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[Photograph: Jean-Pierre Gabriel]

Alain Coumont founded Le Pain Quotidien out of necessity. After studying in hotel school and working as a pastry chef for Georges Blanc, he opened his own restaurant in his native Brussels, Le Café du Dôme. Unable to guarantee a bread supply from France, he started making his own. It soon became evident that his bread oven produced too much for his restaurant alone. And thus, Le Pain Quotidien, or "the daily bread", was born.

Now locations all over the world serve patrons their daily bread, supported by a broad but simple menu rooted in Belgian tradition and enhanced by local offerings. The Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook is a collection of this global inspiration. The trademark Le Pain tartines reflect that, featuring flavors from curried cauliflower to Camembert, recipes for many of which are included in the book.

The recipes in Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook are as appealingly simple as the restaurant's menu. It's an excellent cookbook for summer, with a spread of soups and salads that are doubly refreshing; once for the ingredients, and once for the effort you won't need to expend. It's all here, even the sourdough starter that launched Coumont's company.

For the next two weeks, we'll be sampling the eclectic and classic flavors that make up Le Pain Quotidien's desserts. Chia seed porridge flavored with blood oranges and a licorice liquor-infused banana pie are just the beginning. From indulgently rich chocolate tarts to screamingly fresh fruit (and canelés in between!) the ethos of simple, fresh, and beautiful food shines.


Win A Copy!

Thanks to the generous folks over at Octopus Publishing, we are giving away five (5) copies of Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook this week. All you have to do is share your daily indulgence in the comments section below!

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