Monday, August 28, 2017

Périgord -- A Special Birthday Treat

We were staying with our good friends Bob and Betsy in Périgord for my birthday, and they gave me a wonderful surprise: dinner at home prepared by Chef Christian Chiron, an accomplished chef who worked for four decades in Périgord and abroad, including stints in Florida. I was able to observe, but not participate because Chef Christian had completed all the prep work before his arrival. Still, it was fun to watch the way he handled a pretty elaborate dinner for six with great economy of movement, patience and quiet dedication to the task at hand. He told me that the main ingredient to being a good chef is passion for the job.

All of this would have been for nought if the meal had not been excellent.

We had champagne and hors d'oeuvres outside on the terrace, with Joan and myself, Bob and Betsy and their good friends -- and our new friends -- Marianna and Nigel. The hors d'oeuvres consisted of melon balls wrapped in duck prosciutto, prunes stuffed with figs and crab meat mousse quenelles, most of the items relating to the region and/or season.

Sylvie, Joan, me, Marianna, Nigel, Betsy and Bob
Hors d'oeuvres by Chef Christian
Then we moved inside for the meal itself, because the weather was a bit iffy for dining al fresco.

The entrée consisted of quick-sauteed scallops with a beet and herb salad with a light cheese (I think) emulsion, as pictured at the top of this post.

The plat was perfectly cooked veal medaillons with girolle sauce, accompanied by a pretty bundle of green beans and a wonderful baked scalloped potato.

And finally, a beautiful raspberry mousse tart with strawberries and raspberry sauce: an ode to the berries at the height of their season.

Raspberry mousse tart with raspberry sauce and strawberries
A great feast, in a great setting with great friends! This would have been a big treat for anyone, but was especially so for your humble author.

Bobby Jay

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