We returned to Paris last weekend just to attend a cooking class. Hubby's favourite Wine-tasting instructor (or Oenologue) Mr. J. BLOC organises food and wine outings and food and wine-tasting sessions quite regularly. The one we attended was titled : ''7 Plats 7 Vins : Autour des Herbes et des Épices'' (7 Courses and 7 Wines around Herbs and Spices). It cost 120 Euros per person and was inclusive of the cooking demonstration, ingredients, food and wine tasting.
It took us 6 hours to drive to my MIL's place in Bonneuil en Valois (to leave the kids with her) and 2 hours to drive to Paris (horrifying traffic jams). We were late for the cooking class and missed out on the citron confit (luckily it was a simple recipe) and the rosemary scallops. But with 7 dishes to prepare, there was more than enough to keep up with, we've picked up quite a few interesting tips about preparation and cooking methods and it was a priviledge and lots of fun learning from the Chef de cuisine Pierre GASSERT (last year we learnt how to make Foie gras with cacao with him), a round, jolly and really funny guy who's very professional and very good in his job. We all got to help him prepare the dishes and also to serve them.
The menu was as follows (Dishes in Black and Wine in Red) :
Saumon mariné à l'aneth, façon Fjord
Domaine de la Tournelle 2003, Fleur de Savagnin
Croustillant de chèvre, vinaigre balsamique, miel thym et framboise
Blanquette de veau à la vanille, tagliatelles aux épinards
Domaine Sylvie Spielmann, Pinot Noir Réserve Bergheim 2003
Brochette de coquilles St Jacques sur sa branche de romarin, sauce corail et citronnelle, endive braisée, asperges sauvages
Cuvée tradition 2001 - Vouvray François Pinon
Poulet au bâton de réglisse, citron confit avec sa poire rôtie à l'huile d'olive et ciboulette (no photo 'coz I was so eager to eat it I forgot to have one taken)
Château La Tour de Mons 2000 - Margaux
Ananas rôti à la créole mijoté au poivre de Séchouan et cardamone
Classic Rhum Versailles, 13 ans d'âge
I'm not a wine lover but it was really interesting listening to Mr BLOC commenting on each wine before we tasted each dish, the history of the wine, its maker, the aromas, how it compliments the dish etc.
We spent the night in a small hotel at Bastille and had brunch the next morning at Le Réservoir, a branché bar-club-restaurant in the Bastille area. For 22 Euros you get a pretty decent spread and a Jazz concert, last Sunday we had Johanne SAYADA, classic Brazilian revisited.
Then we watched the film Truman Capote (the author of Breakfast at Tiffany's), brilliantly portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Makes me want to read his last completed book and non-fiction novel In Cold Blood based on the 1959 murder of the four members of a Kansas farming family, the Clutters. And I am really quite haunted about what he wrote in the preface of his uncompleted book, using Saint Theresa of Avila's saying that ''Answered prayers cause more tears than those that remain unanswered''...
PS : If anybody's interested in the recipe for any of the above dishes, write to me and I'll provide it.