Michelin Cooking Class at “La Table” by Jacques & Laurent POURCEL

April 25, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s never easy to wake up at 7 on a Saturday.The only two reasons that I can think of being: my daughters jumping on my back and torturing me till they get me on my feet to bring them to the park, and a good food morning call.

Last Saturday’s wake up was of the second kind as I was invited by Executive Chef Christophe LEROUY, from Michelin Star Chefs Jacques & Laurent POURCEL’s restaurant “La Table”, to one of their bimonthly cooking classes. That’s how I found myself awaken and happy early on a very beautiful Saturday morning. I even decided to take a walk to Maison Pourcel, accompanied by the singing of morning birds and the pleasant buzz of a new Shanghai day.

First arrived at Maison Pourcel at 8am I am welcomed by my good friend Christophe LEROUY, the talented Executive Chef of La Table, entrusted by Michelin Star Chefs Jacques & Laurent POURCEL. LEROUY is a native of Alsace, son of a restaurateur, who himself became a Chef with a passion for fine and creative cuisine. He joined Pourcel group in 2005 becoming Chef de Partie at “Le Jardin Des Sens” (Montpellier), then “La Compagnie Des Comptoirs” in La Grande Motte. Crossing the Atlantic, he then joined the kitchens of “Ortolan” in Los Angeles and “L’Ermitage” in Beverly Hills. Always curious for new territories he moved to Singapore where he worked at “San Marco” in Lighthouse Fullerton Hotel and only left Asia to open “Le Carre Blanc” in France for Jacques & Laurent POURCEL. At the very young age of 28 Christophe is already a full experienced Chef that earned the trust of one of the finest Food brand in Pourcel group who sent him to Marrakech working at the Crystal Restaurant Pacha’s Club and eventually flew to Shanghai to open Maison Pourcel.

Christophe is very patiently waiting for his early guests in his kitchen and offers me coffee, orange juice, croissants and pains au chocolat while chatting and exchanging latest news about our industry and today’s course “Three ways of cooking seabass fish: Raw, Grilled, and En Papillotte”. By 8.30am other food amateurs have joined us including two winners of latest Maison Pourcel contest, Lorraine, a journalist from local magazine City Weekend and Nicolas JING, son of the owner of the building and landlord of Maison Pourcel, a very bright young Chinese lad that speaks perfect French for he’s studied in Paris for years, and very knowledgeable of the French culture. Christophe is warmly looking after us, running from the coffee machine to hold the croissant basket and serve orange juice and asking us to forgive for the very modest reception as he had allowed his staff to come later that day, letting them resting after a very long night. It is always nice to see a Chef caring about his boys and getting his hands dirty doing all the preps himself.

Everything was well organized, each of us get a paper board and a pen and is being provided with the recipes of the day, a list of ingredients and some cooking tips. “Au program”: Tartare on Cucumber Jelly and Tomato Sherbet, a Grilled, and a “en Papillote” versions of the theme-of-the-day sea-bass fish. The audience learns every Chef’s tips and it felt like being revealed secrets of some magic tricks from a magician. Everything would sound easy then, until you’re being ask to try and repeat the master’s gesture. Then you realize that what makes it so flawless can only the result of years of practice, from vegetable dice cutting exercises to fish cleaning… what takes few minutes to Chef LEROUY might require a hour of your time at home but that is not a good enough reason to give up if you keep in mind that the very reason for cooking should be the enchantment and gustative pleasure of your friends and beloved ones; and anticipating their surprise and contentment should be the ultimate motivation for all your hard work, practice and patience. No matter the cost and the effort, it is always worthy and the price of your friends ‘smile of satisfaction should be your greatest reward. That is exactly what Christophe LEROUY has been conscientiously doing for all these years for the sake and reputation of Jacques & Laurent POURCEL’s colors, and little for himself. As the very original cuisine from the twin Chefs, LEROUY offers a generous, unpretentious, accessible and down-to-earth cuisine; the kind that moves me the most.

Next Pourcel cooking class will be on May 7th and 28th, theme: “Cooking Spring Vegetables”. You can also find the complete Cooking Class schedule on Maison Pourcel website.

For any inquiry, you can call +8621 6215 8777 or email sales@maisonpourcel.com

LA TABLE, by Jacques & Laurent Pourcel (Shanghai, PRC)
8/F, 35 Shanxi Nan Lu, near Changle Lu
陕西南路35号8楼, 近长乐路
http://www.maisonpourcel.com

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