“Recipes from nature” to eat the landscape – Libération

Jill Cousin’s book, which has just been published by Tana, is a manifesto in the glory of reasoned hunting, fishing and gathering. It is also a tribute to the “common goods”, these edible treasures of nature that it is up to us to know.

Few recipe books literally stand out from the crowd, as this publishing market produces so many books on the smallest ingredient. Recipes from nature, which has just been published by Tana, is an exception, starting with its political courage. The author Jill Cousin, with the photographer Anne-Claire Héraud, chooses from the foreword the bias of slowness and gratuity. “In our modern world, marked by a constant race for productivism, hunting, fishing and gathering are activities where time and success elude us,” they write. Interested in the notion of the “common goods” of nature and its limits, Jill Cousin immerses herself in texts by anthropologists and ethnologists who question our relationship to hunting (eating what we kill, killing what we eat), wondering by what right we can exercise this supremacy over the living. How are flowers, fish or animals destined to end their days under our teeth? How could we reverse this balance of power?

It’s a book, but above all it’s a walk, and the instantly recognizable photographs of Anne-Claire Héraud, a specialist in countryside landscapes and the agricultural world, have a lot to do with it. The model, pleasing to the eye, openworked with drawings by Darius Chapuis, goes back and forth between old tableware patterns and great freshness in the layout. By browsing the recipes, the reader learns how to take what they need to cook directly from nature, while preserving the landscape and wildlife. The rules are simple: respect the picking areas and regulations, while limiting human traces. There is, so to speak, no act of purchase in this book – even if, to access nature’s pantry, one must already be able to get there, which is not given at most large number, not to mention the culinary capital necessary to recognize by eye what is edible. It is no coincidence that most of the chapters begin with memories of grandmothers… This knowledge is capital, but it is restored here, transmitted, with deep generosity and sincerity, and a lot of simplicity too.

All the recipes that adorn the book, whether for preparing mushrooms, fruits, berries, game or fish, flowers, algae, have certainly been written by chefs, but also winegrowers or artisans (cheese makers, nectar makers)… Some seem literally out of reach, like these Loire eels in sweet wine by winemaker Jacques Carroget. Fishing for eels and preparing them is not easy – do you have the image of Maïté fighting with her eel before taking it off? But that’s where this book is strong: even if we don’t go wild boar hunting or eel fishing, we still want to wander through the images, contemplate the ingredients, and share this idea. that it is still possible to feed oneself in nature’s great pantry.

Recipes from nature, surveying the landscape by Jill Cousin, Anne-Claire Héraud, Darius Chapuis, Claire Peresotti, ed. Tana, 2023, 30 euros.


I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

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