Alain Ducasse was at the farm this week, just for the day, while his sous chefs worked diligently to prepare his cooking school class and the dinner for the finale of the school. The savory chefs, Sylvain Portay and Kelly Hughett, seemed to be peeling an awful lot of asparagus. They roasted shallots, peeled artichokes, braised pork belly. Chef Portay taught the class, while Chef Ducasse helped some, from what we could see. Chef Ducasse came by the pastry department after the class, asked me how I was, and took some vanilla cookie scrap from my sheet pan. He proclaimed it good and walked away.
But his pastry chef, Sandro Micheli, worked in our chocolate room for two days, crafting some beautiful stuff. Above, courtesy of Melanie who worked last night, are photos of the chocolate dessert. It's a milk chocolate dacquoise topped with a tempered circle of milk chocolate, topped with caramel-milk chocolate mousse, another piece of milk chocolate, then milk chocolate Creme Chantilly and a chocolate garnish. On top is milk chocolate sorbet.
The second dessert is poached rhubarb surrounding a fromage blanc mousse and a rhubarb mousse, topped with a rhubarb granite, and a rhubarb soup poured table side. I wonder if he won that battle? I've never been able to get the wait staff to pour anything table side!
When I left work yesterday, he was painstakingly lining up the little slabs of rhubarb in acetate cylinders and trying to get them to stay lined up long enough to get the mousse in them. He didn't want any help, seemed perfectly happy, though a bit nervous, so we left him alone.
And at the end of the dinner, he passed out macaroons and chocolates.
He had more macaroons, but when they arrived, a lot of them were broken. When Krissy asked him what happened, he said, "I guess they don't like to fly." But the remaining ones look beautiful, don't they?