FRIDAY 1 JULY 2011 • COOKING AT LA RUCHOTTE
Cooking at La Ruchotte with Kush and Katie-Beth
Two weeks ago, I was in Burgundy, in France - close to my native Franche Comté. We were recording the third part of my new TV series, Raymond Blanc France, in which I am taking two of my young commis - Katie-Beth and Kush - to different regions of France, helping them to discover the tastes and flavours of the regions, and then, together, we cook a meal for the local people of the region. It has been a fascinating and exhausting process but one which I would not have missed for the world. To see my beloved France through the eyes of two young people, who are just beginning their careers in food - this is merveilleux!
So, in Burgundy, we took over the kitchen of a lovely little restaurant, La Ferme de la Ruchotte, owned by Fréderic and Eva Ménager. They made us so welcome, as we worked and cooked in their kitchen to serve a typical Burgundian meal. The guests at the dinner loved it; this little house was full of happiness and joyful guests. And for me, there was the immense satisfaction of a job well done.
Perhaps, however, it is better for you to read about it from two other viewpoints: Kush has written a little blog about his experience in Burgundy:
"Well this week has truly been one that I will never forget. The sights and tastes have shown me another diverse region and culture of France that I did now to know existed.
Starting my time in Burgundy with dinner at a Brasserie eating my first French snails and sampling a true Pinot Noir, I knew that this would be a good week.
Yesterday we had a very hot day and I decided to utilise our hotel's humble pool. 2 hours of baking in the sun was enough to get me in the mood for an evening cocktail. Having a van full of cooking equipment, 20 lemons, a zester and a coffee machine gave me all that 1 needed for some chilled drinks. 1 hour later I had a batch of fresh tangy lemonade, a bag of ice and just for the hard working crew, a bottle of dark rum! An evening well spent I think.
But nothing could have prepared me for today. With a relatively late start (9am) we set off for the vineyards of Burgundy. What was to follow can only be described as a perfect day. Tasting grand cru Pinot Noirs in the sun followed by a 3 Michelin star lunch. I have learnt more today than I have in the entirety of the previous trips and will never forget the experience."
Frédéric has also written a delightful and complimentary blog on his website, which you can read by clicking here (translation into English is below the photograph):
"We have just lived through three very intense days at La Ruchotte: the BBC came to record a television programme of the great chef, Raymond Blanc.
On this occasion, Raymond, who had chosen my kitchen to express himself, showed us the extent of his talent - and what talent, what effort, what discipline. These three days were, for me, an occasion to go back to my early days, and many memories came back to the surface. The meal which was the culmination of these three days was magnificent… I understood exactly how the BBC has such a reputation for the quality of its programmes.
Fifteen people were present during the recording. I had the sense of a great strength and discipline in their work, and huge passion. I cannot tell you about all the equipment they use - I would fill a barn with it all!
I was very lucky to be given the chance to choose the wines which were served with the dinner:
Bouzeron 2009 Aubert De Villaine
Savigny-les-Beaune 1er cru "aux vergelesses" 2006 Domaine Chandon De Briailles
Volnay 2009 Sarnin-Berrux
Crémant Didier Montchovet
In conclusion, I would like to thank Raymond: for your kindness, for the knowledge that you pass on, for the respect that you have for the young people who work with you. I felt a genuine pleasure in being able to share this moment of life with you. I will never forget this…"
Thank you to Frédéric and Eva, to everyone at the BBC, and to Kush and Katie-Beth.
Best to you all
PS Please tell me what you think of my blogs and my website: I want to hear from you!
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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