At The Mi-Chemin , it’s a bistro (in the 14th arrondissement) where Paris meets Tunisia. The chef, Nordine Labiadh combines the traditional cuisine of his country with the best of French gastronomy. In a cookbook, he offers recipes of pastilla fondant of duck with orange, couscous to the octopus and potimarron, cheeks of pig with sage, a taboule dill and haddock, a tartare Tuna with mint, a tagine of Breton sardines, apricots with caramel salted butter, a delight with pistachio … But beyond his talents to cook, Nordine is a storyteller. By Amel DJAIT
Nordine Labiadh was born in southern Tunisia. Small, he often looked at his mom, her grandmother and many women in her village cooking. In Zita (former name Zarzis) there are the sea, the olive groves and the market where Nordine went almost daily to the market. When he was younger, he was digging in the organic vegetables from the garden.
Committed to his mother andhis father -officer- who, like the majority of the men of the village, worked in France and did not return home until one month a year, the young man never forgets the flavors, perfumes and spices of his childhood . He particularly remembers cumin. A ground spice if necessary and at the moment so that it perfumes the dish of all its aroma.
When he leaves for France to study, Nordine still thinks of his mother and stays pantois before a Paris where fruits and vegetables are not rhythmic by the seasons. With talent, work and generosity, he applies himself and dares little by little weddings not necessarily happy, on paper … Yet, with him it works! The result is amazing. Currently, it does not happen a week without one of his recipes mentioned in Elle, Marie Claire ….
Noredine believes that his cuisine resembles her Franco-Tunisian couple: “I’ve never done professional cooking in Tunisia. I learned how to make French bourgeois cuisine in France. With this book, I wanted to pay tribute to all Tunisian women. I have sought in the Tunisian gastronomic heritage some flavors that I have associated with traditional French cuisine to build a bridge between the two countries. It is a French bourgeois cuisine with two Tunisian flavors or a classic Tunisian cuisine with a French technique and noble products of the French soil “….
Let everyone read the story as he sees it.
On TripAdvisor, the compliments are numerous and the restaurant “Le Mi-chemin” of Nordine and his wife bears his name perfectly! Who could have dared to make a duck foie gras marinated with Curcuma! No doubt a chef who lived between Paris and Tunis! A cook who thinks that the kitchen speaks and tells the life, the traditions, the countries ….
And this story he writes in a book that is now in the top 10 cookbooks of the year 2016
Strengthened by its success, Nordine believes that “it is necessary to save all that remains of the kitchen of our mothers and to value the products of terroirs. I love Tunisia. I love France. I love my job. That’s what my kitchen smells like. It is a creative and personal cuisine, turned towards the others. Tunisian cuisine is a meeting point for Andalusian, Jewish Tunisian, Berber, Sicilian, Maltese cuisines, It is a true Mediterranean cuisine. It is an incredible wealth! ”
Photo Credit: Nordine Labiadh