I still feel like I have been let out of prison some days ago. The last weeks have been very tough for me and I am so happy everything is over and I can enjoy life again. It did take me a couple of days to recover. The most enjoyable activity last week was just being able to sit in a café in the sun and read a newspaper. It was heaven. I fall asleep with a big smile every night, this hasn't happened in a long time...
So it's also time to pick up again some of my pre-exam activities like checking out restaurants, and joining "food"-events. Today Cathleen, Diane and I went together to "Le fooding de l'ete". I call us now the Les Trois Mousquetaires (the three musketeers), because we three are the only ones who have gone through the pain of obtaining the state C.A.P. exam on top of the school certificate. That meant about 5-7 exams more than the rest of our class, so we three have suffered together through all this. It helped a lot, not to be alone with all this additional pressure. One for all, and all for one...
Anyway this fooding event was announced as a menu "barbecunomique", happening in the garden of the MAC/VAL modern art museum in the suburbs of Paris, with a very promising participation list of grands chefs (including two with three Michelin stars) of Paris and although we didn't really know what exactly to expect, we were very excited...
Saveurs de coquillages et parfums de légumes “belle saison”.
Par Alain Passard/L’Arpège, PARIS
Chipolata d’agneau confit, anchois et olive, escabèche de courgette et haricot coco au soja.
Par Laurent Chareau/Le Transversal, VITRY-SUR-SEINE
Pincho de “lomo Unico”con su Chimichurri.
Par Gaston Stivelmaher/Unico, PARIS
L’os à moelle garni d’un paleron de boeuf confit, façon pot-au-feu, recouvert d’un Zéphyr.
Par Frédéric Anton/Le Pré Catelan, PARIS
Faux caviar et encornet au gingembre.
Par Philippe Delacourcelle/Le Pré Verre, PARIS
I had wondered how all this would be set up, and had honestly not expected to actually find the chefs themselves there. But I was wrong ! Already on the first barbecue stand behind the entrance the big and famous three star chef Alain Passard himself was at the grill. I couldn't believe it. So immediately we got into that queue, still short at that time. Once it was our turn I said to Monsieur Passard (in French of course) : "Bonjour Monsieur Passard ! Do you remember a chef called Sebastien de Massard working for you ?" Which brought a big and curious smile on his face. (Our chef had worked a couple of years for him in l'Arpege.) Then I said " We are students of M. de Massard at Ferrandi !" That got me another big smile. Sigh.... And some wonderfully tasting grilled razor clams. Look at the details of the herbs and spices and young garlic on each shell.
We thought it was amazing, that a busy three-star chef would spend his whole Sunday grilling for nothing (Despite a one time 5€ entrance fee, all the food was for free!).
Le grand Alain Passard "plating" razor clams for me....I was soooo excited and could feel my heart race. Alone for that moment the trip was worth it.
3 star "mussels".... To die for.
Then we noticed, that more and more people were coming in, so we hit immediately the next queue to taste what the chef of for Le Pré Verre would offer. This is a restaurant I had already heard about through Laura from cucinatestarossa, but I never went. After tasting the chef's sampler I understand now why she's crazy for his food. So I am waiting impatiently for her return from the US to go to the Pre Verre with her.
Unfortunately the queues got bigger and bigger then, we tried one more, but then were disappointed with what we got for one hour waiting, so decided to watch other people queue and "pique-niqued" on the lawn.
For the grand finale Diane and Cathleen queued again and brought me a Crème glacée Häagen-Dazs Coconut Macaroon, coulis de fruits exotiques mangue ananas et fruits de la passion, by Christine Ferber from Alsace who is famous for her marmelades nationwide. Yummie, Yummie ! I was so desperate for it, even forgot to take a picture....
Tomorrow we go for three days to La Baule, a seaside resort on the Atlantic coast in Southern Brittany, with both Anglo cuisine classes and our teachers for the final trip. Chef Sebastien has worked on a complete program, that includes visits and tours of all the gastronomic highlights of that region, including mussels "production", the salt marshes and the world-famous "fleur de sel" de Guerande, a fish auction (la crieé) at 3 a.m. , gastronomic restaurants, patisserie visits, etc., etc. full report here end of next week.
And then it's time to start talking about my long stage, which is going to be the next big exciting thing in my life....
Bonne semaine !