“I am not a chef. I am really a cook at heart. ”
Lara Fabian welcomes us to her home in Bromont as she’s about to bake some apples with brown sugar, a very simple recipe that, every time she makes, brings it back straight to her ‘grandmother Marie’.
Since all periods of her life are associated with certain dishes, this is how Lara Fabian chooses to tell herself I go to the table. “I found Resume to be too lively and redundant. I wanted something more fun and unifying, whatever our culture was.”
And although she’s been cooking for over 30 years, she certainly didn’t want to pretend that she wasn’t, a chef. That is why she preferred to suggest a book to put them in context. “My mastery, is the desire to please, to make a nice table, and to say we are good together.”
“Yes, yes, there is butter in my apples,” said Lara Fabian, smiling. And brown sugar. And sugar. “Nothing, that candy!” But like I said in the book, I’m not very good at sweets. On the other hand, his 13-year-old daughter Lou who has been passionate about baking since a young age, is quite talented. She even developed delicious gluten-free recipes for her intolerant mom.
“It’s really happy. Fun,” says Lara Fabian. “That’s what I passed on to him,” adds his assistant, Joanna. Cooking fun. ”
Joanna is next to Lara that day to lend her a helping hand. But usually, the singer cooks alone for her family, every day, even while she is working. And it’s by no means a feat, she’d like to make it clear. “Our mothers and grandmothers do this every day of their lives!”
Take out the apples from the oven. “Yes ! Scream. They are appetizing and cooked to perfection, and in her kitchen they smell heavenly.
Cooking sounds intimidating, but it’s not much. In this book, there is a desire to reconnect with joy. Once we are happy to do something, we are no longer afraid.
And there is nothing more enjoyable than cooking for the one you love.
Lara Fabian adds, “The idea is to remember that it is a very simple gesture that gives a lot of pleasure, and that it is not necessarily the most complex, or the most expensive, or which requires a great deal of knowledge.”
The recipes that Lara Fabian chose to publish are part of her career and as a singer. They take us from his mother’s Sicily to his native Belgium, from Eastern European countries to Tunisia. “I am the common thread, because it is a part of my life that I give to you.”
The book is divided into 17 stories with which dishes are connected, in which she talks about the downside of her extraordinary career, strong moments as well as dark ones. Suppose he woke me up a few nights. Painful, no, but stirring, yes. ”
Thus, she reveals that she experienced a long episode of eating disorders, thanks to which she came out to a Japanese friend who “re-educated” her to eat, and then gives us an overview of the art of bento. Her success in Russia led her to impart a recipe for beetroot soup, which she first tasted in the Pushkin Café in Moscow.
Her former Tunisian mother-in-law – her daughter’s grandmother – was a prominent chef whose couscous was famous for its fish. A long-term project I learned by observing – “to do it well, it takes a whole day” – which also breeds for the most ambitious of projects.
A book about food as a source of joy and comfort, passed down by the women who helped her build herself. “I’ve made a lot of repairs with the table. But I didn’t want to go into it. It would be very unfashionable, when you have a good job, to be a ‘poor little star.’ There are things I intentionally neglected to say. I used humor and food more, And I put a grain of salt in it to say, “Look how I came across this story.”
During our visit, Lara Fabian also decided to make a Belgian dandelion gratin that reminded her of her Sicilian mother. “Because she has learned how to do it herself. Let’s say bechamel in butter, chicory in ham … It’s not quite Etna, clay soil, fish and eggplant! But it made dad happy.”
She remembers their neighbor, Marie France, who taught her mother how to prepare them. “When my mother prepared the recipe on her own, she added the cream to the béchamel sauce, and the dandelion stewed … Marie France told her [elle prend l’accent belge] : “They are better than my mother.” My dad said the same thing. ”
Lara Fabian has adopted her mother’s way and gets ready more from time to time. “But not often, it takes a week to recover! One who eats only one meal a day, in the evening, and very little in the afternoon says.
