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Posts posted by Patrice

  1. Like you said Lesley, we were really spoiled for the price we paid: foie gras, truffles, squab, scallops, oysters...

    I didn't see the kitchen setup but, they came to our table after dinner. They seem really simple guys and they really seemed happy we enjoyed our meal.

    Now I can't wait for the Montreal Highlight Festival... :wink:

  2. I was at Anise yesterday with 4 friends who were really eager to taste the Pourcel's food.

    -I wasn't particularly impressed by the amuses:

    The small tuile cornets are done by everybody, this isn't the type of things I'm expecting from 3 stars chefs.

    The salmon tartar and the crab salad were both OK.

    -The second amuse, the duo of oysters didn't impressed me much.

    I didn't liked the granité wich was to sweet for my taste to work with the oyster. The second one was better but nothing to impress me...

    -Thing started to get much better after. The scallops were really nice. I really liked their beet ravioli wich is a play on the pineapple ravioli of their book. A quite complex and very interesting dishe.

    -I really LIKED the next course. Between a soup and a thick purée, this glass packed a lot of interesting flavors and textures.

    -The next dish was my favorite of the evening. A very impressive poached foie gras ,served with a beef consommé. Everything was perfect: the quite surprising spongy texture of the foie, the superb flavor of the consommé, the very interesting blendind of the foie and the thai herbs.

    -I really didn't like the next dish very much. The preserved lemon flavor was VERY strong and unpleasant for my taste. I really wonder why this dish, wich would by more appreciated maybe in a bistro type of setting, was served in a degustation meal like yesterday.

    -I also really liked the next dish. It was also quite complex and it worked very well woth the wine we were served. I personnaly likes the sauce, wich taste like a ''reworked'' civet sauce. My friends were wondering if the sauce could have been thicken with blood.

    -I'm really TIRED of eating cheeses at the end of a meal with a small mound of mesclun. I think the small mound of salad could have benn ommitted and this dish would have been even better.

    -I didn't knew what to expect for dessert. I had read Lesley review but, on the other side, I quite liked their book and it has some interesting desserts in it. I was maybe expecting it would have been better this evening. The flavors of dates worked very well with the clementines. But, like Lesley wrote, the parfait ( more like a type of mousse of spiced dates) was way too sweet for my taste. A dessert that could have been interesting as a pre-dessert but not as a main.

    After a good meal we were again expecting some interesting mignardises like the french do so well. We recived each 2 mignardises wich were made, if I don't make a mistake, by the chef of Anise: half a dried arpicot with some chocolate on it and a very small nest of Katufi with some pistachios. I really wonder why the twins didn't take the time to serve us something more interesting than that.

    We had a lot of fun and we had some really good food. I'm really grateful to Anise for having invited these chefs to Montreal and let us the chance to taste their very interesting cuisine!!!

  3. Wow. this is a great thread. There's some very good advice here.

    Like Steve wrote, one of the most important things is to meet other pastry chefs. Don't be afraid to write letters to pastry chefs, ask questions, eat as much good and bad desserts as you can. I really think it's the best way to learn.

    Chefette questions:

    I'm quite happy of the pastry education I received here in Montreal. It was a very basic one year formation that was perfect to learn the fundamental techniques of pastry: mousse, meringue, génoises, bread...Then , with this basic formation you can start to learn by yourself.

    At this moment, if I had the possibility to do a stage it would be without any doubt at El Bulli (restaurant) or Hermé ( pastry shop)

    There's some very interesting things going on in Spain right now and everybody who wants to do pastry for a living should check what is going over there. There's some fantastic pastry shops, some incredible chocolatier ( Enric Rovira) some very interesting restaurant ( Espai Sucre, serving only desserts !!! :rolleyes:

    Pierre Hermé is one of my greatest inspiration. After so many years he's still doing some incredible stuff. Because he gained success at a very young age, it's the proof that if you work very hard, it will pay off.

    Which restaurants and pastry shop I would visit:

    The pastry shop I visited and impressed me the more were the Pierre Hermé boutique in Paris and Michel Belin in Albi. Hermé boutique look like a jewellry. Everything is perfect. And he does some very interesting stuff. His new ''collection'' look very interesting. The theme is White. He use: rice, mascarpone with citrus, maple sirup :rolleyes: and white truffle...

    I also had the chance to visit Michel Belin shop last year and I was really impressed by what he's doing. Really one of my favorites chocolatiers.

