MEET: chef and creator of "Hervé Cuisine" Hervé Palmieri
Photos: ALINA SEPP
Text: KATYA ULITINA
Hervé Palmieri is a chef and a creator of the Hervé Cuisine channel about the art of simple and delicious meals.
How did you realise that cooking was your calling?
I have been cooking since I was a little boy: my parents encouraged me to bake pastries and prepare simple dishes. When I started to live separately from my parents, I simply did not have any choice but to cook for myself. I enjoyed buying cookbooks, I cut out recipes from magazines, and I also had a thick notebook with my mom's ones at home.
At some point, I began to reunite my university friends at home to cook together. We cooked pies, tarts, carbonara paste, all kind of various simple student dishes, and my friends really loved it! And then I realised how the cooking process can bring people together, and how a good meal can make a party much better.
How did an idea of a food blog come up?
While working full-time in marketing I did not have time to do anything else. I thought that I needed an activity for myself besides work. So I decided to start a food blog as it was something that I could do really well.
So one day I came home from work and chose a simple chocolate fondant recipe. I had a small camera, which I put on a washing machine and started filming myself. It was terrible - I was embarrassed, shy, such a nightmare! But in the end, I made a video with the recipe of the fondant and put it on Youtube.
I discovered the world of blogs, I learnt how to edit videos and create blog pages with HTML code - that time there were no simple platforms for site creations. I especially liked the technical side of the process, and as I progressed, I bought different devices for shooting, lighting and sound, switched to an HD camera and so on.
Today it is already a small company that I manage, with contracts, companies and all the rest of it. In parallel, I have always worked in marketing, and I still do. I try not to turn my blog into a routine, to keep enthusiasm and inspiration.
What distinguish you from the other food bloggers?
I am one of the rare «broad-format» chefs. There are very simple recipes from three ingredients, but also complex multilayer cakes. There are meals from all over the world on my channel. You can find Thai, French, African and Maghreb cuisine on it. There are both vegan recipes and recipes with meat.
So I'm an expert in a wide culinary profile in all senses! I try to embrace everything, try everything. The only thing I try to avoid is the fast food recipes. Fast food does not fit in my lifestyle, I try to eat well.
Cooking is your job. Do you still have time to cook for yourself and your loved ones?
There are different periods in my life. Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking, so I dine out - this happens to me as well!
Now there is a period when I cook for myself a lot. Recently, I mostly enjoy baking seasonal vegetables: I buy different kinds of cabbage, parsnips, carrots, beets ... I put them sprinkled with olive oil and spices in the oven at 180°C. In an hour I сome back from the gym, and the perfect dinner is ready! Quick and simply delicious.
What are your favourite restaurants in Paris?
I am really fond of 11th and 20th arrondissements of Paris - there are so many interesting restaurants there. I like Mme Shawn, a Thai restaurant in Upper Marais, near Marché des Enfants Rouges.
I am also keen on the three Korean food restaurants by Pierre Sang on the Oberkampf street. Pierre Sang, the chef, opened three restaurants one next to another, and when you dine there, you do not know what’s on your plate. While eating, you need to concentrate on your sensations and try to guess what the ingredients are. Before you are served with the next the next dish, the chef tells you what the composition of the dish was. Such an unusual experience!
I also like bento Nanashi because of its relaxed atmosphere and healthy products.
When I want a delicious couscous, I go to L'homme bleu on Jean-Pierre Thimbaud street. This is a real traditional cuisine - as if you get away to Morocco for one night!
Finally, I enjoy eating out in the Italian and French restaurants on Montorgueuil street.
What is it, a typical dinner of French cuisine - a starter, a main course, a dessert?
If we had a three-course meal today, I would make a dinner with all the seasonal food. For a starter, I would cook a salad with roasted asparagus, egg and olive oil. I would choose Beef bourguignon with some tasty Camargue rice. Of course, a cheese plate with a crispy baguette - we are in France, after all! I would also serve different leaves of salad with spices to the cheese plate like we do it in the South. And for dessert I think I'd make a lemon pie with meringues - a classic French dessert! The delicate balance between sour and sweet, with a gentle meringue at the top - simply perfect.
Could you please share some quick and healthy recipes for breakfast or snack - for those on who are always in a rush?
Among my recipes, there are lemon muffins that have little fat and sugar. If you store them in food film, they will remain soft for several days or can even be frozen.
Another excellent option is homemade granola with oatmeal, dried fruits and nuts. You will need to chop dried fruits and nuts, mix them with oatmeal, honey or agave syrup and put it in the oven. You can take them with you when planning an interview on a rainy day!
For breakfast, I like low-fat pancakes, it's especially good to make them with whole-grain flour, so that there are a lot of fibres.
There is one interesting recipe for a chocolate cake with stevia instead of sugar, and with a peeled zucchini instead of butter! You can not taste the zucchini at all, the cake has a rich chocolate flavour.
" I am one of the rare «broad-format» chefs.
There are very simple recipes from three ingredients, but also complex multilayer cakes.
You can find Thai, French, African and Maghreb cuisine on my channel.
So I'm an expert in a wide culinary profile in all senses! I try to embrace everything."