Enjoy French for Everyone with Chef Manu Feildel »

Manu shows you how to master cooking French food at home every day

By Laura McKinnon
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French for Everyone - Manu Feildel

French for Everyone - Manu Feildel


Well known for his appearances on Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules,  Manu Feildel has become somewhat of a celebrity in Australia and is well renowned for his French cooking.

In French for Everyone he wants to make French cooking more accessible to the general public, for people to forget about lengthy ingredients lists and complicated instructions that can often be associated with French cooking.

Simply put, through his newest cookbook he wants to show off everyday French cooking using local produce whilst also showing how fun and enjoyable it can be.

So does the cookbook live up to the author's aspirations?

As far as presentation goes it is the fairly standard format that is common to most cookbooks – a glossy picture of the recipe in its complete state on one page, the recipe on the opposing page. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, and it might be a small thing, but one of the selling points about this cookbook is that there is generally ample blank space below each recipe where you can write additional notes; after all we all want to put our own tweaks on recipes and how better to remind ourselves that we have ‘improved’ a recipe than to add the alteration straight into the cookbook?

The recipes themselves are varied and deliver on the author’s promise of remaining quite easy to source ingredients for and to create.

The cookbook is divided into sections of salads, soups and starters, light meals, mains, desserts and basics and extras.

The recipes themselves are certainly the standout. The simpleness but impact of Carrot Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is certainly a highlight as far as entrées go. The White Bean, Garlic and Thyme Puree was something I would not have tried except for this cookbook and is now a fantastic dish I will continue to make for my toast,  showing off one of my favourite herbs.

The Deep-fried School Prawns with Parmesan Aioli was also a standout as an entrée (and if you liked that, you will love the Char-grilled King Prawns with Lime Aioli).

Of course Manu has not forgotten the classics – Vol au Vents, Crepes, Flambéed Bananas, Soufflé and Quiche all make appearances and are delicious to boot.

But the highlights? Well, I have already mentioned some, and each person has their own taste, but the Vietnamese-style Roast Chicken Baguettes are a fabulous all-rounder, combining French baguettes with Vietnamese cooking is pure magic (and simple).

The Breakfast Cassoulet will suit those who like a hearty breakfast; the White Bean Soup with Pancetta on Sourdough Toast is perfect for a cold and lazy Sunday afternoon, and the Veal Paupiettes with Mushroom Sauce are great to eat with the kids.

But the desserts I hear you ask? Well, on offer are Crepes with Bananas, Chocolate Sauce and Chantilly Cream; Watermelon Salad with Watermelon and Champagne Granita; Frangipane, Chocolate and Pear Tartlets, and Breton biscuits, which are so delicious and simple to make you will be making them over and over to fill up the biscuit tin and to use to please guests.

Also included in French for Everyone is a basics and extras section. This includes how to make various stocks, dressings, sauces, purees and pastries. This is a great addition to the book and something I would almost expect of any decent cookbook that is released nowadays as quite often accompaniments literally make the meal.

Overall Manu Feildel’s French for Everyone achieves what it has set out to do; to provide an avenue that enables your everyday cook to access French cooking. The recipes are appealing, instructions are kept simple and the ingredients are easily found.

If you like cooking but have always been a bit fearful of French then this cookbook would be a great starting point and a worthy addition to your cookbook library. As a gift? Give it to the mum who loves French accents – you can virtually hear it in every written comment Manu makes throughout the book.


French for Everyone by Manu Fe‎ildel is published in Australia by Penguin (Melbourne 2014; hc, 182 pp) and retails in Australia for RRP A$49.99

French for Everyone is available for purchase online
via Booko here »


  • Sydney (NSW)

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April 03rd, 2014
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