Welcome to Taste France Magazine’s latest series, What’s On Your Block, where we highlight the most beloved French and American ingredients of professionals, aspiring chefs, and passionate foodies alike.
This week, we’re delighted to introduce you to Sarrah and James Bentley, a newly married couple with a passion for all things gastronomy.
An investment banker by day, James uses cooking as a way to unwind after work – and Sarrah most definitely reaps the benefits of his downtime! During her time living abroad in France, Sarrah’s favorite thing to do was visit the local markets each week, scouring the meat, produce, and cheese stalls for all of the best ingredients. After all, it’s the ingredients that make the food!
James and Sarrah’s Must-Have French Ingredients:
Herbs de Provence
Sea Salt from the South of France
For Sarrah and James, adding flavor to a dish is generally found in condiments, spices, and sauces, beginning with herbs de Provence. For the pair, herbs de Provence bring the essence of the sunny south of France to every plate they touch. “We love to add it to sea salt, as it instantly elevates any simple poultry dish,” the duo says. “It reminds us of our travels through the French countryside every time we use it!” Similarly, Dijon mustard brings an added French flare to dressings and sauces, particularly in vegetarian quinoa bowls and when used with roasted vegetables.
However, the couple agrees – high-quality sea salt is a must. “Good salt is needed for EVERYTHING!” the couple exclaims, from seasoning to marinating to simple bread and butter courses and beyond. “We can always tell the difference between good sea salt from France and salt from anywhere else.”
James and Sarrah’s Must-Have American Ingredients:
King Arthur Flour
Beyond French seasonings, James and Sarrah love to use American ingredients to level up other international cuisines. For starters? Peanut butter in at-home renditions of their favorite Asian takeout meals. “We cook a lot of Asian inspired dishes, and peanut butter is a superstar to put in our marinades,” the couple says. Additionally, Cajun spices are a staple in the couple’s kitchen. From rib rub to jambalaya to grill marinades and beyond, the couple firmly believes that adding Cajun spices to any protein provides an instant transport to New Orleans.
Like many couples during the pandemic, James and Sarrah learned how to make their own sourdough bread, and after many trials, the duo found that King Arthur flour reigned supreme. “There is nothing like a hot and crispy loaf of bread with homemade soup when it's cold out,” the couple explains. “We go through a ton of flour in this house!”
Now officially newlyweds, James and Sarrah can’t wait to host friends and family around their table for years to come. Follow their adventures on Sarrah’s Instagram account, @damngoodyoga.