Introduction on Smoking Food by Chef Francois


 Cooking with Love, provide food for the Soul…

I will never forget the smell of the lovely smoked meat when I would go to the village butcher with my parents; Jean-Pierre the butcher was always kind enough to stretch out a tasting bite of his delicious smoked sun dried beef, that I can still remember when travelling back to Switzerland. It is probably one of these age-old recipes that immensely satisfy my palate and my soul, as it all ends up with a long spiritual “mmmmmmh” with eyes closed!

I recollect my first thought were “how something like Smoke could share both a bad and as well as good moments of life”, the yin-yang between a cigarette and smoked beef… two different kinds of souls!

The culinary definition of smoking food is processing, cooking, flavoring and preserving food by exposing to   rich wood smoke from burning a variety wood.  In our profession Meats, Fish and Cheese are the most common of smoked foods, as well as some vegetables.

I believe that the idea of Smoking Food would have been discovered by accident during the pre-historical era, when the  caveman might have exposed  some meat  to the Wood Fire Smoke and must have tried this smoked meat; finding this succulent piece nicely cooked with a smoky taste, must have became a wonderful meal and surprisingly would have learnt a new way to preserve food as well in the process.

This technique of Smoking Food has been used for million years now, this method of curing food together with brine are the principle methods for guaranteeing a longer shelf life. The development of newer technologies to preserve food, such as freezers and chillers, have drastically changed the methods, as a result food is now less salted and  the smoke not necessary.

Nowadays smoking food  has become more a fashion trend, not  really anymore to preserve food, but more  to enhance flavors example –  Smoked Salmon, Smoked Tea Leaf, Smoked Jerky, Smoked Texas Ribs etc,.

Different types of woods combined with herbs and spices are a put into the Smokers, to help give that spectacular taste and treatment to food.  A Smoke House or a BBQ pit with hot smoker can be purchased or easily built at home.   However the modern smoking gun is the easy to use smoking gadget in the kitchens of today.

It is very difficult to find the perfect formula to smoking food with the scent of the right wood, blending the right marinade, finding the right required time to cure and finally the proper oven (or smoker) to use.  My extensive study of these elements have opened and extended the possibilities of taking the wonderful traditional ways to some thing more contemporary with a twist of innovative delicatessen.  I have also learnt that to become good you need perfect the art of flavored preserving by trying to experiment with new flavors and also ways, that are closely connected to the depths of your inner being.  This then is actually the beginning of your own story from the deepest inside…cooking with love, provides food for the Soul.

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