Fernand Point’s Fried Egg

Fernand-Point1

Fernand Point

Thomas Keller (an American chef, restaurateur of his landmark Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry) said that: “I believe Fernand Point is one of the last true gourmands of the 20th century. His ruminations are extraordinary and thought-provoking—he has been an inspiration for legions of chefs.”

The only book attributed to Fernand Point was  ” Ma Gastronomie”.  (It was  published after his death, in France, in 1968.) It’s not quite a cookbook, in a normal sense, but a collection of recollections about dishes, and a the essence of the recipe.  A reprint of the 1974 English edition was printed by Rookery Press in 2008 with an introduction by Thomas Keller,

Chef Point, known to his peers as le roi (the king), believed in using the best ingredients possible: regional ingredients, in season, quality-grown. His culinary philosophy was simple: The easiest dishes are often the most difficult. An often-told story is how he would always invite visiting chefs to show off their skill by cooking a simple fried egg. They would, inevitably, fry the egg too fast, in too hot a pan, and he would insult them and show them his way. His way was slow, careful cooking with plenty of butter.

In fact, his favorite saying was “Du beurre! Donnez-moi du beurre! Toujours du beurre!” (Translated: “Butter! Give me butter! Always butter!)

Chef Point’s Fried Egg Recipe

Place a lump of fresh butter in a pan, and let it melt just enough for it to spread and never until it is browned. Open a very fresh egg onto a small plate or saucer, and slide it carefully into the pan. Cook on heat so low that the white barely turns creamy and the yolk becomes hot but remains liquid. In a separate saucepan, melt another lump of fresh butter, remove the egg onto a lightly heated serving plate; salt and pepper it; and then very gently pour the fresh, warm butter over it.

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