“On show nights, at 4 p.m. I eat 100g of carbs and 100g of protein. That’s it. Finally, an Olympic gym program.” And it works really well. You sleep well, you have strength. No need for more. It should just be fuel. »
There is a small problem with the béchamel for the hedgehog, it is not thick enough. Lara Fabian adds the diluted flour and stirs vigorously, starting to activate a little more. ‘I don’t have my fingers in my nose in the kitchen, that’s for sure!’ she says.
Just by noticing it, it’s obvious. As for the book, it was she who boiled all the dishes depicted on low heat “without exception.” Thirty good people, five or six days a week, with faithful Joanna as a cook’s assistant. Factory what!
There was no leader, and I wanted that. Talent, you must be mine! It’s hard to sell something you don’t have a sample for, frankly. I wanted a hairstylist to tell me how to put it on the plate, but I was the one making the food. She was my only policeman. ”
We’ve rediscovered Lara Fabian quite a bit in recent years, first as a judge in Sound, then director of star Academy Last winter, as her warm and welcoming nature was revealed even more. “It’s natural, it opened the door more to the person than to the artist,” said the singer, who wanted the second part of her career to be more devoted to casting.
She wandered around the park a little, sang in the most beautiful and biggest venues in the world, and sold tens of millions of albums. Truly the gods have blessed me.
So it will come back to star Academy In January, which does not prevent him from continuing to write songs, and to resume his tour in September 2022 due to the pandemic.
Very interested in sustainable agriculture, the blue economy and food self-sufficiency, Lara Fabian reads a lot on this topic and wants to put her bad reputation at the service of the health of the planet – she dreams of a second book that includes all the paintings Zero Kilometers.
“This too is transferable. I am fortunate to have a show, so I say to myself: How can I be of service? How can I be inspired? I dream of embodying the change I want for tomorrow, and leaving something for my daughter that makes sense.”
As we prepare to taste the dandelion, a neighbor arrives. Lara Fabian, welcomes, brings him a dish, but does not eat, faithful to her habits. Still take a bite out of the cooked apple. Do they taste as good as his childhood? “Never,” she said with a soft smile.
When asked if she was proud of her book, she preferred to use the word “satisfaction.” “Pride, you get more at the end of the course. It’s a feeling of great achievement, and great teamwork.”
In the book, his two favorite recipes are the mushroom risotto—”because I do it well, and it gives me so much joy when I do”—and osso buco. “Because she’s my mom.”
“Mom, you will be proud of me.”
I go to the table
freedom of expression
Lara Fabian made us two dishes that appear in the book I go to the table.
Belgian chicory gratin
Enough for 4 people
- 55 g (11 teaspoons) butter
- 60 g (12 cups) flour
- 700 ml milk (3 cups)
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) sour cream
- 30g (1 ounce) Gruyere cheese, grated
- coconut pulp
- Salt and Pepper
Ingredients for chicory with pork
- 3 garlic cloves
- 55 g (11 teaspoons) butter
- 8 dandelion
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 8 pork chops
- 200 g (7 oz) Gruyere cheese, grated
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) breadcrumbs
- 6 butter knobs
Preparing for the bechamel
- 1. Melt the butter, add the flour and mix. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly.
- 2. Pour the milk all at once and heat it to a boil, stirring so that no lumps form.
- 3. Add fresh cream, grated Gruyère cheese and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preparing for Indian with pork
- 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- 2. Saute garlic in butter. Add chicory and cook for 20 minutes.
- 3. Meanwhile, rub the bottom of a casserole dish with a crushed garlic clove.
- 4. Wrap a slice of ham around each endive and place in a gratin dish.
- 5. Pour the béchamel sauce over the endive. Add grated Gruyère cheese, breadcrumbs, and butter knobs.
- 6. Bake for 20 minutes.
Apple with brown sugar
Enough for 4 people
- 4 very sweet apples
- 120 g (12 cups) butter, divided
- 60 g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
- 60 g (1/4 cup) sugar
- 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- 2. Wash the apples, keeping them whole, but remove the seeds and pulp.
- 3. In the hole of each apple, put a piece of butter and a quarter of brown sugar.
- 4. Put the apples in the baking dish. Add a little butter (about 15 g / 1 tablespoon per apple) and sprinkle a little granulated sugar.
- 5. Bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy hot with sour cream or ice cream.
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