French Cooking, Made Simple
Welcome to Le Chef's Wife Blog - a resource for home cooks and Francophiles. Here you will find seasonal French Recipes, inspired by the French Riviera, explained simply.
The French Riviera is a mindset, une manière d'être, more than just a destination. In my experience, it is about living each day as if it was that perfect summer day that you never want to end. Sun kissed, deliciously slow and luxurious with soupçon of glamor.Anina Belle Giannini, Le Chef's Wife
I strongly believe that French food does not have to be intimidating and that delicious, seasonal, restaurant-worthy meals can be prepared at home by even the most inexperienced cooks in small kitchens.
Follow along as I share the cooking tips I have learned from my husband, Sébastien Giannini, a renowned French Chef and native of the French Riviera. Each recipe is adapted so that I, a busy working mom of 2 with no culinary training, can find success and satisfaction in the kitchen.
Who is Le Chef's Wife?
Hi! That's me, Anina Belle. I am an American/Canadian who fell in love with a French Chef during a university exchange to Nice, France. We lived together for 8 years in Nice and Antibes, France before our careers in luxury hotels took us to Montreal, QC and then Washington, DC. We have been married 11 years and now live in the suburbs of Washington, DC with our 4 year old daughter and one year old son. Despite a very full life with young kids, a dog and a demanding job in luxury hospitality, I actively seek out ways to recreate the "joie de vivre"* that I enjoyed so much when we lived in the South of France together.
I started Le Chef's Wife blog in 2018 as a way to document our family recipes and traditions for my daughter. Along the way I discovered that I really enjoyed learning to cook from my husband!
A fun day off for us is deciding on a recipe, opening a bottle of wine and settling in the kitchen to cook together. Our daughter loves to help out and will run into the kitchen saying "Let ME help you!" anytime she hears me taking one of our cast-iron pots off the shelf.
Who is Le Chef?
Sébastien Giannini was born and raised in the South of France in the Port town of Toulon. Le Chef was inspired by watching his grandmother go to the market every day and cook extraordinary meals using fresh, local ingredients. At the age of 14 he started working in Michelin starred kitchens in Saint Tropez and then in Courchèvel at Le Kintessence. His first role as Chef de Cuisine was in a restaurant in Cannes and at 23 years old became Executive Chef of a 5 star hotel in France at L’Auberge de la Vignette Haute in Auribeau-sur-Siagne. Sébastien has held the position of Executive Chef at luxury hotels in 3 countries including at Le Meridien Nice, The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montreal, The W Montreal, The St Regis DC, The Watergate DC and most recently, The Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC.
Sébastien Giannini has participated in numerous culinary competitions in his career including “Grand Prix Culinaire Escoffier” and the French national finals of the “Bocuse D’Or” in 2010, where he represented La Cote D’Azur. In Canada, Sébastien was given the opportunity to share his experience in high level cooking competitions and lead Team Canada to the 2015 World Finals of “La Bocuse d’Or” as the official coach. In 2019 Sébastien coached his Sous-Chef, Christian Welch, to win the national finals of Championnat du Monde du Paté en Croûte in 2019 and to participate in the worldwide finals in Lyon, France.
In January 2021, after two decades of cooking in luxury hotels, Sébastien embraced a new career change and became a Private Chef for a family. When not cooking for his esteemed employer, Sébastien loves to cook with his wife and children. "A future Chef!", Sébastien says of his daughter, beaming with pride.
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I love to share the cooking tips and tricks I have picked up over the years living with, and cooking for, a Chef.
Le Chef and I love to travel and have a particular fondness for destinations with great food & wine.