One last Chef of Provence

Wrapping up our visit, in the Papal city of Avignon, adjacent to the Palace, the restaurant of Master Chef Christian Etienne is a must if you are in the area. Please enjoy below a tomato menu…

20131005-121131.jpg Tomato juice as a palate opener.

20131005-121321.jpgTomato on a bed of tomato goat cheese.

20131005-125055.jpgGaspacho of green and yellow tomatoes.

20131005-121418.jpgTomato mousse in a rail of tomato cracker with tempura snail on tomato coulis.

20131005-125406.jpgMediterranean fish with tomato confit and eggplant caviar.

20131005-125528.jpgMediterranean fish with tomato risotto.

20131005-125630.jpgConversations with wine pairing from the sommelier.

20131005-125749.jpgChocolate cake, mousse, fondant.
20131005-132413.jpgRaspberry cake with fig.

20131005-130139.jpgTomato sherbet.

20131005-130240.jpg After dessert “Mignardises”: Macaroons, Caneles, Pates de Fruits.

Hoping you enjoyed this Provence Chefs series.  Next week we start autumn vegetables back in Chicago 🙂


Another Chef of Provence

Continuing our culinary sojourn brought us to Saint Rémy de Provence in Les Alpilles. At the heart of the village is an exquisitely classy and discrete restaurant: La Maison Jaune. Please enjoy the following creations from François Perraud.

20130928-214124.jpg Delicious ‘mise en bouche’ with herb and garlic olives, olive oil AOC from La VallĂ©e des Baux, and…

20130928-214459.jpg Zucchini soup, quail egg with tomato confit.

20130928-214647.jpgPurple artichokes with goat cheese and herb vinaigrette.

20130928-215050.jpg Cantaloupe from Cavaillon with carrots and radishes accompanied by a vinaigrette with mustard from Meaux.

20130928-215526.jpg Marinated Red Label Scottish salmon with roe, capers, tomato and herbs.

20130928-215708.jpg Steamed fish with seasonal vegetables.

20130928-220608.jpgGoat cheese with fig bread and strawberry jam.

20130928-221538.jpgPineapple carpaccio with vanilla and herb served with ‘pain d’Ă©pice’.

20130928-221842.jpg Walnut and hazelnut tart served with fresh citrus and strawberry syrup.

20130928-222324.jpgKumquat, nougat and pate de fruit.
Trusting you enjoy the sharing of these images.

Chef of Provence

Our culinary visit of Provence led us to exceptional chefs. Please enjoy photos of creations from Xavier Matthieu, chef of Le Phebus.

20130921-192048.jpg Tempura snails with licorice and fennel emulsion. A perfect ‘mise en bouche’.

Pistou soup. The flavors were out of this world. A masterpiece.

20130922-065428.jpg Crayfish Jambalaya. Spicy and yet so delicate.

20130922-153826.jpgSaint Pierre with autumn squash and mushroom. Exquisite!

20130922-153948.jpg Purée de pommes de terre with black truffles. The best and smoothest texture ever coupled with amazing truffles.

20130922-154248.jpg Vanilla and anchovy ice cream with basil and lemon sherbet. Unexpectedly perfect combination.

20130922-154647.jpg Cherry macaroon, apple mousse and pâte de fruit. Sublime!
If your eyes and tastebuds can already anticipate how extraordinarily delicious these dishes are, just imagine how much fun it would be to learn how to prepare them!

My Grandmother’s Bohemienne Eggplant

Another Provençal classic we used to enjoy spending summer vacation at my grandmother’s. This dish is similar to the more widely known ratatouille, but simpler in its combination of ingredients, neither using zucchini nor bell peppers. Sometimes also known as ‘poor man’s ratatouille’, simple in its preparation, it is best prepared in an enameled cast iron pot with a cover, which evenly conducts the heat and is well suited for slow cooking.

We used to serve this accompanied by long grain Camargue rice. Here I served it using the other vegetables I received in our weekly share from the local farm in Chicago, which included delicious fresh greens and small red potatoes. When my boyfriend had his first taste, he exclaimed: “such a delicate flavor!”
Try it out!

2 small to medium eggplants
2 large or 6 small tomatoes
1 small long onion or large shallot
1garlic clove
3 tbsp Olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt
Enameled cast iron pot with cover
Preheat oven to 350F

Peel and chop the onion finely.

Place the olive oil in the bottom of an enameled cast iron pot. Place on the stove over medium heat.

Add the onions and turn the heat down to low to slowly melt them till translucent.

Chop the tomatoes in small cubes.

Add the tomatoes, a little salt and continue cooking slowly.

Cut the eggplants in small stripes and cubes.

Add the eggplant to the melted onion and tomatoes.

Peel and crush the garlic to chop it finely.

Add garlic to the cooking mixture, and a little more generous salt.

Add about 1/4 cup of water and cover the pot.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about one hour.

Once the Bohemienne is cooked, spoon out immediately on plates accompanied by rice or potatoes if serving hot. This is also delicious cold.

Here, served with the beautiful farm greens and sautéed cubed potatoes. Enjoy!