Celebrate French Cuisine

ZWILLING Culinary World, Destination France


France is the trinity of Paris, the countryside, and the sea. It rouses and satisfies your appetite, you'll never get enough of it. We went on a culinary journey with the food blogger Meike Peters from eat in my kitchen and collected inspiring recipes. Meike met Dounia Silem, successful French chef and cookbook author, at the French Coast. Together they prepared a dish that couldn’t be more fitting than on the French coast: Breton lobster in a bisque sauce. This is naturally perfect for our new Staub La Mer cocotte.



Inspired by Dounia Silem


Serves 2

1 blue lobster (alive), about 800 g / 1 ¾ pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 medium carrot, cut in half
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 medium sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf

15 g parsley / 0.5 ounces
400 g / 14 ounces peeled tomatoes
200 ml / ¾ cup and 1 tablespoon sweet white wine
1 teaspoon ground Piment d’Espelette
400 ml / 1 ⅔ cups sour cream
Sea salt
Ground black pepper
Parsley for serving


For the lobster, fill a tall pot or cocotte (large enough to fit the whole lobster) 3/4 full with water. Bring to a rapid boil and salt generously. Insert a knife into the head of the lobster, and quickly drop the lobster head first into the boiling water. Cover the pot and bring back to a boil. Cook for about 10 -12 minutes. Remove the lobster from the water and transfer to a cutting board. Let it cool for a few minutes, then twist the claws off the body. Using lobster tongs or scissors, gently crack the claw shell, pull out the meat, and set aside. Hold the lobster’s body with one hand and the tail with your other hand, bend the tail back, and separate it from the body. Remove and discard the green tomalley (liver). If it’s a female lobster, scrape out the red coral (roe) and set aside. Push and pull the meat out of the shell. Using a sharp knife, remove the digestive vein from the tail meat and rinse briefly. Set all the meat and shells aside.

Peel and chop the shallots. Peel and chop the carrot. Peel and chop the garlic cloves.

In a medium pot or cocotte, heat half the olive oil over mediumhigh heat. Add the shallots, carrot, and garlic, sauté for about 1 minute.

Stir in the thyme, bay leaf, parsley, lobster shells, and tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and wine and season with Piment d’Espelette, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the sour cream and reserved roe, should you have had a female lobster.

Pass the lobster vegetable mixture through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Using a large spoon, push and squeeze the juices out as much as possible, making sure to save the head and tail of the lobster for plating. Return the saucepot to a low heat and reduce the sauce if you prefer it a bit thicker.

In a large pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the lobster meat for about 1 minute on each side, season with a pinch of Piment d’Espelette. Rinse the head and tail of the lobster thoroughly. Serve the lobster drizzled with the bisque sauce, parsley, and Piment d’Espelette and garnished with the shell.

A successful transformation – Dounia Silem left her hectic city life for the picturesque French coast


"The freshness of the product is key."


A day at the French Coast with Dounia Silem

by Meike Peters

The air is salty in Arcachon, the streets empty and the houses are cute and pretty like in a children's drawing. The sea is so close that you can hear it softly when the wind isn't rustling through the needles of the pine trees growing all over the town's sandy ground. We stopped our car on a sleepy side road in the village of La Teste-de-Buch opposite the sweetest picture book house, the shutters painted in baby blue, a little garden behind a white wooden fence, and a cat attentively creeping around the bushes.

It's the home of Dounia Silem, French chef and cookbook author, who invited us to her kitchen to introduce us to the art of cooking Homard Bleu Breton à la Crème Façon Bisque. Wild blue lobster from Brittany is a rare delicacy, a special treat that deserves a special recipe. Dounia lets it sit in a bisque, a velvety smooth and creamy sauce based on the crustacean's shells, herbs, tomatoes, and shallots. Just the smell of the juices bubbling in the cocotte is already divine. It's a French classic, the flavors are fine, almost sweet, Piment d'Espelette adding the right amount of heat.

Dounia took a big turn in her life, until a few years ago, she was a sales manager, but she wanted to focus on her true passion: food, health, and nutrition.

She read, listened, and studied, she questioned conventional food production and cooking and combined the newly gained knowledge with the cuisine that she learned about in her mother's kitchen in the north of France. Her heart guided her well, today, Dounia is an acknowledged cookbook author and her culinary Doo Eat workshops are widely attended all over the country. Her approach is holistic, born in Paris, she left the city in 2013 to give her mind peace and rest. Listening to her body, she decided to leave the conventional diet behind and respect her physical needs. Being able to share the fruits of this experience is the greatest reward for her.

The chef follows the seasons in her recipes, she uses organic products from the region, the flours are gluten free and the sugar is raw or from coconuts. It is a healthy diet, but Dounia never forgets that, first and foremost, it's about taste - this woman is French after all. Her dishes are vibrant, packed with flavor, she doesn't accept compromises in texture when it comes to baking. The fact that you do feel good after you enjoy a treat from her kitchen is just a pleasant extra.



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