The French House Party – A culinary adventure to France (Day 3)

FHP Day 2 and 3 037This post is being authored as I have to depart back to England, goodbyes have been said to all the other guests, the course is finished and as you can tell, I am a few days behind with updates on how things are going. My flight does not depart till later this afternoon so  I have some time free to ‘chillax’, and reflect on what has been a truly amazing experience, and much needed break from daily life back at home.

One of the reasons for booking this course, apart from learning from 2 awesome chefs and meeting some lovely people, was the chance for a brief visit to the medieval city of Carcassonne, a recce for a future trip planned with the family. More about that later.

FHP Day 2 and 3 049Today we have definitely stepped it up a couple of gears as you can see by the pictures above. These two dishes we created on Sunday morning, along with a ‘stonking’ Chocolate Fondant, believe me, it was spot on……

I’ve never used Agar Agar before, but the thought of making an Orange Jelly from scratch, topped with a Salmon Tartare, and then being able to present it, in a way that was going to be appealing seemed an impossible task!

FHP Day 2 and 3 025All the longer cookery vacations I  have been on follow a similar pattern, discuss the menu first, you are then given a task to complete by the Chef, if you finish you can help one of your colleagues with another task, then come together at the end to learn plating  techniques to make everything look pretty.

As usual, if you want to know how we accomplished the dish above (which was bl@@dy good), book the course and come yourself, although you will probably have to wait until next year, these courses are VERY popular.

FHP Day 2 and 3 014The main course was a Dourade (Black Bream from memory), served with a Spinach and Basil puree, and delicious Artichokes. You guessed it, prepping the fish from scratch and trying to create beautiful looking fillets was the order of the day.

It was the same with the Artichokes, I’ve only eaten them a couple of times, stuffed hearts in Egypt many years ago, and steamed with a Dijon mustard dressing on the cookery course last year. Now we were going to learn another technique and the end result was well worth it. I now feel very confident in ‘le’s art d’artichoke’ !!!!

FHP Day 2 and 3 097Two other highlights of our trip were the chance to eat out at a couple of very good restaurants. Both were in Carcassonne, the first was Restaurant La Marquière a beautiful place to taste amazing food overlooking La Cité de Carcassonne, the second was the two Michelin starred ‘la table de Franck Putelat’

Franck used to work at another famous Carcassonne restaurant la barbacane, which is within the city walls and has one Michelin star, so his pedigree is VERY good.

Talking of Carcassonne, the picture above is in the City at the side of the la barbacane, the chefs taking a quick break before service.

Have to dash for the airport now, watch out for next post.

Until next time………..L8ers……………………..

 

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2 thoughts on “The French House Party – A culinary adventure to France (Day 3)

    • It was really good Peter, the whole experience really worked well, the two restaurants we ate in also excelled for different reasons, wish I was still in France!

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