I don’t know when it was that someone told me about Maïté. A sort of Julia Child of southwestern French cooking, for years Maïté had a TV show, La Cuisine des Mousquetaires, which spawned a long list of cookbooks, including the legendary La Cuisine de Maïté. But while Julia regaled us with her semi-aristocratic huffing and puffing, Maïté is a working class food goddess, who was first discovered when she was the official cook for her home-town rugby team. She specializes in simple, traditional recipes. She’s as solid and unflappable as those rugby players, and her home-cooked charm is 100% southwest. I came across this excerpt on YouTube. Watch closely as she coos sweet nothings to nervous eel that she is about to flog with a blunt instrument.