    Restaurants: I had the chance to travel a lot and the restaurants that impressed me the most (for desserts) Michel Bras in Laguiole, Pierre Gagnaire and Ducasse(in Paris...)

    The restaurants I really want to try right now: El Bulli, Zaytinya ( where Steve is doing some very interesting desserts) and Tribute ( I cant wait to try Micheal other desserts...)

    Books, magazines:

    I really think reading is of the most valuable way to learn. Personnaly I have a lot of books and not only pastry books; for a pastry chef working in a restaurant, cooking books can also teach you a lot . My favorite pastry books: Frédéric Bau, Au Coeur des Saveurs and Le Grand livre des Desserts Alain Ducasse. Michel Bras is also a must for me...

    Magazine: I read a LOT of magazines: Thuriès is better than ever, Art Culinaire, Food Arts, Pastry Art and Design, Le Journal du Pâtissier ( Lesley- yes, it still exist!!!)

    Yes, I really think it's possible to pay your dues in pastry and pull even with respected pastry chefs. I'm still very young and I have still a LOT of things to learn but I work very hard and I'm happy to say results are coming...


    When I started doing pastry ( 3 years ago...) I was dreaming of one day, being able to go to the chocolate show and meet other pastry chefs like Steve, Colleen and Michael. Last week, I not only had the chance to go to the show, I did demo with them!!! :smile::smile::smile:

  4. I understand your point Lesley but I don't agree with you... :angry:

    J-G restaurant is all about innovation, surprises and, he's good at it: he can make scallops with capers, raisins and cauliflower taste wonderful.

    I said earlier that I would expect the same thing from his pastry chef. If his current pastry chef cannot do it maybe he's not the good one for this job. I really think we should be more critical with pastry chefs. When desserts aren't at the same level of the cuisine, we should tell the restaurant what we think. I really don't want to eat melting chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream for the rest of my life...

    I'm sure there is someone in NYC that would be able to do desserts that would fit J-G restaurant. There are some very talented pastry chefs in the U.S.A, like Michael from Tribute, who can make sweet potato sorbet with chocolate and star anise taste incredible.

  5. Thanks Suvir

    Your question is a very good one. The first thing a search in desserts in a restuarant is a logical progress with the meal.

    At J-G, the food is surprising, very tasty, fun...

    I would expect the same thing from the desserts...

    Warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream: you can find this dessert in any NYC restaurant. Everybody is doing it. Even if J-G was the fisrt to do it in America, I would expect him to do something more original.

    Chocolate Crêpe Suzette isn't what you want at J-G.

    Crème caramel that is supposed to taste pepper but only taste ordinary crème caramel isn't best.

    I really didn't like the idea of the big plates with 4 small desserts. I really prefer a dessert that is well constructed, with different textures, cold ice cream/hot fruits, smooth/crunchy.

    Some of the items we had would have made a very good dessert by themselves:

    The Chocale caramel mousse with hazelnut succès and salted peanut was very very good.

    Alone, in a bigger portion, with maybe a peanut butter ice cream, some hot fruits ( maybe some bananas or some pears) it would have been perfect.

    On J-G dessert menu, I aslo see cheesecake, buttermilk panna cotta...these are the type of desserts you can find anywhere in NYC.

    The cooking of J-G is very trendy: he use a lot of fruits, all his sauce are foamy, he doesn't use cream.

    In his desserts, I would expect to find vegetables, foam...

  6. I had an incredible week in NYC. I came to give demos at both the International Restaurant and Hotel Show and, at the Chocolate show. Both demos went well, even if I tought my performance at the chocolate show was better ( it was my second demo in english, the one at the IRHS being the first...)

    I was very happy to be able to meet Micheal and Paul Connors. I was also able to meet my friends: Steve and Colleen. Thank to Bux and Suvir for their presence at the IRHS.

    My first meal in NYC was in a very charming Trattoria, Le Zie. I had 2 good meal there with Steve and Colleen.

    Monday, after the demo, we didn't had reservation at any restaurant... We called at Jean-Georges and we were seated there 2 hours later.

