• 1 whole, raw goose or duck foie gras (about 550g-600g well chilled in the fridge)
  • 8-10 slices of good malted bread poulaine or veda
  • fleur de sel
  • ground white pepper
  • 8 overripe figs (quartered)


  • Make sure your guests are seated, ready to eat, preferably with a glass of chilled Loupiac, Sauternes, Baumes de Venise or Condrieu in hand.
  • Cut the well-chilled foie gras into 1cm slices (I find that freezing makes it counterproductively mushy), avoiding and removing nerves as you go.
  • Have your guests’ warmed plates to hand, some freshly prepared toasted bread and a large dish with lots of kitchen paper just by the hob. Heat a frying pan until it is medium hot – no fat required, of course. Check the heat by dropping in a tiny morsel of foie gras: it should fizz and frazzle instantly.
  • Remove it and wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper before bringing it back to the heat. Cover as much of your stainable self as possible with something non-stainable, and quickly lay the slices of the foie gras in the pan. Let them sizzle for about 1 minute, having a peek underneath after about 45 seconds. A thin, dark, caramelised crust should have formed.
  • Flip them over very carefully (you could drain off excess fat at this stage) and cook for a further 1 minute on the other side. Set the slices on kitchen paper for a few seconds to absorb any excess fat from the surface and transfer them to the service plates.
  • Sprinkle with some fleur de sel (indispensable for its less-salty-than-salt taste and crunch) and pepper, and serve with the toasted bread and figs.