The French Affair is a collection of recipes collected by author, chef and photographer Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen on his life journey that took him from a farm in South Africa to the French Riviera and Paris. The book is a feast for the eyes and nourishment for the soul, reflecting Jan Hendrik’s love affair with France and its culture of good food, fresh produce from local markets and the meals he has been inspired by on his travels through these epicurean surroundings.
Jan Hendrik’s love of food was nurtured by his mother and grandmothers, and this family influence and his South African roots are reflected in his recipes for Ouma se Soetkoekies (spice and sweet wine biscuits) and Milk Tart with Cinnamon Quinces.
Dishes such as Cauliflower and Roquefort Soup, and Creamy Chicken and Corn Pot Pies are inspired by his student years in Stellenbosch, while Rabbit and Wild Mushroom Ragoût, Sticky Tarte Tatin and Croque-Monsieur à la Banane clearly show the French influence. Oysters Baked with Champagne Cream and Turkish Delight Pavlova reflect his time spent as a private chef on a yacht on the French Riviera. There is also a chapter with basic recipes for pastry, pasta, jams and preserves.