WEDNESDAY 11 MAY 2011 • SERVICE AT LA P'TITE COUR
Our first Service in France - at La P'tite Cour
I’m sorry it has taken a little while to bring you the final update of our adventure in Provence. It was quite an exhausting trip – I think my protégés, Kush and Katie, both slept for about three days after we had finished!
The event was, I think, a huge success, but not without pressure. We had to work in a handkerchief sized kitchen which reminded me of my first kitchen at Les Quat’Saisons, with no cooling – and added to that was the massive heat from the cameras and lights as the BBC crew filmed us – it must have been over 37 degrees!
Out of this kitchen we had to conjure a five course meal, for 30 local Provençals. The guests were local food producers, wine makers – including the owner and winemaker from Chateau Pibarnon.
Since we were shopping and cooking in the heart of Provence, we agreed that this menu should be all fish. All the produce was fantastic – delicious local fish, ripe tomatoes, early strawberries – Gariguettes and Mara des Bois – bursting with flavour. We had a symphony of flavours to create our menu (see below), and I hope that we respected the wonderful produce of the region.
When our 16 hour day was finally over, we went to meet the diners… to be greeted by a round of applause! Huge smiles and relief from us all. I am so proud of Katie and Kush – they typify the burgeoning youth and talent in the UK… I believe we have much to look forward to from the next generation of chefs!
I also learnt a good deal, including how to grow the most beautiful tiny Violette artichokes, which I will be planting in our garden at Le Manoir, ready for next spring.
We are already planning our next trip: in June we are off to Burgundy, and will be cooking in a restaurant in Lyons. Here in the belly of France, meat is king, so our menu will be very different! And of course I will be closer to my own home!
Best to you all
M E N U
Pour nos amis de Provence
Les Petits Canapés Provençaux et Fougasse
Provencal Canapés and Fougasse
L‘Essence de Tomate de l'arrière Pays
Essence of Tomato
La Terrine de Bouillabaisse et petits Légumes, Vinaigrette au Safran
Bouillabaisse Terrine with Provençal Vegetables, Saffron Vinaigrette
Poissons de Pêche de Sanary sur Mer, Fenouil Rôti, Jus de Vin Rouge
Barigoule et Ratatouille
Fish from Sanary sur Mer, Roasted Fennel and Red Wine Jus
Ratatouille and Artichoke Barigoule
La Fameuse Brousse de Rove et Chutney d’Abricot
Brousse de Rove Goats’ Cheese and Apricot Chutney
Les Gariguettes, Les Mara des Bois et Premières Fraises des Bois; Gelée de Basilic
Early season Strawberries, Gariguette, Mara des Bois; Wild Basil Gelée
.......et une petite surprise de nos amis du Chateau Pibarnon
Bon appétit from Raymond, Kush and Katie-Beth
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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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