France

Northwest France

The Food and Wine of France

Filo with rosé wineOf course, it’s mostly about food. And here’s the big secret to French cooking: add a pound of butter and a bottle of wine to everything!  If you don’t happen to have a pound of butter substitute a gallon of cream. Of course it’s also all about the wine as well…

FALL MENU FROM THE BURGUNDY REGION OF FRANCE
  • an appetizer of trout marinated in lime juice, followed by cream of butternut squash soup, with a main of rabbit stew, kale/potato puré, and white beans with roasted tomatoes and two desserts: pears poached in Pinot Noir and pumpkin chestnut flamusse.
A MENU FROM PROVENCE
  • featuring an appetizer of bacon & mussels on skewers with basil cream (and a white wine from the region),  followed by heavenly fragrant Bouillabaise de Marseille (plus a rosé to match), finishing off with a lovely gateau.
A LATE SUMMER MENU FROM THE AQUITAINE REGION OF FRANCE (BORDEAUX)
  • to start, a Basque-influenced fisherman’s cod and chorizo soup served alongside a goat cheese tart topped with warm fennel salad and accompanied by a white wine from the Bordeaux region, followed by a main course of grilled steak Bordelaise with potato croquettes (and a Bordeaux, bien sûr) and a dessert of rum and almond cannelés.
FOOD & WINE OF THE LOIRE VALLEY & CHAMPAGNE
  • Class 1 Part 1:  featuring Frog’s Leg Soup, followed by two excellent appetizers: one of scallops served in the shell and the other of pork belly nibbles with mustard sauce.
  • Class 1 Part 2:  a main course of light salad with hazelnut-crusted goat cheese plus the dessert of cookies with homemade Cointreau ice cream.
  • Class 2 Part 1:  appetizers of Belgian endives in a Béchamel sauce and savoury eclairs with smoked salmon, with Champagne, the real thing!
  • Class 2 Part 2:  a main course of Stuffed Trout and Spelt Risotto with Biscuits de Rose de Reims for dessert, and more wine of course!
  • Class 3 Part 1:  Salmon Chowder paired with Pouilly-Fumé, followed by a popular French brasserie appetizer of Filo stuffed with Loire Valley cheese and prosciutto, served with a Rosé Anjou.
  • Class 3 Part 2:  Chicken Fricassée Braised in Milk and Potato, Asparagus and Mushroom Gratin paired with a fabulous Sancerre, and two great desserts with real Champagne!
FOOD & WINE OF THE RHONE VALLEY IN FRANCE
  • Class 1 Part 1:  ‘Roasted Onion Trilogy Soup Lyonnaise’ paired PERFECTLY with 2011 Cotes du Rhone Heritages Ogier, followed by an appetizer that could have been an entire meal: ‘French Potato Salad, Saucisson Chaud Lyonnaise (Sausage in Pastry) and Cranberry Spinach Salad’
  • Class 1 Part 2:  The main course for this meal was ‘Panned-fried Fish of the Day with a Juniper Berry Buerre Blanc and Curried Lentil Cauliflower’ and for dessert we made ‘Pine Nut Custard Pie with Caramel & Whiskey Sauce’, both accompanied by interesting wines.
  • Class 2 Part 1: ‘Epicurean Fish Consommé’ followed by a delicious ‘Salad with Bleu de Bresse Cheese and Grilled Walnuts’.
  • Class 2 Part 2:  ‘Mandarin Orange Pork Ribs with Roasted Carrots and Potatoes’ (with a Lirac), followed by a dessert of moist ‘Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Blossom Ice Cream’ with a sparkling sweet rosé.
  • Class 3 Part 1: We started off with the very meaty ‘Wooden Leg Soup’ served with a red wine made from 100% Syrah grapes. The wine also went with the second course, Tuna Cakes and ‘Cervelle de Canut’ (herbed cheese).
  • Class 3 Part 2: The main course was ‘Bouffade of the Rhone Valley’, a veal casserole plus another fabulous salad, Warm Goat Cheese Salad, and a dessert of eggy custard known as Rhone Valley Clafoutis.
FOOD & WINE OF THE ALSACE
  • Class 1 Part 1: Our first cooking class in Alsatian food started with a very French Asparagus, Orange and Crab Salad, followed by Onion and Bacon Tart.
  • Class 1 Part 2: The main dish of the evening, Chicken & Cabbage & Prunes in Riesling was served with Alsace ‘Grand Cru’. Dessert overload began with a Kirsch Soufflé served with a Muscat followed by a Beer Sorbet with Läckerli Cookies.
  • Class 2 Part 1: Sauerkraut Soup with Smoked Sausage, Tarte Flambée or ‘Flammekueche’, and ‘Baeckenofe with Sweet and Sour Cabbage’ plus Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.
  • Class 2 Part 2: ‘Grilled Munster Cheese Salad’ with a Pinot Auxerrois and for dessert, ‘Apple Tart with Kirsch Crème Anglaise’
  • Class 3 Part 1:  foie gras on toast with fresh fig along with the Alsace Grand Cru Gewürztraminer, and escargot in vol-au-vents paired with a Sylvaner.
  • Class 3 Part 2: ‘Munster Valley Pie‘, a pork pie done Alsace-style with a well-aged Pinot Noir, Seafood Sylvaner Choucroute, and for dessert, Fromage Blanc Tart, and with it another essential French experience: Eau-de-Vie Poire Williams.
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