it in your restaurant and in what dish?
GC: I use it very often in my main courses but also in my desserts, with a strawberry salad seasoned with olive oil and rose, for example.
R: What wine or alcohol goes best with this ingredient?
GC: A white wine with a pronounced mineral element: a bottle of pouilly fumé from Domaine Didier Dagueneau, for instance. — AFP-Relaxnews