My second Cooking Class at Maison Pourcel

May 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Nothing stops the brave foodist, not even an early wake up on a Saturday morning! This is how I found myself again at the 7th floor at Maison Pourcel with a bunch of other food activists sharing croissant, coffee and squeezed orange juice, introducing to each other before we start the long awaited course given by executive chef Christophe Lerouy, disciple of Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, and captain on board at La Table, the latest addition to Pourcel’s restaurant empire.

So here we were, transported in a world of smells, and noises, the clatter, the bams and the bangs. It’s chopping in here, cutting, running, beeping, cleaning, shouting “Yes Chef” in every direction. And I’m loving it. Timing is the essence of cooking and these guys have earned a great sense of it, the minute, the second, no time interval that they miss. Because of it, it probably makes it a bit hard to an amateur to clearly embrace what’s happening in a professional kitchen. It simply goes too fast, it looks too easy, it speaks the language… but how I love immersing myself in this insanity.

This month cooking class was all about vegetables. The challenge: to cook an entire 3 course menu using vegetables only. Having being pursued by my parents, forced to finish my spinach, devoting myself to develop friendships with starch and carbs kind of friends, it was honestly not of the most appealing at first, yet I knew I’d be wrong and that my pride would be soon corrupted by flavors, smells… and Christophe Lerouy clearly knows how to let every ingredients expresses their taste, more than that, he controls them knowing the exact quantity of this and that, the portions, the balance, the temperature and the timing. It never looked so easy but this is were professionalism and perfection fools you. And being asked to repeat simple looking procedures such as blowing in a zucchini -don’t ask!- the all complexity suddenly rise, reminding us that hundreds if not thousands of the exact same gesture brought a chef to his level of its art, before he inspire his work with passion, or creativeness.

Below:

– One of Jardin des Sens’ signature dishes: The Crab and Fish stuffed Flower of Zucchini, Lemmon Emulsion and Beans in Butter Sauce

– Asparagus and Morilles Mushrooms, Slow cooked Egg and Parmesan Cheese

– Caramelized Artichoke Tart topped, topped with home made Vanilla Ice Cream, Carrot and Celeri Confit

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