Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An American Chef in Paris

Once back in Paris, we were given some great info. on local restaurants from Alison Barshak, chef/owner at Alison Two in Fort Washington, PA. One of her suggestions was this nice little bistro which was close to our hotel.
So, It was some nice food, but I had to tell you that story so I could tell you this one.

As we were finishing our dinner, three ladies were seated at the bar beside us. They spoke.....wait for it.....wait for it.....ENGLISH!!! The sound of english speaking folks was like Pavarotti belting out an aria to Rich's ears and he struck up a conversation as Karen translated the menu for them. It turns out that they owned an apartment in Paris that had a kitchen. Since Rich knew that Captain Happy Feet(me) would actually enjoy the chance to cook a dinner and not have to eat at a restaurant where he was crammed into a seat like a sardine, the food lacked salt and you couldn't get a glass of water to save your life...he suggested that we come over and cook dinner. They took us up on it and so, it was on.

So, saturday started by heading to the market.

The day started with no preconceived notions of what might be on the menu, so after a quick walk through the entire market, we jotted down some notes and went on a buying spree. The next video is where we bought our herbs and potatoes. Warning: this guy is very entertaining.

Here's just a guick note to Kathy Glahn....this cabbage is awesome!!!!

Once the marketing was done, we packed up and walked over to the apartment. Once organized, the cooking started.

You'll notice my comment about appropriately salted food. The food in France was almost across the board undersalted. That's a shoemaker mistake, France.

Here are a couple of shots of the dinner. The menu was as follows:

Snacks: Toasts with butter, arugula and salted radishes; olives
Chanterelle mushroom risotto with pecorino cheese and Iberico ham
Label Rouge chicken with cabbage, bacon, fingerling potatoes and olive puree
Saddle of Lamb with white beans and red wine reduction
Dessert from Pierre Herme. Enough said.

Here's the galette. Amazing.

So, that sums it up. Lots of bottles of wine and lots of great conversation. It was an amazing feeling to get to cook with some of France's great ingredients..... It was great to share a kitchen with my great friend, Rich Matosky......It was great to go to bed with the sweet smell of cooking still on my hands even though they had been washed over and over. You can't know that feeling unless you've done it, but if you've had it you know what I'm talking about. Thanks for the invitation, ladies. I had an awesome time....I hope you did, too.


Bob del Grosso said...

Great post Andy. Looks like you had a great time. Not sure why you'd want to cook on vacation in France. Crazy does as crazy is, I suppose :-)

Chef Andrew Little said...

Thanks for the post, Bob. I get what you're saying about cooking on vacation, but I gotta tell you(I'm sure you already know) the ingredients/markets over there were the highlight. Since I wasn't able to bring anything back, it was super cool to be able to cook with it and see how those things react 'in the pan'. Plus, I was going stir crazy not having my hands 'in the heat'. I know you know that feeling.

Anonymous said...

Andrew-- SALT!!! You gotta love salt! As a recent friend of Tammy and Rich's and a fellow chef I know their passion for food and wine. They think the world of you and I can only imagine how adventurous your trip was. Maybe our paths will cross one day. Until then, be well...