Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday in the kitchen

I took another cooking class—this one a three-plus hour, three-course lunch menu at Olivier Berté’s Les Coulisses du Chef.

The kitchen was lovely and intimate, like being in someone’s home kitchen with the exposed pantries and windows overlooking the courtyard. When we arrived, the fresh ingredients were laid out on the island, but none of the prep work had been done. That was up to us.

Chef Olivier is a very sweet, gentle man who offered good tips on knife skills. It was all in French, but he was hands-on enough that I learned a trick or two—like the proper way to place my fingers so I don’t slice them off.

The first course was a beautiful parsnip, green apple and curry soup. It ended up being my favorite part of the meal.

Then came sole meunière—the dish that made Julia Child fall in love with French cuisine.

This was a real eye opener. We skinned, scaled, gutted, cleaned, prepped, cooked and filleted these big ole fish. I can’t ever imagine doing it at home—it was ridiculously messy and pretty gross too—but it was a great experience. And, of course, it yielded a tasty dish.

Dessert was simple: a “carpaccio” of figs and strawberries, which is really just a fancy name for finely sliced fruit with a glaze of egg whites, sugar, honey and lime.

We shared wine and coffee and lingered around the table like true Frenchies and were sent home with the aprons and recipes. So inspired was I last night, that I even made myself a proper dinner.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like fun except.............. I detest curry! And I have a fish/seafood allergy but the desert sounds wonderful - I adore figs - fresh, with cheese, etc etc