When I posted on Loomy Tunes on Monday, I promised news of my day with the chefs from Daniel Boulud's restaurant. Because the pastry chef, Dominique Ansel, was so prepared, I didn't get to help him with his dessert, after all. I counted inventory in the preserve kitchen, instead, and waited for the dinner to begin. I gave all the chefs a tour of my kitchen and made each a jar of peanut butter to take home with them.
Drinks and appetizers started at 6:30, and as always, it took a while for everyone to be seated and be ready for the onslaught of food. First course was a tomato tasting, with two elements from Daniel's Executive Chef, Jean Francois Bruel and two from the Executive Chef of the Barn, Joseph Lenn.
Here's Joseph's tomato gelee, with a tiny current tomatoes captured in the gelee. Before the plate went out, we put in tiny rye croutons and poured yellow gazpacho into the glass.
The tomato sampler looked like this:
It's just missing the tomato sorbet the Jean Francois put on top of the stuffed cherry tomato right as the servers took the plates out. That was too chaotic to photograph, though, hands reaching everywhere to plate the sorbet as fast as possible and get it to the guests before it melted.
The next course was Joseph's fish course, sea bass with caviar, roasted fingerling potatoes and bacon jam.
I squirted the bacon jam. That was my contribution.
Chef Boulud made the Grouse course, the final meat course. It had celery root boxes, cooked, then hollowed out to be filled with celery root puree. Alongside were beet and salsify batons. The grouse was covered on three sides with some kind of crumb coating that Chef Boulud and Chef Brune browned on the stove top right before it went out, in very hot skillets. That is all that cooked the meat, leaving it rare in the center, and gorgeous. This plate sat a little while before I could take the photo, so it's not quite as beautiful as it was.
Next came the cheese course, one wedge of our Singing Brook cheese, candied pecans and pecan vinaigrette:
Dominique was the pastry chef at Fauchon, the famous gourmet shop in Paris before he came to Daniel. He opened the new branches of Fauchon around the world when they expanded. He is amazingly talented, but very down to earth and kind. I'm hoping he'll hire Abby to work with him when she returns from her world travels.
And he made plates of chocolates for the finish:
They also made Madelines, warm from the oven, but I couldn't find my camera, and was busy helping the chef plate them.
It was a long day, and I'd forgotten how difficult but how fun it is to work a function like that. Everyone gets tense and sweaty and we all work together to make the food go out as beautiful and delicious as possible. I'm glad I was able to participate, glad that it isn't my everyday job anymore, and so glad to meet such an extraordinary team of chefs.
And I'm glad I was able to share it with you! Bon Appetit!