“Talking about cuisine — French cuisine — is also talking about joie de vivre, delicacy, optimism, and pleasure — ideas that are all crucial to the image of France.” Alain Ducasse.
21st March is celebrated as Goût de France / Good France Day to relish & spread French gastronomy in various locations worldwide.
The idea of good france day came from a tradition called “Epicurean Dinners” which was started by Auguste Escoffier in 1912, which means – Same menu, same day, different cities. It’s purpose was to promote French culture, tourism & cuisine.
Celebration of Good France Day on the lines of Epicurean Dinners was recreated after UNESCO included Gastronomic meal of French on the representative list of ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity.‘ This is a festive meal which is a customary social practice to celebrate special occasions like birthdays, marriage etc.
In short, it’s just another beautiful excuse to bring people together for good food and even better wine.
I along with fellow bloggers got this amazing opportunity to savor France at Freito restaurant, the only restaurant in central India to participate in Good France Day.
Chef Amit Pamnani has set the perfect food and wine pairing, for authentic French gourmet experience. He has over 20 years of experience as a chef in India and abroad. Initially from Mumbai, he is now settled in Indore, he does menu consulting for restaurants, runs his cooking classes at Amit Pamnani Culinary Studio and has set up his own culinary homestay.
2000 chefs across 5 continents have participated in the third Good France Day celebrations.
1. Amuse Bouche
Shot of tomato essence.
Amuse Bouche means starter or appetizer. We were served ‘Shot of tomato essence.’ You can’t order amuse bouche off the menu. It represents chef’s choice & it’s often served as an introduction to his meal.
Tomato essence: Take around 3 kg of cherry tomatoes, add 200g each of onions, fennel and celery to it and chop them roughly in a food processor. Add a handful of basil leaves, fresh tarragon, thyme, salt, pepper, sugar, a dash of tobasco and worcestershire sauce to it. Mix thoroughly and let it sit for 3 hours. Now, take a large muslin cloth and put the tomato mixture in it and let it hang overnight and collect the drippings in a clean bowl. These drippings are your tomato essence, serve it chilled garnished with fresh chopped tomatoes, roast peppers and basil.
In short, they are COLD SOUP SHOTS, easy to prepare & are refreshing to the core. A perfect summer surprise.
“The amuse-bouche is the best way for a great chef to express his big ideas in small bites.” – Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
If you don’t like tomatoes, this is not meant for you. Although I bet you will still appreciate it’s freshness.
2. FRENCH ONION TARTS –
Oh my. I totally fell in love with this one. This is a classic old French dish. When onions are slowly cooked (10/10 to chef for such patience!) natural sugars caramelize to bring out a delectable richness. Caramelized onions had perfect deep mahogany color & the taste was simply divine.
It was served with green salad, dijon mustard dressing, & garnished with crispy sage tempura (a herb).
3. Main course –
a). Vegetarian – BAKED SPINACH AND MUSHROOM CREPES
Such enhanced flavours tantalised my tastebuds. Cheese and mushrooms are like a match made in heaven. For a hard core non vegetarian like me, this dish was a winner. I couldn’t stop eating and yes it was finger licking good. Maybe, just maybe being a vegetarian or vegan isn’t that bad Haha.
b). Non vegetarian – CHICKEN FRICASSE MAMAN BLANC
It’s the signature dish of Raymond Blanc’s mother & hence the name. Raymond Blanc has a ‘Two Michelin Star’ restaurant in UK. To my surprise, the dish didn’t surprise me with flavors. It is braised in white wine, vinegar & herbs. It’s served with Fondant potatoes, & French beans. Maybe it was too authentic French cuisine for me, but I just didn’t like it much.
I can still feel it in my mouth. I’m not a chocolate lover ( I know I know, it’s quite difficult to believe!) but I’m not & yet I loved this dish so much that I actually started eating from my fellow blogger’s Plate too, after finishing mine.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the RECIPE, make it and do let me know the outcome!
Take 125g flour, 125g soft butter and 60g icing sugar. Put them in a food processor and blend to a paste. Wrap the paste in cling film and chill for 2 hours. Remove from the fridge, roll it into a sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees C for 10 mins. Put a square ring in which u wish to make the dessert over the baked biscuit, press it slightly and bake for further 4 mins. Remove from oven and let it cool completely.
Meanwhile, Boil 150 ml milk, 350ml cream in a pan. Chop 700 g of chocolate and keep aside. Break 2 eggs in a bowl and slowly whisk in the boiling milk and cream mixture to it. Once the milk and cream are combined with the eggs, mix the chopped chocolate and whisk till smooth. Let the mixture cool a bit and then pour the same over the baked biscuit. Put the dessert in the freezer until set. Once set, cut it into long bars and serve with caramelised nuts and custard. This recipe will yield 15 portions.
In the end, I would also like to thank team Freito – Mr. Akash Rochlani & Mr. Ankit Punjabi for inviting us to celebrate the Good France Day.
Service – ⭐️⭐️
Taste – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Presentation – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall – ⭐️⭐️⭐️