Vegan author Jean-Christian Jury at Melissa's Produce
Vegan author Jean-Christian Jury at Melissa's Produce

Why this French chef thinks French food is overcooked

Vegan author Jean-Christian Jury explains how his countrymen pack in the taste, but leave out the nutrients

French chefs tend to be a patriotic bunch, championing their nation, which, to be fair, did more or less invent the modern restaurant and the accompanying brigade system.

Not so with the Phaidon author and vegan chef Jean-Christian Jury. Though born in Toulouse, Jury opened his first restaurant, La Mano Verde, in Berlin, and is currently based in LA, though he tours the world, cooking and popularising delicious, animal-free meals.

 

Jean-Christian Jury at Melissa's Produce
Jean-Christian Jury at Melissa's Produce

Jury used to be quite a conventional chef. However, after suffering heart problems, he switched to an entirely vegan diet, and now recognises the drawbacks in his national cuisine.

“Apparently we, the French, are the best in the world for food, but personally I disagree,” Jury said recently. “We overcook everything! We specialise in stews, so, when we cook beef or lamb it sits for hours, and at the end the only thing we’ve managed to do is concentrate the taste, but there’s nothing left. It just passes through the system.”

Jury was speaking at Melissa’s Produce in LA, one of the biggest, best, and freshest distributors of speciality fruit and vegetables in the United States. He had visited Melissa’s to share some of his food, sign copies of his new book, and address the firm’s staff, customers, and everyone else via Facebook Live.

 

Vegan at Melissa's Produce
Vegan at Melissa's Produce

Jury also explained why vegan restaurants have put people off eating plant-only diets, how we can make more digestible milk from nuts, and shared his own personal juicing secrets.

 

Jean-Christian Jury at Melissa's Produce
Jean-Christian Jury at Melissa's Produce

You can watch the whole thing here, and get Jury’s wonderful new book, Vegan, here. And if you, like us, think French food is actually pretty good too, take a look at France: The Cookbook.