TUESDAY 07 JUNE 2011 • A TASTE OF BURGUNDY
A taste of Burgundy
At 10am we are working: tasting some of the greatest grands crus, premier crus and villages from the Clos de Vougeot and the Côtes de Beaune Villages in Burgundy. The best weather: beautiful, blue France skies, vineyards all around us, slices of local saucisson, delicious bread and wine - life at this point is perfect!
We visited Vosne Romanée: one of the world's best vineyard! We are going through the little Burgundian villages surrounded by their vineyards. It is so beautiful... On then to Le Chateau de Clos de Vougeot, a very French story in the heart of Burgundy, it conjures up wonderful food, friends, laughter and joie de vivre. I know how lucky we are!
After having had our saucisson and baguette and tasted three great red Burgundies, my 2 young chefs Katie and Kush felt famished - again! So, we gave them a surprise. Melanie (our BBC producer) and I had booked the 3 star Michelin restaurant and Relais & Chateau hotel, Bernard Loiseau.
I also wanted to see a dear friend of mine, Dominique Loiseau - Bernard's widow, who runs the business. It is a mythical place: it was made famous as it was the first Auberge where the Parisians and the wealthy British would stop to wine, dine and stay overnight ...
Patrick Bertron, who learned his craft from Bernard Loiseau runs the kitchen. Here, seasonality, local produce, noble and pure, the craft, the light touch, the generosity of the welcome matters. It is exactly what I wanted Kush and Katie to learn.
His cuisine was outstanding in its boldness: to dare to get to the heart of food and produce,to distill the flavours and texture. Here, three to five steps to perfection; not one more or it would spoil it.
Beside the joy of a 3 star Michelin experience, and the pleasures it gave us, they learned the greatest and most important lesson: keep it simple. I know that Patrick learned this from Bernard.
Kush and Katie join me to say merci a toute l'équipe de Bernard Loiseau et a notre charmante hostess Dominique.
We are looking forward to welcoming them to our simple feast on Wednesday
Best to you all
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Raymond Blanc's new book, Kitchen Secrets, featuring recipes from Kitchen Secrets Series 1 & 2 and many more, was published by Bloomsbury on 14 February and is available to buy online from Amazon, from Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Brasserie Blanc, Maison Blanc, and from online and retail bookstores.
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