Tour France: Bliss Travels has dinner in the home of a Paris chef
Have you ever dreamt of dining in the home of a chef in Paris? Maybe learning his/her secrets? Being treated to a special menu and feeling like a local as you sip wine in his living room, or peak into his kitchen?
Of course you have! We all wish we could do this! Otherwise, how else can you explain the stunning popularity of the Food Network and our cult like obsession with “Celebrity Chefs” (all of whom we all know by name, and whose lives and travels we can intimately discuss, as if they were our own family)?
Our obsession with all things “food” is based upon our desire to get and insider’s exclusive access to this sort of experience! Bliss Travels has had the some extraordinary opportunities to do these sorts of “insider” foodie experiences. Our most recent, and, at the moment, favorite “insider” foodie experience, is our exclusive invitation to the home of a rising Paris chef for a gourmet dinner. We truly enjoyed collaborating with this chef, formerly of Alain Passard‘s gastronomic Arpege, and loved having our clients visit the charming Paris apartment he shares with his wife and little (bien sur) Yorkie. We spent months creating a custom tasting menu and wine pairings to share with our clients. For sure, this will be something we do again and again!
Our menu was truly special, as you can see below. An added bonus was the chance to watch the chef plate his dishes and to enjoy them while learning how he made these signature preparations. Here is our menu and some of the food photos of this truly “exclusive” dining experience.
Terrine of foie gras, onion chutney and sauternes gelee with toasts
We paired this with a wonderful Champagne. And we watched as our chef showed us how he prepared this traditional holiday treat. (One of our foodie travelers, normally vegetarian, asked for, and received “seconds” of this dish, which she took for her breakfast the next morning (paired with a great fruit preserve the hotel was serving! Now, how often can you do that on a trip other than with Bliss Travels?)
Endive salad with red onion, shaved parmesan, lemon, and truffle oil
A refreshing segue into the meal. The bitter endive and the truffle oil paired beautifully with our Champagne as well as our first white, a white from Burgundy, and one of our most favorite villages, the picture perfect village of Meursault
Meursault, Narvaux, 2009.
The famous Arpege “perfect egg“ was our next dish.
I confess that I was so enraptured by the chef’s description of this dish, and dual temperatures of the one egg, along with the taste of this perfectly simple and elegant dish, that I forgot to take a picture!! We paired the egg with our second white, a rich, buttery Meursault Les Charmes 1er Cru, 2009. This was not just a perfect ‘egg’ it was a perfect ‘pairing’!
Veloute of carrot, with tarragon
was an intense, non dairy carrot preparation made from caramelized carrots, cooked under pressure and reduced to a velvety richness. The two fold preparation of carrot (one caramelized, the other steamed led to this deep dark color. This dish had no meat and no dairy, and yet tasted richer than any beef based stock I’ve tried.
This rich dish led to the last drop of Meursault and a nice transition to our red wines.
Salt crusted roasted beet root
Next our chef demonstrated how he made this absolutely perfect vegetable, salt crusted, intensely juicy and truly an unexpected star dish! We opened our 2007 , 1er Cru, Pinot Noir from Gevrey Chambertin, made by a winemaker and friend in whose 14th century cellars we get to enjoy exclusive barrel tastings (We do love Burgundy!)
Pan seared beef with a parsnip puree, creamed spinach, sweet and sour peppers and a red wine jus
A 2007 Premier Cru Burgundy from Gevrey Chambertin
One client enjoyed this dish so much, not only did she have 2 servings (a nice little perk of being in the home of a chef, instead of a restaurant, but also she said this was the best dish she had ever tasted.)
Last, but not least, a real surprise for all was the dessert
A moist and delicious Olive oil cake, served with stunningly good Greek yogurt ice cream, Nutella powder and chervil
The Nutella powder was the “dark horse”. Nobody really expected to love that –but he made this using a great trick of molecular gastronomy and turned what is (in my opinion) a cloyingly sweet “kid’s” dessert, into a sophisticated delicious (please, sir, may I have more) end of meal. This was served with a fortified sweet wine from the south west of France.
Of course, that wasn’t really the end (it never is). We finished with a big bowl of creme fraiche caramels to take home. Yum! An absolutely Bliss-ful evening we intend to repeat with the next group of special foodies looking for something truly unique.
Let us know what you think. And let us know what dishes you’d like to see in your “dinner at home with a Paris chef”