    We choose both tasting menu:

    Jean-Georges Menu:

    Egg Caviar

    Bay Scallops with Caper-Raisin Emulsion, Caramelized Cauliflower

    Young Garlic Soup with Thyme, Sautéed Frog Legs

    Turbot in a Château Chalon Sauce, Tomato and Zucchini

    Lobster Tartine, Lemongrass, Fenugreek Broth and Pea Shoots

    Broiled Sqab, Onion Compote, Corn Pancake with Foie Gras


    Autumn Menu

    Foie Gras Brûlée, Spiced Fig Jam

    Peekytoe Crab Salad, Fuji Apple, Hot Mustard Froth

    Herd Risotto, wild Mushroom and Porcini Confiture

    Slowly Cooked Black Cod, Potato Noodles, Crème Fraîche, Vodka and Caviar

    Lemon Poached Lobster, Autumn Vegetable Tapioca and Fragrant Gewürztraminer Froth

    Millbrook Venison Studded with Candied Orange, Butternut Squash, Almond Purée, Juniper Salt


    The food was very good. I was particularly impress with the black cod and the lemon poached lobster.

    The Millbrook Venison and the carb salad weren't as interesting as the other parts of the meal.

    Being a desserts fan, I was really excited after such a good meal. But, for my taste, the desserts were a big letdown. They sent us 3 degustation plates:


    Warm Chocolate Cake, Vanilla ice cream

    Chocolate Caramel Mousse, Hazelnut Succès, Salted Peanut

    White Chocolate-Tarragon Millefeuilles, Grapefruit

    Chilled Juniper-Spiced Chocolate Soup, Devon Cream


    Chocolate-Passion Soufflé, Passion Sauce

    Roasted Pineapple with Cardamom, Coconut Sorbet

    Soft Kalamanzi Cream, Matcha Meringue

    Mango Soup, Papaya, litchi ginger sorbet


    Chocolate Crêpe Suzette, Meyer Lemon

    Caramel-Banana Cake, Sablé Croquant

    Pepper Crème Caramel, Walnut Nougatine

    Apple Soup, Caramel Gelée and Granny Smith Sorbet.

    On each plate, there was one very good item: the chocolate caramel mousse, the kalamanzi cream and the caramel banana cake. The other items were there to fill these big square plates

    The mignardises weren't good at all.

    I give them a A for the food and a C for desserts


  7. Mugaritz-This is the restaurant I told you Cabrales.

    Adoni is a young chef who becoming a new star. One of the most respectable food critic in Spain just gave him a 9/10, like Adrià, Berasategui and Arsak. In the GaultMillau, they say that is cooking is a perfect mix of technics and poetry. His restaurant is in a very simple house is now serving some of the most interesting food in Europe. He's been working on the perfect poached egg ( that's for you Cabby :rolleyes:) for 7 months

    The price of the degustation menu: 75e


    Andoni Luis Aduriz

    20100 Renteria

    Tél: 00 34 943 522 455

  8. I had some very good time in Biarritz :cool:

    I didn't eat at Les Platanes nor La Villa Eugénie ( Au Palais)

    Both of them seem a very good choice but, I would add a third choice :shock:

    La Café de Paris. The 2 chefs are both from Guérard. The view is spectacular and the cuisine seems very interesting.

    They have a second restaurant, also in the same hotel, Le Bistro Bellevue.

    I had a good meal there.

  9. Last year, the cheese course was the highlight of our meal. They didn't present any cheese cart but offered us a composed cheeses course.

    -Époisse foccacia<

    -Fourme ambert ice cream with pear ''salad''

    -the last cheese was incredible, it was served in a type of glass. Standing in the glass were thin stips of mimolette. Served with the mimolette, also in the glass, were carrot tuile. The tuile were made in the same color and the same size of the mimolette stips. Each time you took a piece you weren't sure until you ate it if it was cheese or carrot tuile.

  10. I also eat at L'Auberge de L'Éridan about a year ago. I had a very good meal, without any test tubes or syringue...

    Veyrat cooking was very creative, very well executed. Only the desserts were really disappointing. I really wonder how, in such a short period of time, a chef,like Veyrat, can change his style of cooking in such a drastic way... :hmmm:

  11. Jacques Mazet, the owner of the Bastide is a friend of Burgo. Burgo also like this region very much and he has previously worked at Chandioux in Avignon.

    The Bastide had lost her only star in 1993. Michel del Burgo will work to regain the 2 stars that the Bastide de Gordes had in her best years.

  12. Michel del Burgo, executive chef of Taillevent has announced that he will quit before december.

    He will now be the chef at La Bastide de Gordes ( Vaucluse ). Jean-Claude Vrinat has not yet announced Burgo successor but he said that the new chef is practicaly chosen.

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