French Riviera Cooking, made Simple.Le Chef's Wife
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. 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.
What is French Riviera cooking?
The South Eastern French coastline, between the cities of Marseille and Menton, is known as the French Riviera. One of the most glamorous travel destinations in the world, it includes famous places such as Monaco, Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Nice.
French Riviera cuisine is vibrant, light and bright in flavor and in color. It is the food you want to eat on a delicious summer day. Fresh fish, olive oil, seasonal vegetables, citrus. In the winter, rich stews are still made vibrant with orange zest.
The cuisine from the French Riviera is rooted in Provençal cooking but has the influences of neighboring Italy as well as other Mediterranean cuisines such as Greek, Lebanese and Northern African. Not to mention many influences from the more famous northern French cuisine, but without all the butter and cheese! French Riviera cooking is light and fresh.
Whether you are seated at a beach front restaurant on the Cap D'Antibes or in your kitchen, our goal is to make French Riviera cooking simple and accessible.
Some of my most popular posts:
French Riviera Recipes
Riviera Recipes: In this category I share the recipes that I love from my husband's native French Riviera. We lived in Nice and Antibes together for 8 years and the cuisine is much brighter and lighter than what is often thought of as French cooking in North America. Learn to make Salade Niçoise, Soupe au Pistou, even les Petits Farcis. If you miss traveling to France as much as I do, this category is for you!
Baking Baguettes for Beginners
Baking Baguettes for Beginners : I can't believe it took me being in quarantine with my husband to learn how to make baguettes. I had ZERO baking experience and learnt to make the most amazing baguettes in a very basic oven. This post is a step by step guide for beginners. Try it!
French Crêpes Recipe
My French Crêpes recipe is simple enough for kids to make and is a lovely way to spend a weekend morning.
All of my recipes, including family meals, special occasion recipes and batch cooking can be found here in the recipe index.
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 have been married 10 years and now live in the suburbs of Washington, DC with our 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son. Despite a very full life with young kids, a dog and a demanding job in 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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*joy of life