French-born chef, restaurateur and Bulla brand ambassador Guillaume Brahimi shares his secrets to French cuisine and his favourite way to celebrate Bastille Day
Who are you biggest culinary influences?
Joel Robuchon – I began working with him at Jamin in my teens and he taught me the vigour of work, how everything must be perfect and that you must always respect the produce!
French cuisine is associated with some of the more traditional methods of cooking. How is it changing to adapt to more modern times?
French cuisine, for me, is all about taking the classics and just slightly updating them to modernise the dishes.
What are 5 things that we will always find in your kitchen?
A great selection of knives, butter, a chopping board, good vinegar and of course, Bulla Crème Fraîche.
What is the importance of Bastille Day in the French culinary calendar?
Personally I think it’s just an excuse to celebrate anything French!
What is your favourite dish to serve on Bastille Day?
Of course anything French – given its winter in Australia, duck confit is the ultimate dish and a hearty winter one!
Recreate Guillaume Brahimi’s Duck Confit with Brussels sprouts, speck and mustard cream – recipe below
Serves: 4 (approx.)
Preparation time 1 hour (12 hours to cure)
Cooking time 3.5 hours
4 Duck Maryland (approx. 1 kg)
15 g fine table salt
1/2 bunch thyme
2 garlic cloves (peeled and sliced finely)
750g duck fat
50 g Brussels sprouts
100g speck, cut into fine batons
3 shallots, thinly sliced
20 g seeded mustard
1 litre chicken stock
200ml Bulla Crème Fraiche
300 ml Bulla Cooking Cream
¼ bunch parsley, roughly chopped
Prepare duck the day before. In a bowl, mix salt, thyme and garlic. Place duck legs on a tray flesh side up and sprinkle a light, even coating of the salt, garlic and thyme mixture. Cover and allow to cure for 12 hours in the refrigerator.
After 12 hours, rinse the salt from the duck legs, and pat them dry.
Preheat oven to 130°
Melt the duck fat in a braising pot, once melted add the duck legs, cover with lid and place in the oven. Cook in oven for 3 hours or until meat just comes away from bone. Remove duck from the fat and set aside, allow to cool
Preheat the pan and add duck, skin side down until golden and crisp.
Turnover and sear the other side.
Trim the outer leaves of Brussel sprout and the bottoms
Place in a pot and cover with chicken stock and bring to the boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until just soft. Remove from liquid and cool, slice in half and set aside.
Place a pan on heat, add oil and shallots, sweat until translucent, add speck, sweat and then add cream. Reduce cream by half and then add mustard, add in sprouts to reheat, when hot add mustard, crème fraiche and parsley.
Season to taste and serve.
Guillaume Brahimi is the Bulla Family Dairy’s brand ambassador