Cheese is another one of many reason why I cannot live in another country anymore. Now as a future restaurant owner (yeah, I am still dreaming ;) I will also have to think about what type of cheese course I offer. I believe I need to add value as a chef, and "do something" to or with the cheese, otherwise, why would you order it in the restaurant and pay more for it than at the market. On the other hand I must admit that as a customer quite often I am very happy to order the assortimment, or just one cheese variety in a restaurant. Maybe the added value of a chef can sometimes simply be in the selection of a very good product ?
That is the way I discovered this year for example Stilton, an English (!) blue cheese, which I now prefer to many French blue cheeses. (So does it mean eventually I should live in England ???). Something I would have never been inspired to buy, if chef Chris Wright (from Manchester) of the restaurant "Le Timbre" (http://www.restaurantletimbre.com/) in my neighbourhood wouldn't have it on his menu as only option for a cheese course.
Chef Juline Duboué of the currently much talked about bistrot Afaria in the 15th arrondissment (15, rue Desnouettes) has added a "little something" to his cheese course : instead of offering just a slice of Roquefort, he presents it on pain d'epice (Gingerbread) and covered with a red port jelly. A very nice idea, because port is a very good wine to be paired with blue cheese. I didn't have my camera that day with me (was I sick ?!?), so I reproduced this idea at home.
Immediately this inspires ideas for variatons. Combine in this way any kind of key product with its garniture and topped by the wine you would drink with it as jelly. The first variation that comes obviously to my mind would be foie gras on pain d'epice topped by Sauternes jelly....